Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Literary Fixation- The Host

I will admit I was a little apprehensive about reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer because of the Twilight books. Being an Anne Rice fan since my pre-teens made it impossible to like these books. I mean Lestat...come on.
The Host is different. It is a first person perspective of an alien parasite in a resistant host body. Earth has been almost completely taken over by the "peaceful" body snatcher type aliens, Souls. The Soul, Wanderer, has been placed into the body of one of the last known humans, Melanie. Unlike most of the other human hosts, Melanie fights back and doesn't fade away.
The internal Mel is the stronger character. Wanderer and Mel have an antagonistic relationship at first with Wanderer starting to become more sympathetic towards Mel since they share memories and emotions. 
In some ways a single character gets to be both a damsel in distress and a fierce fighter. Wanderer, later known ad Wanda, isn't strong. She abhors violence. Mel on the other hand is a born fighter. She has lived in a world where almost everyone has been taken over. Not only does Mel have to fight for herself, she fights to protect her younger brother, Jamie.
It is Mel's love for Jamie (and her boyfriend Jared) that pushes Wanda to help her host find them and protect them from the Seekers.
The Seekers are the enforces of the Souls. One Seeker in particular has it out for Wanda and wants to take over Mel's body to find the other humans.
Like most YA novels there is a love triangle. Only this time it is more of a square. Once Mel/Wanda find the settlement of other humans Wanda starts to develop feelings for Ian while Mel is still completely in love with Jared.
Since I do not really like to write full synopses in my reviews I'll stop here with it.
The Host is an interesting YA novel. It takes both elements of traditional YA books and adds some classic sci-fi and fantasy ie body snatchers.
Having the entire book in first person from Wanda's perspective is also interesting because it allows the internalized Mel to have a voice and be present throughout the book.
In short I would recommend this to both YA and sci-fi fans. 
There is a movie version starring Saoirse Ronan and Max Irons. Like almost all books to film adaptations it is lacking but it is still worth watching.

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