Publisher: Little, Brown and Company.
Release Date: May 6, 2008.
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.
When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.
I remember standing outside of Borders before the store opened bright and early on May 6th in 2008, waiting to get myself a copy of The Host. I brought it home, locked myself in my room and started reading it right away. I got two chapters in and was highly disappointed when the story didn't interest me, didn't suck me in. And my discouragement and disappointment pushed me to put the book away. But I was fully intent on opening it up at another time.
Four years later.
Those first few chapters are just as lifeless and dull as I remember them to be, but after I got past them ... HOLY MEATBALLS. Even though I'm a very big Twilight fan, it's so obvious that The Host surpasses those books writing/storywise with leaps and bounds. This 600 page monster did some crazy things to my heart and by the time I had finally finished, I was just a sobbing mess of happiness on my bedroom floor. True story.
I really loved how the Melanie/Wanderer situation was handled. I thought I'd eventually get exhausted by the two characters in one body, but that most certainly didn't happen. The two are polar opposites in personalities but I came to love both of them. Even though, at times, I wanted Melanie to just go away. It seemed wrong, but I wanted Wanderer to continue Melanie's life with Jared and Jamie. And then changed my mind about that. And then changed it again. These characters had me completely scrambled and unsure what think/feel and I loved it.
I can't really dissect this book. It was emotional, romantic, action-packed, heartbreaking and so many other things. I wish everybody who harbors an intense hatred of Stephenie Meyer for Twilight would read this book because I really think it would change their minds about her, at least a little bit.
And if you're like me, and you were discouraged by the beginning, please log off on the computer right now and go pick it up again. It gets better. So, so much better. I promise.