Contest is closed! The winner of The Host by Stephenie Meyer is Melissa from January Wish! Congratulations, Melissa! I’ve emailed you to get your mailing address.
I have to start off by saying that even though The Host is science fiction, it’s extremely light on the science. In fact, even if you’re not into science fiction, you’ll probably like this book. Anyway, on to the review!
The Host by Stephenie Meyer starts out with the insertion of an alien life into Melanie’s body. The alien that inserts the other alien into Melanie’s body is a Healer, basically a doctor but way better since their medicine far surpasses that which humans have developed. The alien in Melanie’s body, Wanda, is frustrated to find that Melanie won’t slip under the surface. Instead, she lets Wanda know that she’s going to fight this invasion, even if the only way she has to fight is by throwing her memories at Wanda and talking to her.
Aliens have invaded most human bodies at this point, and any humans that haven’t been invaded are in hiding.
After about six months, Melanie convinces Wanda to help her find her younger brother, Jamie, and her boyfriend, Jared, both of whom she is sick with worry over. They have to interpret the memory of a map that Melanie has that takes them to the desert. They wander around for days, making progress and getting so close to their destination. Unfortunately, they realize that they’re practically back where they started, all their supplies are gone, and they still haven’t found Jamie or Jared. Wanda falls over from thirst and exhaustion, but she’s found by some renegade humans and taken captive. This was exactly the place Wanda and Melanie were looking for because Jamie and Jared are here, but everyone is suspicious of the alien creature. The humans are living in a large cave, and it’s in this cave that Wanda learns what it means to be human.
The Host has a great love triangle: Melanie loves Jared, Wanda’s body loves Jared, and one of the humans in the cave, Ian, starts falling in love with Wanda. While I’m wondering if Meyer is going to pigeon-hole herself with these love triangles, I have to admit that I loved it. It’s a satisfying love triangle with plenty of heat (boy, does Meyer have the chaste sexy scenes down to a science!), plenty of conflict, and plenty of uncertainty.
I guessed what the ending would be, but Meyer had me doubting myself all the way to the last chapter. That’s what makes the book so good: you may be able to anticipate where the story’s going to go, but you’ll never guess at all the conflicts and problems that shoot up.
I’ve heard some say that the book was too long, but I thought it was just right. All of the plot points really lead you down the path and make the ending, particularly Wanda’s decision, that much more real. I’ve also heard people say it took them a while to get into the book, but I loved the book from page 1, which is totally rare for me.
I’ve been very critical of the Twilight series, one of my complaints being that I just don’t think the writing was that good. I think Meyer’s writing improves considerably for The Host, and while I don’t think her writing is Pulitzer Prize good, she is a freaking awesome storyteller. There’s no nuances in her writing, nothing beautiful about her writing, she’s just a damn good storyteller.
All that to say: You must read this book. You will not be disappointed.
Rating: 95 out of 100
Make sure you check out tomorrow’s review of The Host at Books, Movies, and Chinese Food!
Thanks to Miriam at Hachette, I have one copy of The Host to give away!
To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment telling me whether you think aliens really exist. Not answering this question will disqualify you from this contest. For an extra entry, you may tweet or stumble this giveaway. Please leave a comment for each extra entry. Contest is only open to the US and Canada. Contest will close on June 30th. Winner will be notified via email.