Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Review: The Host by Stephenie Meyer (and a giveaway!)




Mankind on earth has been invaded by...souls. Souls are parasitic aliens that cannot exist outside of a host. They have populated most of earth, but there are still some rogue humans left to inhabit.

Wanderer is unique among souls. She has lived life on several different planets and experienced much of the history of her species. She requests to be placed in an adult human body and is given the body of Melanie.

Only...Melanie hasn't left like she's supposed to. She's strong and fighting Wanderer's presence in her body. When her original attempts to fight back fail, she uses the most powerful weapon in the human arsenal...love. She makes Wanderer feel all that she feels for the humans she left behind and sends her on a quest to find them.

Right about now, you might be scratching your head and thinking this book isn't for you. I have to admit I was hesitant to try it myself. I wasn't over the moon about Twilight and I had several people tell me this book was hard to get into. Sometimes it's good just to read a book for yourself, because I absolutely loved this one.

I was into it from the first page! I couldn't wait to see how Wanderer was going to resolve the issue of having Melanie still present with her, and all the many complications that ensued. Throw in a very complicated love quadrangle and you KNOW I was invested!

There are many adventures that Wanderer and Melanie face as they search for their human family and stories of their survival that kept me engaged. I simply devoured this book...I thought about it while I wasn't reading, stayed up to the wee hours of the morning to read, and I sobbed through the last fifth of the book. The Host is 620 pages long and I read it in a day and a half.

The Host is a story of what it means to be human. Of everything in balance (one of my favorite themes, admittedly) that we can't have the glories of love without the agony of hatred, pain, and violence. That peace is not really peace without choice. That free will is what makes us human. It's a beautiful and captivating story and I'm so glad that I read it.

Despite it's huge size, I do think The Host would be an interesting book club choice as there are many themes and ideas present to discuss, and I would love to discuss this book with others myself!

Rating: 4.75/5 (docked slightly for being a little long winded in places)
Things You Might Want to Know: This book is really very clean...no language, no sex, no graphic violence-- really a great read.

Giveaway: Hachette Book Group has offered up to five copies as a giveaway! To be eligible you need a United States or Canadian mailing address. I will give away a copy for every five entries received up to 25...so in other words...in order to give away all five copies we need at least 25 entries! Leave a comment and tell me your favorite alien story! (make sure you have a valid email address attached to your comment in some way) for one entry. For a second entry (leave a second comment) twitter about this giveaway. And for a third entry, blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.

And just a little reminder...The Host was nominated by Book Bloggers during BBAW as the best book of 2008!

The Host is currently on a month long tour. You can read yesterday's post at Bermuda Onion and look for tomorrow's post at Twilight Series Theories.



Amy

77 comments:

crittyjoy said...

I have heard good things about this book and your review sealed it for me... I am going to have to read this one :)

I must be honest and say I don't have a favorite Alien story...but I did like the tv show Roswell...does that count :P

booklineandsinker said...

great giveaway! i actually listened to the host earlier in the year on audio...it was very interesting and much different from what i expected. i had some trouble getting into it, but did enjoy it once i was hooked. audio books add another dimension for me.

as for alien stories...i can't say i read many of them--may a ray bradbury short story? but 'invasion of the body snatchers' is a classic movie favorite!

enjoyed your review--the book was very clean--maybe meyer's religious upbringing shining through?

Hilarie said...

Nice review. I also really enjoyed the Host, and it was nice to read a book which didn't really have any objectionable material.

Hmm, I read a lot of science fiction. There is one book which I've thought a lot about since I was a kid. It is called, "The Keeper of the Isis Light." I can't remember who wrote it though and I am too lazy to look it up!

Ruth said...

Oh, please enter me in this drawing. I've heard a lot of great things about this book and would love the chance to win a copy. As far as favorite alien stories go...well, my favorite alien would be Doctor Who. Does that count? :)

bermudaonion said...

Don't enter me, Amy. I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed this book. I was told that it was slow at the beginning, but I was hooked right off the bat, just like you. Your review is fantastic - you captured the essence of the book perfectly.

AllyKatt said...

