Reviewed by First Mate Keira
Title: The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Format: Audio Book
Length: 23 hrs and 5 mins
Narrator: Kate Reading
Grade Reading Level: Grades 9-12
Summary: The earth was invaded quietly and circumspectly. Humans realized too late when “miraculously peaceful” events took place like junkies turning themselves into hospitals and polite arguments while refereeing sports. The aliens call themselves souls but humans call them parasites. Melanie is body snatched by a soul called Wanderer (Wanda). Wanda is not expecting company and suddenly two are occupying a space meant only for one.
Why I started this book:
I was hesitant to read this book when it first came out. It didn’t sound like anything that I would want to read, but I enjoyed the movie when it came out, so I thought, ‘what the heck.’
- Melanie is smart and observant (hard not to be in her situation). She sees a way to secure what she wants and uses her memories and emotions to transfer her feelings of her lover and her brother to Wanda, the alien. If they both love the same people, Wanda won’t want to turn them in to become hosts for other souls.
- Jared, Jamie, and Ian, the guy that falls for Wanda.
- Eventually, Wanda prefers being human ala Little Mermaid style.
- Wanda is not an awful alien, but she’s dumb as rocks. I guess if you’re the parasite you don’t see your actions as wrong when you take over another body/civilization/world. She justifies it because souls make the world/bodies they inhabit better.
Side bar: And on that point, how do they make it better? They commit genocide of entire species and then homogenize the world they are on and continue in the lives of the people they inhabit… but they play at life and lack the sophistication to create/do anything of their own. There’s no art or science – there’s imitation of art and science. Don’t ask me where the souls came up with their medicine, or spaceships, I believe the spider aliens had it and the souls stole it when they occupied the spiders.
On a theological side, I take a lot of umbrage with the book. There are many things I disagree with including…:
- The royal “we” – Wanda does not speak for Melanie. Period. They are separate entities. This plurality is incorrect. Melanie is not her body. The body does not have the ability to speak or identify itself.
- The idea that a body has a mind of its own (as in… memories get stored in the brain and are accessible like a computer… if that is true, then a brain is unique and not the person… and identity is wiped by removal of memories/brain from the body and [implied] not recoverable, ever, not even in the idea of afterlife)
- The idea of being trapped inside your body (God gave man dominion in Genesis)
- The idea that we love bodies not persons (lots of references to “this body loves so-and-so and so-and-so loves the body not the person the body represents). That kind of “love” is superficial and shallow and animal.
- The idea that people “disappear” or “check-out” under the host invasion and are gone forever, even if the host is removed.
Final Thoughts: Just so we’re clear… This book is not about a love triangle. A love triangle implies one person loves two people too much to make a permanent choice between them in order to stay in a relationship with one of them. Jared wanted Melanie. Melanie wanted Jared. Wanda wanted Jared. Jared didn’t want Wanda. That’s unrequited love, not a love triangle.
Also, I like the movie better. Shouldn’t have read the book.
Narrator: Kate Reading reads beautifully. I honestly felt I was listening to the characters thoughts versus listening to a book. Kudos!
Buy: The Host, The Host (Audiobook)
Rating: 2 Treasure Chests
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