Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Book Review and a Song: The Host

The Host
by Stephanie Meyer

613 pages

I would never have picked up this book if Stephanie Meyer hadn't written the Twilight books. It wouldn't normally be my cup of tea...but I kind of enjoyed it.

The Host takes place in generic-time (probably sometime in the 21st century) USA. Aliens, known as souls, have pretty much taken over the Earth by inserting themselves into humans which are their host creatures. Souls are silver, plasma-like ribbon creatures which are inserted into the back of a human's neck (along the spinal cord) and they make connections into their host's brain. They retain all of their host's memories and some even keep their host's name, but the person who was there before is gone...usually. Since souls have taken over the Earth, it's become a more peaceful place. Souls don't want there to be violence, are incapable of lying, and are actually pretty boring. Most normal humans have been taken over by a soul, while some renegades still hide out, trying to avoid getting caught and being taken over by a "parasite."

In The Host, we follow a very particular soul named Wanderer (since she's lived 8 different life-times on 8 different planets while most souls only live one or two then stay in one place), gets inserted into a human who was discovered by Seekers (souls whose calling is to basically be a bounty hunter) and attempted to kill herself rather than be caught. Since this human, Melanie, had been surviving so long and was so against being taken over by a soul, she did not give in once Wanderer had been placed in her. Wanderer has to deal with having another voice in her head and soon realizes that she sympathizes with Melanie and that she cares about Melanie's family as if they were her own.

Once Wanderer figures out that she likes and trusts Melanie (and that the feeling is mutual), she finds a way to lose her seeker and treks out to find Melanie's love, Jared, and brother, Jamie, by clues given by Melanie's crazy uncle Jeb. Jeb finds her in the desert and takes her back to their renegade headquarters inside a mountain filled with lava tubes where 36 humans live. Of course, no one trusts Wanderer and some try to kill her and Jared hates her and much drama ensues....but then people begin to change their minds because Wanderer is just so NICE. One of the humans, Ian, falls in love with her. Jamie loves both Wanderer and his sister because he knows they are both in there. And Jared is just torn because it's his true love's body, and while the person in control is nice and everything, he wants Mel back.

In the end, Wanderer has to decide whether she wants to continue inhabiting Mel's body or sacrifice herself so Mel can return to her family. When I got to the end of the last chapter, wow, it was just this wonderfully perfect bittersweet ending. I was happy for some and oh-so-sad for others, but it was really how this story needed to end. Then Stephanie Meyer, in her true fashion, has to go and add on an epilogue which easily could have had "and they all lived happily ever after" as the last line. Why!!??! Why does Stephanie Meyer feel the need to make every ending so freakin' happy? Don't get me wrong, I like some warm fuzzies every once in a while but seriously, the book would have been GREAT without the epilogue! oh well. I'm docking a star for that cheese ball epilogue.

7.5 out of 10. It was an interesting read for sure, I just wish I would have stopped before the epilogue.

Now, in order to receive 25 points toward the Nest Book Club Spring Book Challenge, I have to think of a song that this book reminded me of, revise the lyrics, and come up with a Haiku. This part was easy because I couldn't get OAR's song The Wanderer out of my head throughout the WHOLE book! Maybe because I had just had that CD in the week before? I dunno. But literally, all day...In.My.Head. So here it is with some revised lyrics:

Down the road there was a girl walking, walking
Knapsack round her back the soul’s talking, talking
And her rental car has run out of gas, but it no matter cause the girl’s on the run

Needs sunglasses for her shining eyes, girl never had nowhere to run when they were found, now found
So she walked along to lava tubes, wanted to find Mel’s long lost love
But no

She's the wanderer looking for her long lost home
She's only got one place to go
She's wandering and wondering when to go home
She's not alone, not alone, not alone

Soul’s been hosted for a thousand years, trying to drive away those fears, but no
Well then she picked up and then she went down south
Jared said nothing and Jamie shut his mouth
Well, she never thought too much, just thought she could bring them around
For Mel needed help and Ian love
And when love came around I heard the sound
Wanderers wandering all round the town
But no, they go

She's the wanderer looking for her long lost home
She's only got one place to go
She's wandering and wondering when to go home
She's not alone, not alone, not alone
Hey, she's the wanderer looking for her long lost home
She's only got one fine place to go
She's wandering wondering when to go home
She's not alone, not alone, not alone

She wan wan wandered along, made new friends and she helped them along
She won won won the war, helped out her friends and they found there were more

And now, a Haiku:

Mel and Wanderer
In the same body both love
Jared and Ian.

And thus commences the longest post ever! *curtsy*


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