Review: The Host by Stephenie Meyer

5 Aug

Series: The Host, book #1

Published: May 6th 2008 by Little, Brown and Company

Details: Hardcover 619 pages

My grade: 4.5/5

My summary:

If you liked Twilight, you will most likely love The Host. Don’t be put off by the fact that it is the story of an alien set in a dystopian future. Meyer proved in Twilight that she writes excellent character-driven plots with great love stories and this is no exception. Just make sure to get through the first 100 pages or so which may seem a bit slow. After that you won’t be able to let the book go.

Update:

It appears as if Meyer is planning a trilogy here. Sequel to be called The Soul and the third installment has been named The Seeker. No release date is set yet, apart from sometime around 2012,  if all goes as planned. Let’s hope that it does!

See my full review below:

Synopsis:

The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. But Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves–Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she’s never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

My thoughts:

I have to admit I was a bit sceptical at first, towards this book. Firstly, it is written by Stephenie Meyer, the author of the much adored Twilight saga and I feared that the she might have experienced a one-hit wonder with the series, as is so often the case.  Secondly, the plot of the book didn’t seem all that appealing to me. Sci-Fi has never really been my thing, and the synopsis of some alien rooting itself into a human host hardly did much to convince me of the contrary.

But I needn’t have to worry. This book really is great! It is rather slow at first, and it takes a while to get into the details of the story, but then something happens about 100 pages in, and it takes off for real. Suffice to say that it took me about a week to complete the first 100 pages or so, then 2 days to read the rest (500+ pages).

This book isn’t so much a sci-fi story as it is a story about survival against all odds and relationships put into extreme circumstances. There is romance as well, in the form of a love triangle (or to be exact quadruple) – something I can assure you has never been seen before, but very much believable, thanks to Meyer’s writing.

To me, the best part of the book was the characters and their interactions with each other during the course of the story. This is where Meyer proves to us again, just why we fell in love with the characters in Twilight. She really knows how  to develope her characters well. Once again in Host, it is as if you know all the people (and one alien) inside and out, so well in fact, that you feel and breath with them. On finishing the book, I felt really sad having to leave the great bunch of people I’d come to known throughout the book.

All in all, this is a great book which I highly recommend.

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16 Responses to “Review: The Host by Stephenie Meyer”

  1. jenika May 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    A little bit after reading Twilight I got curious to read more of Stephenie Meyer (she totally made me dream with Twilight books) so I took The Host from the library. But I really couldn’t go more than a few pages. It was too slow and boring. I am not sure I will ever try reading it again… even if your review made me curious. But I am not sure I have patience to wait so many pages before the story really starts to be interesting…

    • tess May 26, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

      Oh I wish I could make those first 100 or so pages fly for you, because it really is worth it once you get past that! The Host almost ranks as high up as Twilight, I gave it a 4.5 instead of a 5 only because of the rocky start. It has all the ingridents that I love in a book, romance, suspense and most importantly characters that you really and truly care about. So do give it one more try. You won’t regret it 🙂

      • jenika May 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

        ok, you convinced me. Next week I’ll go back to the library where I found it and I’ll borrow it.
        🙂
        Of course I’ll let you know my thoughts about it.

      • tess May 27, 2011 at 9:07 am #

        I’m so glad to hear that! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

      • jenika June 22, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

        Hi!
        I just wanted to let you know I got my hands on The host a few days ago and today I started reading it… I am around page 60, it looks a bit slow but interesting… (I liked Jared from the first memory Wanderer-Melanie had of him (how they met while Melanie was stealing food ) and how he kissed her straight away)… I wonder what will happen next and what is the thing you said will be happening on 100 pages or so that will make to book much more interesting!
        🙂
        More comments to come!

      • tess June 24, 2011 at 12:53 am #

        Hi Jenika!
        Wow, that’s great! I’m so glad you started reading it, and I’m so excited for you, and to hear what you’ll think of it! I won’t say anything about what will happen though, it should come as a surpsrise 🙂 Please do keep me updated as you read!

  2. Samita @ Book Purring May 27, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    I really liked this one too 😀 same thing I fell in love with the quadrangle and the characters. I like that Meyer turns everything into a love story (though I can see why people don’t like that lol) I wish she would publish the sequels *sigh*

    • tess May 27, 2011 at 9:20 am #

      I know, I like that too about Meyer! I really wish she would write those sequels, or publish any books really. It’s been very quiet around her lately!

  3. jenika June 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Hi!
    Today I finished reading the Host and I have to say it was a big disappointment. From the author of Twilight saga (4 veeeeeeeeery good books that I totally loved from the first written word till the last ) I was expecting much better.
    It is one of the most boring book I ever read.
    There were no characters that I really liked (I started to like Jared and Melanie but after a while they became boring too…), I didn’t like Wanda, and her love story with Ian didn’t seem credible at all.
    I liked a bit uncle Jed but after a while it started to be a bit too Carlisle-style… but while in Twilight Carlisle was a very credible and enjoyable character, uncle Jed became boring too.
    I skipped also some pages because I was getting more and more bored and I jumped straight to the ending (the last 50 or so pages).
    If I should give a mark I would give 2/5. I don’t give 1/5 because there were a couple of moments quite nice (I liked when Jared first encounter Mel/Wanda… his reaction was very credible (wanting to kill the alien inside her but wanting to protect Mel body) and the moment when Jamie first meet Mel/Wanda… that too was very credible.
    But overall I didn’t like this book and I if there is a sequel I am definitely not going to read it.
    😦

    • tess June 29, 2011 at 9:19 am #

      Hmm, I feel a bit guilty now for making you read that book, even though you weren’t sure in the beginning. I was just so convinced that you would be swept away like I was when things started happening about 100 pages in. But I’m reminded again that we all have different tastes. It’s easy to forget sometimes. You’d think that just because a book is 5 star for you, it has to be that for everyone else. So I’m sorry about that, and I hope you don’t feel that you wasted too much time!

      • jenika June 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

        No, please don’t be sorry, I think it’s never a waste of time to read a book…
        🙂

      • tess July 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

        I’m glad to hear you think so! Feeling bit relieved now 🙂

  4. jenika March 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Hi Tess! I just read on internet there is going to be a movie from The Host.
    Max Irons will be playing Jared in the movie. I think it is not a bad choice… I saw him in Red Riding Hood, the movie made by same director of Twilight movie. (Speaking about Red riding Hood movie I really enjoyed it… time ago I saw the trailer and I thought it wasn’t good, but luckily I saw the actual movie and I really liked it! Interesting story, credible romance, interesting characters and good soundtrack!

  5. Melissa May 26, 2012 at 7:02 am #

    So I’ve been reading through a quite a few of your reviews because I also loved twilight but dont consider myself in that age group so felt I could relate to your reviews. So when I came across this review I couldn’t believe it, I have probably read the first 50 pages of The Host about 3 times because I can never get through it, but now after reading your review I am going to read on. I read some of the other replies so I won’t hold my breath but knowing that it was something you enjoyed I am interested and hope I like it a well. I have found a few of your other reviews on some series very exciting and have a list of books to purchase tomorrow. Thank you

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] Starting light and easy and then before you know it you will be hooked. If you like books like The Host and Hunger games, I’m pretty sure you will like this series as […]

  2. Across the Universe by Beth Revis « After Twilight… - May 26, 2011

    […] confusion was total. I felt a bit like I did when I started reading The Host  (Stephanie Meyers’ sci-fi novel), which also required a bit of concentration at the start. […]

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