Sunday, December 29, 2013

Book Shelf: The Host (The Host #1) by Stephenie Meyer

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.

More info on Goodreads.....


The Host by Stephenie Meyer is a sensationally written and beguiling book. It's complicated and intricate storyline will captivate and it's tangible characters will beckon as readers become lost in it's emotional depth and romantic beauty. This is one story that is sure to stay with you long after you've turned the final page!

Having literally just finished this book I'm in all honesty not sure I have the words to encompass how I really feel about The Host. Nothing I can say will do justice to how much I love this book--I'm just a mass of jumbled emotions right now and still find myself very much lost within the story. Have you ever waited a long time after a book is released to actually read it, only to find yourself wondering why in the world it took you so long to pick it up in the first place? That's how I feel about The Host.

Despite the fact that Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series kick started my love of reading after my tween years, it's taken me more than 5 years after The Host's release to actually read this book. And now for the life of me I can't figure out why! This book is phenomenal! Honestly. Say what you what about Stephenie Meyer--you either love her or hate her--but as far as I'm concerned The Host proves in my mind once and for all that Stephenie Meyer can write. That she is without a doubt a talented author---what she's created with The Host is nothing short of amazing!

Launching into a thrilling story from almost the opening page, Meyer introduces us to a world where human society we have always known it is non-existent. Earth has been taken over by an alien life form that takes possession of their hosts bodies and who now inhabit the bodies of almost everyone on earth. Normal humans are almost extinct, with these alien "souls" now controlling the worlds population.

Brimming with danger, angst and romance, Meyer explores the complexity of the human spirit and what it means to be human in The Host. One of the things I think I was so surprised about this book was it's unexpected depth. Stehpenie Meyer really does delve into what it means to be human and what it means to love in this well written and detailed story. Spanning more than 600 pages, I found so much unexpected beauty and emotion within it's pages. The concept in this book is thrilling; I really like how Meyer explored so much human emotion and managed to have me completely besotted with an alien life form--a life form that really should be the enemy!

The Host follows Wanderer, an invading soul whose life is forever changed when her host Melanie refuses to relinquish possession of her mind and body without a fight. Though Wanderer thinks she is happy as she is, she cannot ignore the yearning she feels as Melanie bombards her constantly with thoughts and memories of the people she left behind; people who are still hiding. As Melanie's feelings slowly become her own, and the danger to these people both she and Melanie love, Wanderer has no choice but to follow her heart as she begins her journey to find them.

Personally, I think Wanda is quite possibly one of the best characters I've ever seen written. I ADORE this girl, I really do. Wanda is, simply put, a beautiful soul. As our main character and heroine, Wanda is beyond amazing to follow. Meyer writes her so well that you can't help but come to adore this self-sacrificing and loving individual. I think the biggest difference between The Host and other sci-fi books where aliens have invaded and have taken possession of the human face, for me, is that we witness The Host unfolding though the eyes of one of these life forms. Wanda is just a good person, and as she struggles to reconcile what she is and what her species has done, and will continue to do, with the love and friendships she builds whist living in Melanie's body, Wanda's ability to care, and care deeply, is something that will continue to steal your heart as the book unfolds.

All the characters in this book were brilliant--especially all the humans Wanda comes to see as her family. Each was tangible and real; full of life, each with different personalities, flaws and insecurities. Ian, Jamie, Jared, Jeb, Melanie.....I adored them all so much! Sometimes when reading this book I found myself almost as in love with Ian as what Wanda was. Ian was such a fantastic character; honorable, kind and to see Wanda for who she was not whose body she was wearing. Every little kindness he did for her and the fierce way he came to love her just won me over; his patience and understanding were such balms to the harsher aspects of the novel.

I loved the intense way Wanda experienced emotions and the way in which Meyer explored this through her very different relationships with other characters. The complexity regarding Wanda's feelings for Jared having experienced Mel's memories and her love for Jamie was intriguing things to witness; beautiful even. Admittedly, it was odd at times seeing her unable to distinguish her feelings for Jared from Mel's, but I thought it was different to see explored in a book. I LOVED the strong and endearing relationship and love Wanda experienced with Ian--that's a given--but I thought it was a stunning touch to the story for Stephenie Meyer to have both Wanda and Mel bond as they did. They went from being enemy's to allies, then to friends and sisters. Theirs was a beautiful relationship.

The Host is undoubtedly action and science fiction based, but the elements of love and friendship that I found bursting from it's pages were spectacular. The Host is superbly written and perfectly explored. Romantic, riveting and addictive, The Host is simply unforgettable!

Source: I bought.
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: This is a MUST READ!
Cover: Simple, but fitting although personally, I don't think it does the book justice
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Without a doubt! This ends really well; it could easily be a standalone, but it Stephenie Meyer publishes more, I'll read them!

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