I first reviewed the Host in our weekly book review column at 5 Minutes for Books in June 2008. It was a new hardcover release, and I was drawn to it. I hadn’t read the Twilight books (and still haven’t!!), but everyone who had raved at the way the stories pulled them along. The Host is her first book written for an adult audience, and it was incredibly well-received. With a movie due out in 2013, the buzz is still going.
I was approached with a giveaway opportunity for the paperback book since it’s a perfect summer read and will help people get ready for the March 2013 The Host movie release. Since I myself read the book in a hammock while on a vacation, I definitely agreed with the summer read recommendation!
Here’s my review as it first appeared at 5 Minutes for Mom:
No, I’m not into vampires, nor did I think that I would be into alien parasitic life forms that have conquered earth and are using human bodies as their hosts. . . but I was swept off my feet by The Host. From chapter one, all I wanted to do was keep reading until the story had reached its conclusion. With over 600 pages, it’s a good thing that I was reading it on a relaxing beach vacation, because I stuck with this thing and finished it within 24 hours. I’m not sure how I would have managed childcare, housekeeping and meal preparation on top of the desire to get to the end of the story.
I marvel at writers who can create something from nothing. Creating an original story about regular people is hard enough to do well, but to create a compelling human drama in the midst of a new reality–as Meyer has–is astonishing to me.
The Host is set on a futuristic earth where a colony of silvery worm-like life form who call themselves Souls have taken over control of Earth by inserting themselves into the human bodies. Generally that wipes out the personality of the human, and the Soul takes complete control, but when the soul Wanderer is implanted into host Melanie Stryder, things are a bit different. Melanie is one of the few humans left, a part of the resistance who are fighting hard to preserve their race. When Wanderer takes hold of Melanie’s brain, she continues to hear Melanie’s thoughts and desires. Melanie is angry by being trapped in her own body, and Wanderer is frustrated by her lack of complete control. The struggle between the two souls trapped in one body is compelling in a strangely relatable way. Caring about an alien and a rebel human surprised me, but I did become deeply vested in these characters, as well as those in the resistance cell they stumble upon.
Reading my description just doesn’t do this story justice. If you like a good suspenseful story with a little romance, an imaginative setting and real-life twists and turns, give this a try, even if sci-fi and fantasy aren’t what you normally read.
Another strong selling point of this novel is the lack of profanity or sex. Think the creative genius and storytelling ability of Stephen King without the backdrop of profanity and other vulgarities. This was published as an adult novel, but because of this, it’s certainly appropriate for high school readers as well. You can read more about the author and an excerpt of the book at Stephanie Meyer’s website, which gives a tagline that sums it up for me describing her books, “Science fiction for people who don’t like science fiction.” The publisher’s website also includes an excerpt and a cool preview video.
After re-reading this review, I think that I’d like to include a re-read on my summer list. My daughter has also asked me about it, and after I reacquaint myself with the specifics, I’ll probably let her read it too. She was too young at the time, but I think when I read it 4 years ago, I thought it would be okay for high schoolers (most of whom read regular adult books anyway).
I’m happy that we have FOUR copies to give away. Please leave a comment for a chance to win. We’ll announce the winners in our giveaway column on June 13.The giveaway is closed.
- The winner of Beyond Hope’s Valley is #2 Lori D.
We have a TON of giveaways this summer! Don’t miss our current giveaways. Subscribe to our feed. Follow us @5M4B on Twitter or on Facebook.
Growing Roots.... says
I almost didn’t leave a comment and planned to come back since I didn’t want to be first :). I was afraid I’d forget so had to leave one.
Stacie Gorkow says
I have been thinking about whether I would like to read this or not. I guess if I will, that will be my answer! Plus, I will pass it on to our high school library when I am done!
Stacie Gorkow says
If I WIN….geesh. Need more coffee!
Cool… Vampires! Sounds like a good one!
This book would be unique and special. Thanks.
melissa n says
Oh I so want to read this book! Thanks for the chance!
Kristin D says
I have this one on my wish list, it may be a little out of my usual, but I definitely want to read it!
Pam Moore says
I have to admit (blush) I just finished reading the entire Twilight Series, including the novella “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner”. Her writing style and stories completely sucked me in – reluctant as I was. I guess I’m now a Stephanie Meyer fan, so hook me up with “The Host” please!! 🙂
Renee C. says
I enjoyed the Twilight series. I think the concept of The Host is intriguing as well! I would love to read this series as well.
Would love to win this – my daughter loved the Twilight series of books.
paige bacon says
Count me in please… rendancechick at yahoo dot com
I would love to read this, it sounds really good.
connie black says
Oooo my fingers are crossed. I really want to read this!!
Awesome giveaway! Thanks!
Melissa P. says
I would love to win a copy. I am very interested. 😉
I read the book once and loved it! Would love to own it.
Tammy Gordon says
Would love to win this!
I love the books I read all the twilight books and bought the Host. I haven’t read it yet but is going to this summer…
Cindy Brooks says
I read the Twilight series and enjoyed them much more than the movies. I think this one sounds even more interesting!
Linda Kish says
I would love to win/read this book. It sounds terrific.
lkish77123 at gmail dot com
I’d be interested in reading this one.
I’ve heard that her writing in this book has really excelled so I’d love to read it.
samantha w says
sounds interesting, i love the kind of books that you just can’t put down.
You are one of our winners! Reply to this comment with your shipping info, and I’ll have it sent to you.
Barb: 1SentenceDiary says
I’m a big fan of sci fi.
Barb–You are one of our winners! Reply to this comment with your shipping info, and I’ll have it sent to you.
Barb: 1SentenceDiary says
Well, I waited to read this until I had a bit of extra time, and I’m glad I did! Just as youe described, Jennifer, I had a lot of trouble putting it down. I love books that just pull you along, where you are dying to know what happens next! Thanks again for the book. I’ll be passing it along to others, which is the best way to treat a good book!
Lori D. says
Sounds very spooky.
Want to read this one for sure.
Cant wait to read.
Love the Sci Fi
Jeff, you are one of our winners! Reply to this comment with your shipping info, and I’ll have it sent to you.
I have not read a SciFi in a long time, many do not seem to interest me anymore. This does sound interesting to me!
Missional Mama says
I would like to win.
I’ll pass this one on to my brother, whom is a huge scifi fan.
This is my kind of book.
Have not read a good scifi book in awhile now.
Staci A says
I haven’t read the Twilight books yet either, but would be interested in reading this one!
Would really like reading this one myself.
I would love to read The Host, because I haven’t read it yet. I’ve read all of the Twilight books, but this book is the only book I haven’t read by her, so I’d love to win this. Thanks so much for the giveaway!
Angela E. says
I love these type of books.
Katherine d says
ahhh i hope i win!
katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com
thanks for the chance
You are one of our winners. Reply to this comment with your shipping info, and I’ll have it sent to you.