July 24, 2008

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Has everyone read The Host now? Yes? What do you think - better or worse than the Twilight books? I'm so curious because I can't decide, still, where I fall.

In case you don't know the story line, here is the world's shortest recap: aliens take over the Earth and put their souls into human bodies. Most humans submit, but a few fight back like crazy to maintain their own soul. The main alien in The Host is Wanda and the original soul in her new body, Melanie, is constantly talking to her in her head. Wanda finds out that Melanie's boyfriend, Jared, and her brother, . . . um, Jamie (sorry, had to go check Wikipedia for that) are in hiding. Because Wanda still feels Melanie's emotions, she is invested in these two people and Melanie convinces her to go find them. So, off they trek to the Arizona wilderness where they find Jamie and Jared. Jared wants nothing to do with Wanda, because she's now in his lover's body and also, Wanda is too scared to tell him that Melanie still exists somewhere inside.

Stephenie Meyer has kept touting it as the first love triangle with only two bodies, but really, there is sort of a love quartet, because one of the other guys hanging out in the middle of Arizona falls in love with Wanda. But Melanie isn't okay with someone besides Jared kissing her (she's not really okay with Jared kissing her either, since Wanda controls the body).

I think the writing was a little better than the Twilight books, although that made the romantic mushy kissing scenes even a little more jarring than in Twilight. On the other hand, it took me longer to get into this book than it did with Twilight (probably all the descriptions of driving in the Arizona desert. Snore).

Also, I thought the love interests were a bazillion times better because they seemed so much more realistic than Edward (I know, I know, Edward is a vampire and therefore not realistic at all. Also, I am totally 100% Team Jacob these days, so feel free to discount my opinion and wax rhapsodic about how lovely and marble-chested Edward is and how Jacob is the scum of the earth (seriously, do, my female family members have already told me how silly I am to like Jacob more, so I can take it)). I thought that they reacted to the whole crazy situation like normal people probably would.

The thing that surprised me about this book was that there was no major action/drama climax. In the Twilight books, there has always been a death-defying action sequence toward the end of the book, and I was sure this one was setting up for one too, what with the crazed alien tracker coming after everyone. Except, nothing really happened. A little bit of worry on Wanda's part and then voila! Everything got resolved.

And, while I'd love to pretend that I'm so sophisticated and above silly Stephenie Meyer books, I really do love reading them. She's got a gift for story-telling, even if the writing style occasionally gets in the way.

So, votes = Better, Worse, Same, or "I really am above Stephenie Meyer Books and haven't read anything by her and now I won't, just on principle, because they're so popular."


  1. I really really really SO wanted to like Twilight, but alas, I could NOT take it. Just...not for me. I had to FORCE myself to finish it and it just killed me.
    So now I'm wondering if I'd like The Host more. I thought I had sworn off all Stephanie Meyer books for all time, but now I'm intrigued...
    Also, if I were going to be on a team, it would SO be team Jacob. 100% behind you on that. He was the only part of the whole book I didn't actively hate.

  2. I couldn't put it down; I essentially read it all in one sitting. (Thankfully it was a holiday that day.) Yes, I'm ashamed to admit that I read her stuff, but it's a very good guilty pleasure. (And I'm on Team Edward. Even though the rational part of me wants to think he behaves rather stalker-ish, the rational part of me was not the part in charge when I was reading the books. The silly girly teenager was.) Not sure if it was better or worse than the others, although I get icked out by any romance scene by any writer. If I wanted some lovin', I'd go find my husband, not read a book.

  3. I am pretty sure I liked The Host better than Twilight, but I love them both so much it's hard to really tell. I didn't even notice that there wasn't a climax in The Host...I did get a little bored with SO much desert description, but I loved the story. It was fascinating. Also, I think I love Edward and Jacob equally, after reading the Twilight series twice.

  4. Oh yes, I agree with everything you said. And I think it's better written than the Twilight books, but less entertaining by far.

  5. Oh yes, I am the third option, for sure.

    Who is theees Steph-an-eee and why do I care?

  6. Yah, I haven't read The Host. Can't decide if I want to since I'm unsure how I feel about the Twilight series. I don't really like them that much, and yet I keep reading them. But then again, I think there are only 2 or 3 books I can think of in this world that I've started and not finished, so I think I'm weird that way. I'll probably read The Host just to have something to talk about at playgroup besides potty training.

    Also, I'm all about Jacob. OH. MAN. TOTALLY. Thinking Edward is lame kinda ruins the series for a lot of people I think.

  7. I liked the Twilight books better. It's interresting that I like Stephanie Meyers books at all since I typically don't like sci-fi or fantasy. I guess these are both young adult drama, though aren't they?
    Anyhoo, it took like 120 pages for me to finally get into The Host. Once I did, I liked it, but it took several sittings to complete. In other words- I COULD put it down, versus times when I was reading the Twilight books that I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning reading. Just couldn't get enough of them. That being said, I'm not a crazy Edward lover or anything. I'm not sure I'll even buy the new book when it's released. I'll wait and borrow one from a friend after they've read it or something.
    Thanks for the great posts that always have me laughing. Missed you in primary on Sunday!

