The Host

Friday, May 3, 2013



The Host
by Stephenie Meyer
★★☆

The human race has been taken over by alien souls. They keep the same bodies, but they take over the consciousness and actions of the human. One soul, Wanderer, takes over the body of a young woman named Melanie only to discover that Melanie refuses to surrender to her. Wanderer hears Melanie’s voice in her head and sees all of her memories. Without wanting to Wanderer finds herself falling in love with the memories of Melanie’s boyfriend and aching to find Melanie’s brother to make sure he’s safe.

I liked the questions the book raises about personality, memory and what it means to be human, but the book got bogged down by unnecessary love stories. It was ridiculously repetitive and could have easily lost about 200 pages.  

The main narration came from the Wanderer (Wanda) and she came across as weak and whiny in almost every scene. Her internal monologue was exhausting. The plot switches gears mid-way through to focus on a love triangle (love square?) and I just wasn’t interested in that aspect. I never felt like rooting for any of the couples. There were supporting characters I enjoyed, like Uncle Jeb, but that wasn’t enough to make up for the other shallow plot lines.

I wasn’t expecting Shakespeare, but based on my experience with the Twilight books I was expecting a page turner. Twilight might be a bubblegum series, but at least they are really fast reads that hook you early. Maybe it’s not fair it to compare the books, but it’s also inevitable. The Host became really boring in my opinion and I wasn’t invested in the characters.

BOTTOM LINE: The overall premise really was interesting; it just wasn’t well-edited and lost too much in the execution to work for me.

9 comments:

  1. Funny I just reviewed the movie this past Monday. I did not read the book, and I'm pretty glad I didn't. The movie was pretty much like you described the book...shallow and whiny and goofy. You don't go and expect perfection but I did have a few eye rolls.

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  2. I like this sentence in your review: “Wanderer hears Melanie’s voice in her head,” because it is unclear to whom the pronoun “her” belongs. Wanderer or Melanie?

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  3. I actually liked The Host much more that Twilight. All are like candy though. Not very filling and way to sweet! lol

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  4. Every time I get the urge to read this, I remember Twilight and can't bring myself to go there again. Everyone seems to think the reading experience is very different with The Host - so maybe one day I'll attempt this, maybe not. I think if I do I'll listen on audio so I can tune out whenever I want.

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  5. Sandy - Man, I thought this might be better as a movie. Oh well.

    JReiss - Ha, yes! It belongs to both.

    Heather - Exactly, I think you just need to keep expectations really low.

    Brooke - Yeah, I would skip it.

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  6. I agree -- it didn't have the "I must read this book as quickly as possible to find out what happened" like Twilight did. I like that she tried something new and there was some neat stuff in there but it did take FOREVER to wind up.

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  7. Jenners - I do like that she ventured away from the Twilight series and tried something new!

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  8. I tried reading this one after coming off the Twilight series a few years ago, but I just couldn't get into it. It definitely felt odd and repetitive -- I wound up returning it to a friend mostly unread, which is pretty rare for me!

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  9. Meg - In my opinion you didn't miss anything.

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