I finished The Host last night, and I really liked it! Before you ask, yes I am a fan of Stephanie Meyer's work. I really love the Twilight series, and The Host did not disappoint.
I always seem to be behind about reading all the "good" stuff. This book came out in 2008, and I remember passing it in the stores, picking it up to read the cover more than once, and it never peaked my interest enough for me to pick it up and take it home(also, I was a broke college kid then). But a book club I'm a part of on Goodreads read it last month and for whatever reason, this time I was ready to read it.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS FROM HERE ONWARD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! :)
First of all, let me just say, this story is not Twilight made over. People will argue the aspect of the love triangle. But that is in most Dystopian YA fiction out there, so, next argument please! And besides, it's more of a... love.. square? Yeah, anyway.
"Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away"- Her body has been taken captive by a soul, Wanderer. Wanderer has lived many lives, and has heard stories about how difficult life can be with a human host. But she is certain that she will be able to adjust to her new body, with it's fragile existence as well as the violent, gripping memories that it comes with. But Melanie has other plans. Melanie begins to show Wanderer snippets of her old life, a life filled with such raw emotion that Wanderer cannot help but yearn for it. Melanie shows Wanderer Jared, the man Melanie loves, desperately hoping that Wanderer will find some way to help her get back to him. What Melanie doesn't count on is the way that Wanderer is consumed with love for Jared herself.
Trapped inside the same physical body, these two enemies form an unwilling bond in order to save the man that they both love, but have no way of knowing just what lies ahead of them.
What moved me the most about this story is the way it depicts humanity. The souls have come to Earth because of how violent humans are, and they believe that they can run the world better. That humans do not deserve this beautiful planet. But what the souls fail to understand, and what Wanderer comes to realize, is that Earth isn't Earth without humans. Humans are vastly imperfect, but it's their imperfections that give them potential for better things.
“Perhaps there could be no joy on this planet without an equal weight of pain to balance it out on some unknown scale.”
What is light without the darkness?
Another thing is the way humans have the ability to love, even if convention tells them that they are wrong. Ian's love for Wanda was something that I had to work to get my head around. I really wanted to believe in it wholeheartedly, but it took me a while to really accept it. Especially considering how Ian started out.
In the end, I knew what had to happen with Melanie and Jared, but the uncertainty for Wanderer had tears rolling down my face. I just couldn't bear it. Although I won't spell it out here, needless to say that I was pleased.
“I held you in my hands, Wanderer, and you were beautiful.”
And as luck would have it, the movie version of The Host comes out one day after my birthday! I know what I'll be doing! :D