Day 18: Book You’re Embarrassed to Say You Like

And I’m not sure it would be a Stephenie Meyer book if there wasn’t some ultimate heart throb who the heroine could not live without, but in this books its, well… bearable.

I would argue that this book is actually a good book, but whenever I recommend it to anyone I always have to justify it, because when you hear who the author is you’re going to wince and go, “really?”

The Host is written by Stephenie Meyer. I know, there is that face again. The woman who brought us sparkly vampires, normalised stalker boyfriends, and gave us the useless Bella Swan; believe me I understand. I picked this book up when it first came out. Twilight was in the height of its fame, and I had just begun to really realise stupid the series was (I mean, the first one was OK, it’s only when you add the whole series together than it begins to become absolute drivel). But curious me decided to see if Stephenie Meyer could have produced anything decent, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Wanderer is a Soul, one of the many body-snatcher-esque parasite aliens that have taken over Earth. Everything goes on as usual, people still go to work, play with their family, create art, but they are no longer the people they were. The Souls have embedded themselves in their brains and now live human lives. It’s just their thing.

Wanderer wakes up in the body of Melanie, who was once a free human, constantly hiding out from the Souls. When she was caught they put Wanderer in her body to see if she could find other rebel humans, but Melanie doesn’t disappear like she is supposed to, she is still in the back of Wanderer’s head.

Wanderer ends up falling in love with Melanie’s boyfriend and family through the memories she is slowly shown and searches out the people that Melanie got separated from. But, big surprise, the colony of free humans are not too happy when Melanie’s body comes back with a passenger inside. When not having to fear that she is going to be offed in a dark cave with no one to hear her scream, she truly begins to learn what it’s like to be human, you know, love, lust, irrationality, and all the fun stuff.

Sometimes Wanderer is a little problematic, a little too helpless. She is more the self-sacrificing womanly/mother figure, which, don’t get me wrong is a kind of strength, just not one that goes against the traditional grain. Melanie, though she does not exactly have a body to give us much, is a little more rough and tumble, so I withhold my judgement about Stephenie Meyer and weak female characters, at least until the next book comes out.

And I’m not sure it would be a Stephenie Meyer book if there wasn’t some ultimate heart throb who the heroine could not live without, but in this books its, well… bearable. Meyer in this book is working to explore love, its connection to the body and humanity itself, rather than just a teenage girl who falls in love with her sparkly stalker. It’s about the nature of humanity with all our idiosyncrasies and it raises a lot of interesting points for debate, if you could ever convince enough people to read it.

The Host could be considered my guilty pleasure, and I wish I didn’t have to tell people who the author was and then go “but I promise, it’s good”. Maybe it will even be a good movie (they can’t botch The Host special effects like they did for the first Twilight movie). If you’re willing to chance it I urge you to read the book. Or read it and argue with me that I’m wrong. I would accept that too. But as for me, I’ve decided, I like it.

Written by
I graduated with a BA in English and minors in Film, Women Studies, and Religion and Culture. I adore fantasy and sci-fi, especially when it comes to the YA section, but that doesn't mean I don't read anything else. When I'm not reading, I'm writing, biking, taking my dog for long walks or watching anime.

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