I just finished Stephanie Meyer's "The Host" this weekend.
Don't worry, I'm not saying anything that isn't already said in the inside of the book's cover. No spoilers, I promise! However, if you want an unbised view of the book while you are reading it, I would hold off on reading the rest of this review...I'm pretty opinionated...:)
The premise of the book was that aliens or "Souls" had come to earth and taken over the bodies of the humans that inhabited it. They did this because, evidently, earth was too violent and there was too much beauty in it that they didn't want to see it go to waste. What they didn't expect were the overwhelming emotions that came with these bodies.
The story focuses on one Soul, in particular, that invades the body of a young girl named Melanie, who has been on the run with her young brother since she was very young. Melanie is not ready to give her body up just yet and this is the plight of the "Soul" that inhabits it.
THE UPSIDE: I actually really liked the storyline and premise of the book even if it did have to do with aliens. I'm not really a "Sci-Fi" kind of girl, but I actually found it pretty intriguing. I think MEYER did a good job creating the "Soul" species. She has quite the imagination!
I also thought it was interesting how MEYER describes the complexities of emotion that us, as humans, have from an outside prospective.
The love stories were compelling but not good enough to carry you through all 619 pages. My favorite parts were Melanie's flashbacks of being with Jared. I felt that there should have been more of those. I thought Melanie could have been a bigger character. I wanted to see more from her.
THE DOWNSIDE: There was an insane amount of unnecessary detail that you had to read through to get to the real story. Granted- in the Twilight series, I admired and enjoyed the detail that MEYER could produce. It was just enough to be able to have a good image in your head of what you were reading about without overdoing it.
In "The Host" I found myself glazing over a good part of the book where nothing really happens because she's describing the surroundings so much and the same events seemed to happen over and over. (How many times can you talk about someone being hungry or being beaten or disliked??) It seemed she was forcing an image into your head instead of giving you a little and letting your imagination do the work. There was so much detail that I was just getting confused (granted, that not hard to do with me but...) A lot of the time I found myself reading pages and pages at a time, waiting for something to happen. The stories that the "Soul" tells about her previous lives on other planets seemed a little strange and far-fetched and I didn't really care to read about all of them. Some of them were interesting, but most of them were unnecessary (and downright weird) for the storyline.
The last 1/3 of the book finally got going and became pretty entertaining. I even really liked how it (finally) ended.
IN A NUTSHELL: I don't LOVE it but I don't hate it... It was an interesting read and I enjoyed most of it. I suggest you rent it from the library or borrow it, don't buy it. I thought MEYER was extremely creative (perhaps a bit too creative at times) but it was just drawn out by too much unnecessary detail and weird alien stories. I enjoyed the love stories. I won't read it again but I don't regret that I did read it. It makes you think and ponder things, that's for sure!
DISCLAIMER: I am, by no means an author and I admire MEYER for her insane amount of talent...this is just my opinion.
Despite the fact that I totally wasn't IN LOVE with this book, I can't WAIT for the 4th book in the TWILIGHT SERIES! I loved the Twilight series. Just a couple more weeks!