by Stephanie Meyer
I was obsessed reading The Host. I don’t know why, but I was sucked in by the first chapter and engrossed until the last word. When I had to put it down, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The writing, the plot, the characters – they all were interesting, dynamic, and real. I loved this book.
Earth has been invaded by aliens. They are worm-like, silver creatures who attach to humans’ brains and take over control of their “hosts.” They came to stop human violence and they have incredible medical skills so that every illness and disease is curable. When humans started realizing what was going on, they fought back and went into hiding, so they didn’t get caught by Seekers and get taken over by aliens. Some humans are resistant hosts who don’t let the alien, or soul, take complete control. This story is told from the perspective of a soul named Wanderer who has taken the body of Melanie, a host who will not give over control. The story chronicles their internal battle for control and what happens along the way. Spoilers: Mel has a brother and boyfriend she is determined to get back to. By resisting Wanderer, she slowly convinces her to go searching for them. Wanderer is conflicted, but begins to feel badly about taking Mel’s body, so she agrees. They end up finding them, along with Mel’s Uncle Jeb, who runs a hidden compound. But it is a disaster because no one believes that Mel still exists. Jeb suspects that Mel might still be there, so he keeps everyone from killing Wanderer. He says at one point, “I’ve always thought that if a person wants to, he can get along with just about anybody. I like putting my theories to the test. And see, here you are, one of the nicest gals I ever met.” Slowly and excruciatingly, Wanderer, now affectionately called Wanda, integrates into their society. Mel’s brother, Jamie accepted Wanda from the beginning and wasn’t long to figuring out that Mel was still around. He loves them both and always supports them. Mel’s boyfriend, Jared is furious. He hates Wanda and doesn’t believe Mel’s there at all. It’s a long, long time before he accepts the truth. But when he does, he fiercely supports them. One of the humans hiding out, Ian, is kind to Wanda after only a little while and starts to fall for her. It is awful for Wanda and Mel because they have one body and two loves. Eventually, Wanda comes to one conclusion: she has to give Mel her body back because taking it was wrong. Her plan is to teach their doctor how to extract the soul without the soul destroying the host (they do that and then kill themselves before the humans can) and without the soul dying. The humans can send the hosts to another planet. Then, she’ll have the doctor extract her from Mel. Wanda loves the humans around her and their planet, so she can’t bring herself to be sent somewhere else (she’s already lived on 9 planets). She asks doc to let her die and give her a proper burial. All goes according to plan. Super spoiler: No one really wanted Wanda to die, even though they really wanted Mel back. In their process of separating souls from hosts, they learn that some hosts are too far gone and their old selves never return to their body. One such body they give to Wanda so that she can live with them and help them. It’s such a happy ending. Mel’s with her love and brother and Wanda gets to have a human body without guilt and be with Ian. There are subplots with Wanda’s seeker and many other details, but that is the heart of the story.
Summing it up: I loved every second of this book and I highly recommend it!
All the best, Abbey