I have to be honest, when I first read the synopsis for The Host I had no interest in picking it up, but that was years ago when it first came out and everyone was all ‘Twilight sucks, rahhh’. I had forgotten all about this book and Stephenie Meyer until the movie adaptation was made, I ended up really enjoying the movie so I put this book on my To Be Read list. At the time I didn’t think I would ever get to this book because the sheer size of it was intimidating – over 800 pages in paperback form? Way too long for a typical young adult book!
Let me tell you. This book? This book was freaking awesome, I couldn’t put it down! I was addicted the entire time and couldn’t wait to pick it back up. I didn’t feel the length of the book, I didn’t think it was long winded or boring and I didn’t want to put it down. Even though I had seen the movie first and I already knew how the story went, I was still thoroughly entertained. Wanda and Melanie were interesting, the book was completely different to the movie in the respect of how it’s told on paper compared to on screen visually. Wanda and Melanie’s thoughts and struggles are clearer when we get to read them and I found myself getting pulled straight in.
The Host is very character driven which I loved because the character development of Wanda was fantastic. Getting to see how she changed and grew over the course of the book was interesting. I loved how at first Wanda referred to herself and Melanie as separate people but then as she got to know Melanie and understand her, Wanda referred to herself as ‘we’, two people who are one. The Host was also character driven by other characters in the book, Jamie, Jared, Jeb and Ian, each character had a strong voice and presence. I only just noticed that three of the character had names starting with the same letter, usually when that happens I forget who’s who, but in The Host Meyer had written each character in such a way that there was no mistaking who was who. I found myself wanting to see them in the story, I fell in love with the characters and the way they were portrayed.
Wanda and Melanie were easy to distinguish even though they shared the same body, their voices were very different but equally as strong as each other. I found myself sympathizing with Wanda yet wanting Melanie to succeed. Even though I had seen the movie first and knew how it ended I still felt the need to see both of them happy, I wanted to find out how it ended for them in the book. The Character relationships between all characters were so intense and so moving that you just couldn’t help but fall in love with them.
The souls themselves were so very interesting, I loved the mechanics of how they worked and what kind of species they were. I loved that each world they had been to was so vivid and described in such a way that you could imagine it. I really liked that they were aliens that were ‘outside of the box’, they weren’t ‘green men’ or destructive.
The romance in this book was amazingly interesting, it was weird because Wanda loved Jared simply because Melanie loved Jared and Wanda was in her body and remembering her memories. I really liked Ian, I liked that he fell for Wanda for who she was and how she thought, her appearance took no place in that. The tension between the four of them; Wanda, Melanie, Jared and Ian was realistic and appropriate. It was definitely interesting to see.
Stephenie Meyer is actually a pretty good storyteller in my opinion. The Host was very well written, her characters were strong, the world building was amazing, interesting and explained in a way that you didn’t even notice it was being explained, you could just see the world around Wanda and Melanie. I’m now excitedly waiting for her next books to see what she comes out with!
The Host is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. It was fun, addicting, the characters and the world were highly developed and the idea for the plot, even though not wholly new, it was original in Meyers own voice and through the characters eyes.