Book Review: The Host.

Reading this book was not like reading Stephanie Meyer's other books, The Twilight Saga, those books were written with teenagers in mind, this was for adults. It took me a long time to pick this one up and read it, obviously, since it's been out so long, mainly because I really enjoyed the Twilight Saga, and everyone I had talked to who had read both said that this wasn't as good. I didn't want to be disappointed, so I stayed away from it. That was just plain dumb of me.

This was a wonderful book, I absolutely loved it. Yes, it went a completely different direction than her original works, but it was still somewhat supernatural. It was about space aliens taking over earth. Hello, definitely paranormal :) It was also about love, true, strong, binding love, not that much different than Bella and Edward... except that this seemed more grown up on so many levels. Hence written for adults.

The aliens, or Souls, as they call themselves, have taken over the planet Earth. It's not the first world they have taken, and won't be the last. It is the first with emotion, and memories, and needs and wants, that go beyond just survival, after all we humans are a selfish bunch. The souls came to Earth because we were violent, and because we had such a wonderful planet, yet in out pettiness we let it go to waste and were to greedy to control what ruin we did. The came in and very stealthily took over, the only noticeable changes at first were the fact that everyone was all of a sudden so nice, and the fact that their eyes suddenly were reflective. The souls do not believe in violence at all. The would no more harm another being any more than you or I would cut off our own arm. The are a peaceful species, bringing peace to a hateful world. Unfortunately not all humans see it that way, and once some humans figured out what was going on, they took to the hills, literally. They made a little community in the mountains and became rebel fugitives, if the souls believed in such a thing as fugitives.

No one hunted them, really, it was just if they were found out they were taken to a healer and a soul was placed in their body, sometimes the humans would fight and then the souls would protect themselves, but other than that, no violence, except for the few rebel souls themselves.

Wanderer, Wanda, as all her new friends and family call her, has just recently been placed inside the body of a former rebel. The rebel, Melanie, was a strong one, and to Wanda's great despair, Melanie still is strong, and only gets stronger as each day passes. She should be getting weaker, the host is not supposed to still be present after the soul has taken over. Wanderer was giver her name adequately, she has lived eight lives before this one, never finding a place where she felt she belonged, never wanting to settle, so she wandered to different worlds. Now placed inside this rebellious host, she is starting to grow a kinship with Melanie, and Melanie's memories, and feelings. She realizes that she has fallen in love with the love of Melanie's life, and that she would die to protect the little brother Jamie, that Melanie wants so desperately to find.

Trying to get away from her seeker, and unfortunate rebellious soul, Wanderer decides to drive to her old healer to ask his advice before she decides to give up on this host and be placed in another, Melanie is getting to strong, and that could be dangerous. On her way she reaches a small town that peeks Melanie's interest from inside her mind, Melanie convinces her to drive a little way into the desert. A little way turned into a little more, then a little more until they were hopelessly lost, by this time Mel had Wanda convinced to search out her Uncle Jeb, another human rebel, who knew the mountains nearby, who could save them.

Four days in the desert almost killed them both, but then Jeb found her, bringing her back to his home almost killed them as well. She wasn't a human, she was a soul, but she was in Melanie's body, that was the only thing that kept her alive. Proving that she meant them no harm took a long time, working side by side, and twice as hard reaped very little benefits, but it helped her stay happy. Jamie, her brother couldn't have been more happy, especially when he learned that it wasn't just Wanda, that Melanie was still in there and she still talked to Wanda. He was happy to have his sister back. Jared, the love of Melanie's life was there as well. He hated this thing that Melanie was now, this creature, but he still loved Melanie will his whole heart. Eventually he became to respect Wanda as well, and even became her ally.

Wanderer had never before found in her own species, what she now found in this one, love, friendship, honor, everything she could ever want, but she had no way to hold on to it, it didn't belong to her it belonged to Melanie. With all of this going on around her she found the time to fall in love for herself, Wanda fell in love with Ian, and Ian fell in love with her, not her and Melanie, just her. When she decided to give Melanie back her world, it broke not only Wanda's heart, but Ian's as well.

Wanda didn't want to be a parasite anymore, she wanted to give the humans what they all deserved, and she didn't deserve anything they had, she wasn't one of them. Even though she loved them more than she could ever express. So when she snuck off to Doc and closed her eyes, she thought that would be her last goodbye. Opening her eyes again was strange, especially since they weren't in Melanie's body, once she realized what had happened she was angry, and relived at the same time, she got to stay, Melanie was free, and they had put Wanda into another host, one that wasn't present at all, so there was no one in her mind but herself. She was able to stay, to love and to be loved.

I loved this story.

Ratings: Number 4 and 4 stars

The Host
Stephanie Meyer