The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Okay, here is my first book review not to be confused with the first book I’ve ever read, which is not this one. I remember
(I really don’t) coming home from school on the first day of 1st grade crying because they hadn’t taught me to read yet. Of course, nowadays you practically have to go into kindergarten already knowing how to read. Kids these days.
Before you read this or take anything I say to heart, you should know a little about me and my taste in books. I did not understand The Purpose Driven Life and I couldn’t make it through The Birth Order Book, however I am giving Dr. Kevin Leman another chance when I read Have a New You by Friday. I’m sure that will all work out perfectly. Probably not THIS Friday, as in today, but by NEXT Friday for sure, all new me. I said previously that I couldn’t make it through a self-help book to save my life, which I thought was pretty funny ifIdosaysomyself, so I very much enjoy fiction.
Okay, I’ll just say it, OUT.LOUD., I’m a fan of the Twilight series. I have found that there are two very different groups of people when it comes to the Twilight series, those that read it and love it and those that have an incredibly hostile stance against why they won’t read it. They look at it as some sort of badge of honor to say they’ve never read the Twilight series and seem to judge you for having read it. I’ve found it to be very polarizing and have been almost embarrassed in certain circles to say I’ve read it and read it and read it again, so I usually only say I’ve read it once and not the amount of times I actually have. And I’m really only talking about Breaking Dawn, which was my favorite.
I also enjoyed The Davinci Code as a work of fiction. I actually went to a book club at my church and there was an uproar of how it was trying to pass as a non-fiction book and I said, It says right at the beginning…..well, I ran upstairs to get the exact quote, but can’t find my book. Book thieves, obviously. Anyway, it said something like, Everything but the architecture is fiction. And I trust you, Dan Brown. He also had other books that I enjoyed very much that were not religious at all in nature, Deception Point and Digital Fortress. I actually had a conversation with my dad about TDC and asked if he’d read it, to which he replied, No, because I’m a Christian and I don’t believe any of that. Okay, well, I don’t believe there was actually a cat with a hat that ate green eggs and ham either because I recognize fiction when I read it. I also like Dan Brown’s style of writing because it seems like there was no good place to put it down so you had to just keep reading.
Let me say one more thing. A few years ago I was listening to NPR and the host, a liberal, shhhhhh, was talking about going to a book convention and how no one reads anymore and since parents don’t read, it’s less likely that their children will read. Now, I was too busy raising three kids on my own to be able to just sit and enjoy a book, but I worked it into our routine and we started having reading time before the girls went to bed. I would read to Tenderheart and then she would go to sleep and the older girls and I would just read. I try to do that now because I do want them to be readers and enjoy books. In such a digital age, I love seeing them when they get excited about a book they’re reading.
All that being said in the longest intro ever recorded in history, I read The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Now, I was against this book in the beginning. As a fan of the Twilight series and not really being a Sci-Fi fan, I avoided it for years. I just now went on her website and it says, “Science fiction for people who don’t like science fiction”, and that could not have been more true. Where was that quote in 2008 when the book came out and I decided I didn’t want to read it? Oh, on her website? Yeah, probably. I guess I’m not that big a fan. I think the problem was I didn’t read a synopsis of it and I thought it was more like the movie Species, which you’ll have to research on your own.
Side note: I was not a fan of Avatar. I felt like it was a little too political for my liking and I’m not political AT ALL. Yeah, the special effects were great, but stealing a planet and killing a people for something called unobtanium? Really, James Cameron, I get the comparison and I’ll watch the news or Dances with Wolves if I want to see that. This side note will be important in just a minute, be patient.
So back to The Host and my reluctance. I heard they were making it into a movie, which was also my catalyst for reading Water for Elephants. I like when they make books into movies, but I like reading the book first. I also like knowing who’s reportedly going to play the parts so I can visualize it better. In this case the main character is played by the little girl I HATED (her character) in Atonement, but liked very much in Hanna. I feel conflicted every time I see her in something.
So in the story, basically Earth is taken over by a group of alien beings that host into humans because they like exploring new universes and have found the humans to be too violent. See my side note above because this is where she almost lost me. And then I thought, how nice would it be if we did have a peaceful planet where there wasn’t so much violence. Really, how bad could it be? However, the way the aliens were doing it was cutting open the back of the host’s neck and inserting themselves on their spinal column thus rendering the human inside the body useless. The aliens were called souls.
So there’s this little group of survivors (isn’t there always?) that are living in caves and that’s how they’re surviving. Melanie Stryder is going around with another human she picked up on a raid and her brother, but she gets caught and hosted, which actually sounds pleasant if you think about it in terms of a party. There was certainly a party going on in her head because Melanie was not about to give up mind control to her new soul living there and she ended up getting the soul, named Wanderer or Wanda (get it?), to go find her family. Well, the group of 35 rebels knew she had been taken over and were not about to let her near her family, but her uncle also couldn’t kill her. They let her in and took care of her for a while until (spoiler alert)…wait, I wonder if I should give up the ending or just tell you what I thought about it? I’ve never done one of these. Give me a minute…..
I have made an executive decision and decided I’m not going to tell you what happens, although it’s been out since 2008 and if you haven’t read it by now, are you really going to? But then I just did. *Conflicted*
Okay, I’m for sure not going to tell you the ending. I am going to tell you that I liked it very much. If I had a scale, I would give it two feet up, as in I sat in my recliner or bed with my feet up reading this for two days straight. It started out a little confusing because she jumps right into the story, but keep going because it all makes sense. One comment, not necessarily a complaint, I had was, Oh, it’s Stephenie Meyer so you know there won’t be a sex scene, and there wasn’t. There was an awkward conversation about birth control, but aren’t all conversations about birth control awkward? Just ask the girls on Teen Mom and there seem to be a plethora of them.
So just let me know if you want me to read something of yours, and listed below are just a few examples of what you could put on your book jacket,
“Christyd4 of WordPress gives it two enthusiastic feet up!!” – Wait, I might need to work on my rating scale.
“Christyd4 says, Get over your politics and entertain me!”
“Christyd4 says, Aliens in my head? Yes, please.”
Obviously, I’ll work on it for your specific book jacket. And now that you know a little about me and my taste in books, I promise the next review will be much shorter; and according to Dr. Kevin Leman, I’ll be a whole new me by next Friday so maybe it will also be more entertaining.