Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Turn to HOST Book Hungry

Stephenie Meyer's THE HOST has been on my favorite books ever list since I first read it in July of 2008.  Now, to be completely honest, I only bought it because it was a Meyer book and I'd loved the TWILIGHT series.  But, I was more than a little nervous about reading it.  While I've told many a person that I read just about anything, I am admittedly not one for sci-fi or fantasy.  Not that I haven't read good books in those genres.  It's just that I really don't like to have to work when I read, and when it comes to fantasy and sci-fi, the reader gets catapulted into a make-believe world where they must really suspend all their beliefs.  I, myself, prefer reading books about things that are so real that it could happen now.  Not in some far and distant future (on another planet).

Anywho, for those of you who haven't read THE HOST, let me tell you a little about it.

SUMMARY:
Wanderer is a nomad among the souls.  A gentle alien species that have just taken over Earth, the souls come to experience, not destroy.  But destroy they do, as they are parasites, small silvery creatures who attach themselves to their hosts, overwhelming the bodies until the hosts themselves fade away.

But, Melanie Stryder will not disappear.  One of the last "wild humans", Melanie is caught trying to leave an abandoned warehouse.  Not wanting to be taken alive, Melanie tries to kill herself, but the souls retrieve her body and heal her, only to place Wanderer inside. 

Because if anyone can unlock Melanie's secrets, its Wanderer, the soul whose lived out many lifetimes on more planets than any other soul.  Wanderer is experienced in dealing with hosts, but nothing can prepare her for Melanie and her memories of a better time, one that includes her family and her guy, Jared.

Soon, Wanderer finds herself desperately missing a family she's never seen, loving a man she's never met.  And, Wanderer turns her back on her own race to go off in search of those who Melanie loved best.

WHY I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH:
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the different kinds of love I've found in the books I read.  For me, THE HOST has them all.  At its heart, this book is a love story, but it's not just one love story.

It's the story of Melanie and Jamie, brother and sister who have been through hell since the invasion, beginning with their father leading the seekers to them.  Mel and Jamie have always relied on each other, and when Mel is taken, Jamie becomes a shell of himself.  That is, until Wanderer brings Jamie's sister home, which brings about the relationship between Wanderer and Jamie...

Then, there's Wanderer and Ian.  At first, Ian--along with his brother and several others--tries to kill Wanderer.  But, then over the course of life in the caves, Ian begins to see Wanderer differently.  He, above everyone else, understands Wanderer and sees her, not the host body that she inhabits.

There's the cave society.  Uncle Jeb, Aunt Maggie, Wes and Lily, Andy and Paige, Doc, and old Walter.  With Wanderer's presence, the people of the caves have seperated into different groups: those who accept Wanda, those who don't, and those who grudgingly allow her to stay, but only until they can figure out a way to get Wanda out of Mel's body without killing Mel.

There's also the love triangle between Mel and Jared and Wanderer.  Jared loves Melanie, and vice versa.  But, through Mel's memories, Wanda too has fallen in love with Jared.  Melanie hates that Wanda loves Jared, but she also blames herself for this, as it was Melanie's campaign to so immerse Wanderer in good memories and make Wanderer bring Mel back to her family that caused Wanda to love those people so much.

But, most of all, this is the story of two beings forced to live in such close quarters.  First, they are enemies.  Melanie hates all souls for what they have done to the humans, and she especially hates that Wanderer is in her.  Wanderer is afraid of humans, and all she wants is to be like the other souls.  She just wants Mel to quietly fade away so that she can live.  But along the way, Wanderer comes to care about Mel and her humans.  So, much so that she leaves all that she knows behind in order to find them, people that hate her just because she took their Mel away from them.  And, as time passes, Mel and Wanderer go from being enemies to reluctant allies, to friends, to sisters. 

Okay, wow! I sure do ramble on, don't I?  Have you all read THE HOST?  What did you think of it?  If not, are you going to?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments.  And, when you're done here, hop on over to my fellow Book Hungry divas' blogs(see sidebar) and get their takes on this month's pick. 

Until next month, peeps, where our very own Vanessa Noble has chosen NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro.