Well, I finished The Host – Stephenie Meyer’s latest book to come out. It’s not a part of the Twilight series – but it is every bit as good. The Twilight books are (supposedly) targeted for young adults – though I know MANY adults who love them – but The Host was her first book targeted to an adult audience. I thought it had a slightly different feel than the Twilight books – a little darker - but brilliant. I struggled to find the words to express my feelings toward the book. It was just so GOOD.
I posted a couple of the links of other people who have reviewed the book. I agree whole-heartedly with these reviews. One of the reviews says this: “This book has an unique story line that involves a complex love triangle and lets you feel the emotions of the characters like you are apart of the book. It will bring you on a rollercoaster of emotions involving love, betrayal, fear, and loyalty. The Host ends on a note of hope that will make everyone smile.”
Agreed! I felt all the emotions of the characters like I was a part of the book! Stephenie’s writing is very emotional. She spills out words, feelings and detailed descriptions all onto the same page at the same time. She writes in long sentences and gives lots of details – making it easy to see the dessert, the mountains and the caves she so vividly describes. Emotion pours out of the pages and seeps right into you. If you can read this book and not be touched by all the varying emotions, then you might be an alien - one of the “souls” that has invaded earth ;)
One of my favorite things about this book is it made me think about what it means to be human. The premise of the book is that humans have squandered this world in violence and so the “souls” come down to earth and inhabit the humans … and they honestly believe they are doing the humans a favor in taking over … since humans have made such a mess of things. But as Wanda (loved the nickname for Wanderer, by–the-way) soon discovers, humans feel varying emotions – not just violence – and they feel everything strongly.
**Okay, if you haven’t read the book, now would be a good time to stop - spoilers are ahead** Skip to the last paragraph to avoid spoilers. You have been warned.
Wanda says she has never been in any other host bodies that feel emotions so strongly – love being one of those emotions. The love Melanie feels for Jaime brought tears to my eyes and had me scrambling madly for some tissues so I could get rid of the tears that made it hard to see straight. The love that she feels for Jared – a different love – was no less powerful. I guess you could say that love is a theme that runs through the book. Melanie loves Jaime with the love a parent has for a child. She loves Jared romantically – and is put into a frenzy with just a touch. She belongs to him – and he to her. She loves the humans she is staying with in the caves – but more of a camaraderie love, instinctive just because they are all still human. In the end, she tells Wanda that she loves her (again, more tears for me) and that love is the love of a sister. So many forms of love – all because we are human and it’s in our nature to love so compassionately. We’ve been given this gift to love – and it comes so easily to us.
Wanda feels all these feelings of love that Melanie feels – and in the end she reciprocates all those loves to the humans who are around her. She chooses to end her own life so that Mel can have her body back. She shows the ultimate form of love – to give one’s life so selflessly so that others can be happy. She also recognizes her love for Ian – and that after living on 9 different planets, she has finally found someone she loves as a partner – someone she would want to stay and be with. Ultimately, it works out beautifully – with everyone finding happiness and love. I LOVED the ending. The book shares a message of hope – hope for humanity, in the sense that maybe they are not as alone as they think, and in the sense that there is hope that humanity isn’t as violent as was thought by the invading souls.
I certainly hope that Stephenie goes on with her plan to write 2 sequels to this book. It really did touch my heart – all that it means to be human came into such stronger focus for me. We are capable of awful things as humans … and yet we are capable of beautiful things, too. We have a great capacity for love – in all its forms – and great capacity for good in this world. We also have this beautiful planet to live on – with such great vistas and colors to enjoy. We also have our 5 senses – something not many species enjoy like we do. We have been given much.
Okay, I am getting a bit sappy :) This book has a beautiful story to tell – and it has romance, yes, but lots of action and suspense to keep you hooked. I thought my heart might just beat out of my chest in certain parts. The characters that Stephenie has created are striking. I whole-heartedly recommend this book. This book is fantastic.