  8. Haven't read Host, not really motivated to. I'm on team Jacob and will read the fourth, because she is a page-turning author, even if she hasn't got the finesse of a more seasoned author.

  9. I loved The Host. I didn't read it for awhile, cause I was afraid I wouldn't like it as much as I like Twilight (and the rest of 'em). But I finally caved in last weekend and I read it in 2 days. LOVED it. I cried at the end. I got really attached to the characters and wanted everything to work out for all of them. And the ending was kinda climatic for me...I was sad that Wanda would be "leaving".

    I am SO a fan of Jacob. I love Edward, and I know he and Bella will end up together because that feels right, but I'll be happy to take Jacob off her hands for her. :D I just really like him and Stephanie better get somebody good for him or we'll have to have some words.

  10. I've been having the same debate with myself.

    I think I preferred the writing in The Host but I liked Twilight's story better.

    The things I didn't like about Twilight were absent in The Host (endless physical beauty descriptions, annoying main character) but the things I liked about Twilight (solid, somewhat fast paced story, the fascinating vampire/werewolf mythology) weren't as well executed in The Host.

    I could tell she was going for the reinvented mythology card with the alien worlds, but I occasionally found her descriptions laughable (ice bears, anyone?). And the story was definitely meandering. Whereas I found the climaxes in the Twilight series to be so short and easily resolved as to be anticlimactic, you're right. The Host didn't even HAVE a climax.

    So..I still don't know. I think I'm more likely to read the Twilight series again, but I didn't feel even a twinge of annoyance while reading The Host. Which was kinda nice after 30,000 pages of wanting to smack Bella.

    I'll be honest though..I'm getting really excited for Breaking Dawn. Maybe I'll be able to make a decision after that.

  11. worse...but that's not to say it was bad. i'm just one of those people that let twilight completely take over their day, and nights.

  12. I haven't read The Host so I didn't read this post because I was afraid of spoilers. But I had to comment that I LOVE the Twilight series! It's like candy for the brain!

  13. I haven't read The Host yet and don't really know if I want to. I don't usually read alien books but then I also don't usually read vampire books and yet I read the 3 Twilight books one after the other in no time flat. (I am totally on team Jacob. Why cold Edward when you can have warm Jacob.) And I am looking forward to the next book and even the movie that is coming out.
    I may give The Host a try after finishing a few of the other books on my list and once the library has a copy available. There is still quite a waiting list. Many people have given is so so reviews but nobody seems to be going crazy for it like they have with Twilight.

  14. I just recently heard about the Twilight series. And I did the same thing- "I can't read THAT! I'm a literature major!" But you know what, I want to.

    Pigeons are gross. They are flying disease bombs!

  15. "I really am above Stephenie Meyer Books and haven't read anything by her and now I won't, just on principle, because they're so popular."

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    But the more everyone goes on and on about them, the more I'm thinking, "Is this like when I didn't want to see 'The Notebook' because everyone was crazy over it, and then I finally did and I was SO glad?" So you never know, I may end up picking up the books at some point, but no immediate plans.

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  17. The Host whomped the Twilight series in my opinion. I had to drag myself to finish reading the first 2 twilight books and then the 3rd one was actually pretty good-I suppose I will read the 4th...eventually...just to see what will happen. However, the Host was great and it kept my interest (that is after the first couple chapters which were kind of boring) I flew through reading it, whereas it took me months to finish the second Twilight book.

  18. Same- they both kept me interested, and that is all I ask. When I first started to read it I was a little unsure of what I was getting myself into...but I didnt mind it at all.

  19. I have only read Twilight, so I can't comment on better, worse, or same, but I can recommend that you never ever knock Twilight in a blog review. If you do, you get nasty comments forever. REALLY makes me like Twilight more when it's fans keep telling me what an idiot I am!

  20. Twilight was a more exciting read, but I really liked Host too - took a little while to get into the story - but it was an interesting concept. I'm an Edward's fan. I'll be ticked if he and Bella don't end up together. for those who used to watch Dawson's Creek on TV, I was not happy at the end of the series the girl ended up with the friend instead of the love interest that had gone on for years! That really irked me royally! This will be the same all over again if Jacob wins in the end (he's a great guy - but the chemistry just isn't there for me!) Really looking forward to #4!

  21. You know, I am a vampire-romance reader, though I am embarrassed to admit it. I started out staunchly on Team Edward, but by the end, I had converted.
    Jacob is clearly who she is meant to be with, and the relationship with Edward is highly unhealthy. But I guess you don't have to worry about healthy with the undead and all.
    It's like she's under thrall with Edward, and it is very disturbing to me.
    Haven't read The Host, I'll get it at the library sometime.

  22. I read her stuff, but it's a very good guilty pleasure. (And I'm on Team Edward. Even though the rational part of me wants to think he behaves rather stalker-ish, the rational part of me was not the part in charge when I was reading the books. The silly girly teenager was.) Not sure if it was better or worse than the others, although I get icked out by any romance scene by any writer.


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