Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.
Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies reamin intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.
When Melanie, one of the few remaining “wild” humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, 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.
Wanderer probes Melanie’s thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer’s mind 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 begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.
It’s been a few years since I’ve finished the Twilight series, and I’d forgotten how well Stephenie Meyer could appeal to the longing heart. I was completely enamored with Edward by the time I’ve finished New Moon, the second book of the series (sorry to those on Team Jacob). Still, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Host. Apparently, this book is a rip-off of Animorphs by K.A. Applegate, but I’ve never read or even heard of Animorphs so I’ll just pretend Meyer’s ideas are original (for now, at least).
Like Twilight, there are two guys chasing after one girl. Well, one girl in the physical sense. There’s actually two personalities trapped within one body–Melanie is the original human part of the body while Wanda is the alien invader using Melanie’s body as a “host”. Melanie, for the most part, has no control over her body’s actions since the invasion. Jared was Melanie’s lover before Wanda took over and is still in love with Melanie. Ian, a human, fell in love with Wanda as he became acquainted with her. I admire Ian for his capacity to love Wanda even though she’s just a silvery worm-like alien in reality. He loves the essence of Wanda–her mind, her soul. It reminded me of the time I asked my boyfriend what he loved most about me, and he replied that he loved my personality the most. I was a little offended that he didn’t find me physically attractive, but I was just being too shallow. Hopefully, my boyfriend loving me for more than my looks means that our love can endure past the onset of wrinkles and age spots.
The Host, being the science fiction novel that it is, got me thinking about the possibility of other worlds in the universe with life. It seems so unlikely for us to be the only life forms in the extremely vast and seemingly endless expanse of space. How long will it be before we finally find a planet with “beings”? How long will it be before they find us? Or has either of these things happened already and us, the common people, are just ignorantly unaware? There are too many unanswerable questions that exist, and that’s part of what makes life so profound and interesting.