REVIEW: The Host by Stephenie Meyer

June 3, 2013 Uncategorized 5

The Host
(The Host #1)
by Stephenie Meyer
SF/ Romance

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring one of the most unusual love triangles in literature, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human.

New Adult Addiction
New Adult Addiction
This book was recommended to me so many times over the past six months, it’s got to be a record.  I actually bought the book last Thanksgiving and when I saw how long it was, and then looked over at the list of books I needed to read for blog reviews, I put it off.  And put it off, and put it off.

But finally, after Angie at Pinkindle doing her re-review of the book, I picked it up and started reading.

I have to admit this book is brilliant on many levels.  Many.  I have a confession – I’ve never read a Stephenie Meyer novel before. That’s right, I’m probably the only book blogger alive that never read Twilight. I tried once, but it’s just not my thing.  It was simple and predictable for me, so I just put it down.  So when I started The Host I had no idea what kind of writer Meyer was and I had no idea what she could do with a plot.

But I’ll say this – this book is almost genius.  That’s how well plotted it is.  I’m not sure how long it takes her to plot a story like this and I’m not sure how many people she had help her bring it all together, but the finished product was near perfect in execution.

Meyer begins the story with Melanie’s capture, then she moves into an almost extraneous scene of the “birth” of a soul.  I was bored with this. So f-ing bored.

Until I got to the end and I realized how critical that scene that actually was.

I was on team Ian almost the entire time, Jared belonged to Melanie and this book is almost 100% about the soul called Wanderer.  It’s brilliant, really. How we were led into not only sympathizing with “Wanda” but also rooting for her. And I have to say, I was prepared for an unhappy ending, so I was totally satisfied with how it turned out.  Surprised, even.

So why only four stars.

I can’t explain it, I just didn’t love it.  Even though there were some powerful moments, some awesome twists, and I was 100% satisfied with how it all turned out, it was almost too neat.

And I’ll say this – I write science fiction. I write realistic science fiction because I’m actually a scientist.  So the SF in this, while very clever, was not very realistic.  So that bothered me a little.

But the main reason that I give it four stars and not five, why I liked it a whole bunch but didn’t fall in love with it, is because it was way too long.  I realize it’s all world building and character development, which is good, but it left lots of room to get bored and lose connection with the characters.

The Host is definitely worth reading and I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ll be checking it out when it comes on Pay Per View.

About the author…

I was born in Connecticut in 1973, during a brief blip in my family’s otherwise western U.S. existence. We were settled in Phoenix by the time I was four, and I think of myself as a native. The unusual spelling of my name was a gift from my father, Stephen (+ ie = me). Though I have had my name spelled wrong on pretty much everything my entire life long, I must admit that it makes it easier to google myself now.

I filled the “Jan Brady” spot in my family-the second of three girls. Unlike the Brady’s, none of my three brothers are steps, and all of them are younger than all the girls. I went to high school in Scottsdale, Arizona, the kind of place where every fall a few girls would come back to school with new noses and there were Porsches in the student lot (for the record, I have my original nose, and never had a car until after I was in my twenties). I was awarded a National Merit Scholarship, and I used it to pay my way to Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah. I majored in English, but concentrated on literature rather than creative writing, mostly because I didn’t consider reading books “work” (as long as I was going to be doing something anyway, I might as well get course credit for it, right?).

I met my husband, Pancho (his real name is Christiaan), when I was four, but we were never anywhere close to being childhood sweethearts. In fact, though we saw each other at least weekly through church activities, I can’t recall a single instance when we so much as greeted each other with a friendly wave, let alone exchanged actual words. This may have been for the best, because when we did eventually get around to exchanging words, sixteen years after our first meeting, it only took nine months from the first “hello” to the wedding. Of course, we were able to skip over a lot of the getting to know you parts (many of our conversations would go something like this: “This one time, when I was ten, I broke my hand at a party when-” “Yeah, I know what happened. I was there, remember?”) We’ve been married for ten and a half years now, and have three beautiful, brilliant, wonderful boys who often remind me chimpanzees on crack. I can’t write without music, and my biggest muse is, ironically enough, the band Muse. My other favorite sources of inspiration are Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Coldplay, The All American Rejects, Travis, The Strokes, Brand New, U2, Kasabian, Jimmy Eat World, and Weezer, to mention a few.

New Adult Addiction
New Adult Addiction

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5 Responses to “REVIEW: The Host by Stephenie Meyer”

  1. Angie F

    Yay, I’m glad you liked it! I totally get your minor issues with it. It is really long, but I hardly noticed my second time around. I just love this book so much and wish more people would give it a chance!

    And thanks for linking to my review! 😀

    • J. Anne Huss

      It was a story to get lost in, that’s for sure. I love long books when I have lots of time! So I guess if life was less busy I might not have noticed so much. :) It says she’s writing book two now, so when that comes out, I’ll read this one again and I bet you’re right. I’ll probably like it better.

  2. Sharrice Hewlett

    Glad you liked the book. Did you see the movie yet? Nothing wrong with not reading Twilight there are a kit of people who don’t. I love how you do the boxy things around your review and everything. I really need to learn how to do that. Anyway back to your review I can see how you may not love it, some parts were like “come on!” Great review and I hope to read your sci fi novels one day.

    Reese’s @Reese’s Reviews: MA2F

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