I actually have no alien stories. I know boring. But I think oone of my favorite series of sci-fi books of all time was the series about The People by Zina Henderson. Something akin to this book about having a Host inhabit you.

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

sherrinda said...

I have been wanting to read this book, but just haven't gotten around to it. I tweeted it, because I know of others who would enjoy this book too!
sherrinda(at)gmail(dot)com

Emily Pearse said...

I am actualy just about to start reading this book. Really loved all the 'Twilight' Series and haven't long finished tha last, 'New Moon' which I adored. Now I am even more excited to start reading this one.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

This book shocked and awed me last year. Everyone talks about Meyer's Twilight series, but The Host is her masterpiece. Everyone must read this book.

Elizabeth said...

I don't need to win the book, I already have it. I need to start so I can do my post for next Wed! EEK! it just arrived.

Julie P. said...

I am IMPRESSED! Good job on getting this one done! You must be exhausted.

Meghan said...

No need to enter me, I have it already. I definitely can see all that you loved in it. I liked much more than the Twilight series and I'm pretty sure I read it in two days. It's addicting!

I'm not part of the blog tour but my review will be posted next week anyway!

Lauren said...

[I already have the book, so no need to enter me in the contest!]

I have to admit this...I never finished "The Host." I actually really enjoyed the Twilight series (up until recently as the madness is just overwhelming) and "The Host" just seemed like a different version of the same story. I got about...100 pages in and gave up. It was a sad thing to do.

BUT - hearing your great review might have convinced me to pick it back up. :)

Jenners said...

I would love to be entered. I read about this at BermudaOnion's and mentally made a note to get it .. but it would be great to win it! My favorite alien story is probably Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. I read it ages ago (as a child) and watched the series with my dad and it has always stuck in my mind. : )

Drea said...

I would love to be entered. I haven't actually made my way to this book, though it is on my TBR pile. And favorite alien story? Hmm, I'm not sure? Does TV count? If so then Farscape! (it's still a story tech, right?)

dreasowersATgmailDOTcom

Tina said...

Nice review. This is the first one I've read about The Host. I wasn't interested at first, but it's not what I thought it was.

bridget3420 said...

Alien vs. Predator is my favorite alien movie

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

bridget3420 said...

tweet

http://twitter.com/bridget3420/status/2017267647

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

bridget3420 said...

Posted on my sidebar

http://bridget3420.blogspot.com

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

Valorie said...

My favorite is this short story by Stephen King called Suffer the Little Children. Ooo, it was so chilling.

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Cristina C. Fender aka Chica said...

I've been waiting to read this book! I loved the Twilight series!

My favorite alien series was a TV series in the late eighties or early nineties. Unfortunately, the name of it has escaped my memories!

I'll twitter you.

Thanks,
Cristina Fender
@bipolarchica
cristinafender@gmail.com

GirlwiththeBraids said...

My favorite alien story is the fictional movie Chicken Little.

I have been meaning to read The Host though it seems my library has it going in and out of peoples' hands. :) I would love to be entered.

-ReadingToMyself(at)yahoo(dot)com

I Heart Book Gossip said...

I love this book, please count me in. My favorite alien story is War of the Worlds.

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting. Most of my reading these days is connected in some way to my three kids. So my favorite alien story lately is June 29, 1999 by David Wiesner. Who can resist giant vegetables falling from the sky due to an accidental kitchen-supply ejection?

Dani

smith(dot)dandani(at)gmail(dot)com

I Heart Book Gossip said...

I have blogged about this contest on my site.

chey said...

Hi!
My favourite alien still is Mork.
A more recent alien story that I really enjoyed is the Pleasure Dome by L F Hampton.

Kitten22 said...

This looks great! Please enter me!

I can't think of any specific alien stories, but those Ood on Doctor Who freak me out!

BookCrossingKitten22[at]gmail[dot]com

Kitten22 said...

I tweeted about this!

http://twitter.com/BookingKitten22

BookCrossingKitten22[at]gmail[dot]com

Bookfool said...

