Jan 30, 2010

The Host, Stephenie Meyer


The story is set in the future, when the Earth is taken over by alien "souls"_silver creatures that after being insterted into a human's body, will claim the body & mind.

Wanderer is one of the bravest souls. She has lived on many planets, although never found one that she truly belongs. Like all souls, she is naturally good, loves peace and is disgusted by violence. When coming to Earth, Wanderer is inserted into Melanie Stryder's body. What nobody expected is that Melanie's mind doesn't reconcile herself to losing her body. She fights continuously, speaking to Wanderer in her head, feeding Wanderer on memories of Jared (her lover) and Jamie (her little brother).

Under the influences of Melanie's body & memories, Wanderer finds herself falling fast in love with Jared and Jamie. She also feels guilty more and more each day for taking Melanie's life. So she escapes from the souls community and seeks for them in the desert, with Melanie showing her the way. But what will happen when she finds them ? Men detest souls for taking over the Earth, and souls think of men as violent monsters. So how can they believe her that Melanie's still alive in her head ? How can Wanderer fit in with the monsters who only want to kill her ? And what happens with one body and two minds, both deeply in love with one man ?

My review (spoiler alert):

First, I must say that I really enjoyed this book. It's long but quite a page-turner. Although the idea is not original (I find the whole aliens taking over human bodies thing terribly familiar with Animorphs), it's still developed in a unique way.

I love most of the characters, especially Melanie. She's strong, she's got attitudes, not to mention she's pretty & sporty. I don't know why but everytime I read about her, I keep thinking she must look like Ke$ha.

(Ke$ha's a GREAT singer that I've been obsessed with lately. Check out her video here to see if I got the right impression:


Wanderer (nicknamed Wanda) is okay, too. She's honest and caring, she always thinks for everybody else. That sometimes makes her seem a little stupid, but it's bearable since she's an alien, LOL. I also love Jared. He's the man.He knows when to do what needs to be done. He's emotional, but he knows when to put emotions aside. No wonder why Melanie loves him.

The only character that I hate is Ian. I know, hate is a strong word, and I'm not being fair (blah blah blah, LOL), but I really found him annoying and unbearable. He loves Wanda (the soul, not the body), and he's also very caring, but later it seems like he thinks for no one else but her. I find everything about his relationship with Wanda VERY UNREALISTIC. It's the same problem that prevented me from truly enjoying the Twilight Saga: relationship development. And it's not even love at first sight here. When Wanda first came, Ian tried to kill her. Then, after several days/weeks, watching her working (and being totally silent because she's scared of him), and later hearing her stories of how she invaded other planets, he falls in love with her. How ridiculous!!! I mean, Wanda may be all good and kind, but she's still an invader. I'm not judging her here (I like her, really), but when I try to put myself in Ian's view, this is what I see: aliens invading my dear planet, taking over the bodies of my family and friends whom I dearly love. Everything I'm surrounded with is lies. I have to escape with my twin brother and live in a cave with about 20 others, waiting for vengeance. Now we have captured an alien in the body of my friend's girlfriend. I tried to kill it but did not succeed. We let it live, but it has to work like all of us. It seems scared of me, it tries to be silent as much as possible. It seems sweet sometimes, but I'm not sure that is real or just a trap. I talk to it, I act nicely and make it less scared. But it still doesn't talk to me much. Later, it tells me stories of how it invaded other planets. Okay, that's it. I mean, I can try to be nice and befriend it. But HOW THE HECK can I fall in love with it ??? How can I love it when everything it's done is taking over my planet and it doesn't even talk to me ?

Okay, that's one thing. Now, let's just say Ian can fall in love with Wanda, no matter how stupid that seems. But he's still human. I know that love affects human bodies. That's why Wanda fell in love with Jared in the first place: she's affected by Melanie's body & memories. Now, Ian kisses Wanda in Melanie's body. When Wanda's inserted into a new body, Ian kisses that new body, no hesitation. That's weird. Later, he tells Wanda: "You're not Melanie. I was never confused". He doesn't even care whose body Wanda's in. Now what is that? What if when Wanda leaves Melanie's body, she's inserted into an old woman ? Or, an old man ??? Will he kiss her then ? Will his love still remain ? Will he say he's never confused and can always kiss Wanda not regarding the body ???

I mean, that kind of love is beautiful, wonderful. But it's so UNREAL, and Ian's just human. Good & honest & kind people are everywhere, you can't just fall in love with the first one you see. Moreover, when you're already in love with someone, you'll learn to love their body as well. You'll love their beauty, their defects, their faults. But that's not the same with "don't care anything about the body"!!!!!!!
Imagine you loving someone perfect. Then accidents happen, and their whole face is burnt or they lost their legs or something. That won't stop you from loving them, and loving their body, right?
Now, imagine you loving someone far from perfect. Someone whose whole face is... well, ugly. Suddenly they have surgery and they look perfect, but different. Will you still feel the same about them ? Can you kiss that strange perfect face immediately ? I bet you need time, to make sure they're still the same person. I bet you'll need time to adjust.
See what I mean?

Okay, I'm digressing, LOL. I just want to say that it needs to be more... real. I love all the books that I know can never be real but everybit is still so believable.

Apart from this, The Host is perfect (writing, pace, details, descriptions, ending,....). Which is a pity, because a little mark on the blank page can spoil everything. I really love this book, it holds deeply, I'm just annoyed that my feeling of perfection is disturbed by the freckle. No matter how I tried to ignore it, I still felt incomplete. And I can't fully & truly enjoy the book, which is supposed to be one of my favourites. This bothered me a lot. And I'm more annoyed because this is the same problem that happened when I read Twilight. Urgh, sometimes I wish I could ignore it and just enjoy a good read. But I couldn't, that would not be me, I take relationships very seriously. And all those complications result in bothering me even more. Urgh, I'm so torn.

My ratings:

Plot: 8 (good, but not so original)
Character: 7 (Urgh, I'm torn again)
Writing: 10 (AAAAAAhhhhhhhh, someone stop this book from tearing me apart!!!!!!! Should I hate it or love it ???????????????? )
Cover: 9 (I don't love it, but it really looks like it's saying: "Hey, look at me. I'm sci-fi, can't you see? Read me now!!!".LOL)

In conclusion, read this book. Maybe it won't bother you as much as it did for me (with all the "torn" problem). But I can't deny that I enjoyed it (not fully though, but I should have, urgh, torn again......................Sigh). Anyway, it's definitely a good read. I'm glad I read it, it will remain with you for a few days even after finishing (and that won't be too soon. As I said, it's a long book, but I'm sure none of you will mind that :D ).

Go HERE for a free excerpt and more information. As for me, the book begins boringly & confusingly, but it gets much much better. Don't miss it, it's sci-fi for even people who don't like sci-fi.

I hope you didn't find my review too annoying. I've just finished the book few days ago, and still very confused about how I feel towards it. Read "The Host", and please tell me how you guys feel.

Don't forget to check out Ke$ha, too. I LOVE LOVE LOVE her, she's new in the music industry but she's so different <3<3<3 And also tell me if you don't think Melanie looks like her, LOL.