Sunday, 22 June 2014

Book Review | The Host

Title: The Host

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Genre: Science fiction, thriller, dystopian, romance

Pages: 617

Series: The host trilogy

Publisher: Sphere

Rating: 4 stars

"Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of their human hosts, and most of humanity has succumbed."

"Wanderer, the invading 'soul' who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too-vivid memories. But she did not expect that Melanie would refuse to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man she loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love."

I have to say that I am very late to the party when it comes to the host and I was a bit apprehensive to start it. I thought that with all the hype that this book has generated I would maybe be disappointed so I tried to go into it as blind as I possibly could. I haven't watched the film (which I hear is very good!) and I steered clear of spoilers lurking within the pages of social media I spend far too much of my time scrolling through.

I have to say, I was not disappointed and I actually thought it was a really well written and interesting book.
Firstly, I would like to talk about the cover and overall appearance of the book. For me, the spine is simple yet very effective, as is the front cover. I know loads of people really disagree with the black boring spine but I actually really like it.
The book is pretty big and i think it could have easily been twice the size. I know a lot of people are put off of reading when they see a huge book looming over them but after a few chapters, the pages flew by and I craved more once it was over. I say after a few chapters because personally I found it challenging to get into. The first part was interesting but very factual and a tad complex and confusing. I didn't mind this as it drew me in and made me curious but I know some people would certainly struggle to be hooked by this book.
Now, the other thing that put me off reading this book at first was 'Twilight'. I am a great lover of the Twilight films but... (I shall probably never again say this in all my life) I preferred the films to the books. I know, I know...before you all hate me let me just say that it's not that I didn't enjoy the Twilight books...It's just that they really didn't live up to the hype in my opinion. The first book and the last book were really good...the middle two...they just seemed to drag on for so long! I think that because of my Twilight experience I didn't want the same to happen with the host.
However, I think because the two are so unrelated and that Stephenie Meyer's writing style is different I enjoyed The Host a lot more.
The characters are so so sooooo cleverly done in this book. As the reader, your feelings towards the characters change and flip totally upside down. it was like being on an emotional roller coaster, honestly! I don't want to spoil anyone so it's very difficult to explain but you don't realise how much you love the characters until it comes to 'crunch point' and it hits you like a truck. All the way through the book you are picking sides and even that chops and changes very dramatically throughout the book.
Another thing I really liked about it, was although it had 'aliens' in it and the settings were completely different to any that I have experienced, I found the book incredibly relatable, especially within the conflicts between the characters.
The reason that I gave this book a 4 star rating and not full marks was that I thought that the ending was a little cliche. Don't get me wrong...i love clich├ęs!! I just think that the end was predictable and this disappointed me in that the book so far had been so grown up and pleasantly complex and then resolved to an almost childish ending (although in many ways I did love the ending!)

So overall, a really good read but maybe a little daunting for new readers. I recommend it to anyone above the age of about 13 who is into romance, thriller or sci fi!!

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