First published by Sphere in 2008 (this edition by Sphere in 2009)
Description (from Goodreads):
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, 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 there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie 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.
Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies,The Host is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.
We've had this book on the bookshelf for years, but I never really fancied reading it, for some reason or another. Every time I thought about picking it up, I would read the description on the back cover and it would put me off yet again. It always sounded completely weird, or something I didn't really feel like reading at the time. It wasn't until I saw a copy of this in a giveaway on some blog or another that I decided to finally give it a try.
I am glad I did. This book is just over 600 pages long and the font is rather small, but it such an easy read. The storyline completely sucked me in and I just wanted to keep on reading it. It is rather slow at the beginning, but it didn't particularly bother me. It felt more as if the author was giving us background information about how the society in those times works, how everything happens. Other than that, it actually made sense being slow in the beginning, to give Wanderer an adequate amount of time to get used to her new body (Melanie's body) and to realise what exactly it is she is experiencing.
Wanderer is a lovely character. She is a soul; an 'alien' being who travels through space so as to be inserted into a host's body. She is given the name Wanderer because she is one of the few souls that has lived in so many different places in the universe. Melanie, whose body acts like a host to Wanderer's soul, is a very strong presence throughout the book and is one of the characters that leads the shaping of this story.
In general, the characters were very well developed and we get to find out quite a bit of background information for a few of the more central ones. Melanie's brother, Jamie, is a lovely character. He is only young, but he is strong and very determined and, also, one of the first to befriend Wanderer, despite the fact that she has taken over his sister's body. Jared is a great character. He is a little dubious of Wanderer in the beginning (well, no, actually, that is the understatement of the year, as he is very hostile towards her), but we slowly begin to understand what it is that causes him to act the way he does. Ian is one of my favourite characters, just because he is plain lovely!
All in all, I do not know why it took me so long to get round to reading this book, but I am very glad I decided to give it a chance. A thoroughly enjoyable read, completely different from her Twilight books.
Stephenie Meyer is the world-famous author of the Twilight Saga, featuring Bella Swan and the vampire Edward Cullen. She was born in Connecticut, but grew up in Phoenix, with her rather large family. She was awarded a National Merit Scholarship and used it to pay her way to Brigham Young University in Utah. There she majored in English, with a focus on literature rather than creative writing. She currently lives with her husband and three young children.
For more information, check out Stephenie Meyer's website HERE.
Read for the: 100 Books In A Year Challenge 2011, Dystopia Challenge