Oh, good, I'm so glad it's clean! I get so tired of sex and violence. I have two favorite alien stories that I can think of, off-hand: Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney and Your Planet or Mine? by Susan Grant. I also liked (but didn't love) Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. Obviously, I like aliens. LOL

I'll tweet this in a second . . . consider it done.

nancytoes (at) bellsouth (dot) net

Stephanie said...

Amy, I read this last year and LOVED it. It was on my favorites of the year post. I'm surprised that Hatchette is touring it now...unless it's for the release of the paperback??

Yes, this might possibly be my favorite alien story!

CJ West said...

If you really liked this, you might try Through Violet Eyes by Stephen Woodworth. The concepts are somewhat similar and I really enjoyed Woodworth's depiction of the Violets.

Becky said...

Hi! I wanted to let you know that I've started a mini-challenge for this summer. Summer Studies asks participants to choose one gospel to study over the summer. I hope you can join in. And if you do, I'd love for you to spread the word among your friends. :)

Cheryl S. said...

My favorite alien story is actually a movie, "ET". I just love that movie & have watched it again & again.

Thanks!
megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

gaby317 said...

I don't have many alien stories to choose from. Though A Wrinkle in Time does have aliens of a sort - surely, this would count. Or maybe Startrek? That had a combination of aliens. I'm now realizing that I do have quite a number of alien stories to pick from and have Startrek and A Wrinkle In Time as my 2 favorites.


gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included!

Lorin said...

I've been debating picking this one up - I find the twilight books (the first that I've read) to be okay and wasn't sure. But your review makes it sound super interesting!

Please enter me in your giveaway -

lorin_arch (at) hotmail.com

Lorin said...

Oh, sorry - I forgot an alien story. While its not an alien story per se, my favorite book that involves aliens is, hands down, Ender's Game.

Literary Feline said...

One of my friends has been pushing me to read this one, but I've been hesitant about it. I did enjoy the Twilight books, but not so much the writing, and I think that's why I am so reluctant to pick The Host up. I am glad you enjoyed it, Amy! As always, a wonderful review. :-)

No need to enter me in the giveaway.

ANovelMenagerie said...

But, Amy!!!!.... you should be hosting the giveaway to ALIENS too! (Hee Hee).

I read and reviewed it, but did not love it as much as you! No need to enter me.

Sher

Amy C said...

I just saw this over on I Heart Book Gossips blog. I would love to be entered! Thanks :)

himscute @ yahoo.com

Nicole said...

I have to say, "To Serve Man" is still my favorite alien story, and has been since the eighth grade.

A close second is "V," which was both a novel and a TV miniseries. How can you top Robert Englund playing a loveable alien?

~Nicole
dainukes@yahoo.com

S. Krishna said...

No need to enter me, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book since I didn't think the summary sounded that great! Nice review!

robin_titan said...

My favorite alien story is Kal-El's (Superman/Clark Kent) of course. :)

lc_intocable [a]yahoo[d]com

sarah pekkanen said...

My favorite alien is ET and now I get to watch again with my children, who love that little guy as much as I did. Magic.

clenna said...

I love the "Alien" movies and the Twilight TV series but havn't read any alien stories.
An 8th grader recommended this book to me. I'd love to read it.

Tempest52 said...

I used to read lots of science fiction in my youth...many years ago now, but have just started dabbling in it again, so I have to admit to having no favourite alien story, unless you count E.T.?

This story sounds incredibly engaging. I would be so pleased to win!

dlcwin AT gmail DOT com

Ruth @ Bookish Ruth said...

I haven't read anything by Meyer, but I think your review has convinced me to pick this up at some point.

Favorite alien story? The X-Files. Any episode. Every episode. (Not so much the second movie, though.) I even have a reproduction of the "The Truth is Out There" poster that Mulder had in his office!

ruth at bookishruth dot com

debbiesworld said...

No need to enter me. I already read it and thought it was great. I was one of those people who felt it took awhile for me to get into it but once I did I couldn't put it down!

Amy Btw M said...

You don't need to enter me, because I have this one. I just wanted to comment I'm glad you liked it. I thought it was pretty awesome when I read it. I had a little trouble in the beginning, but only because I didn't care for the characters much. I think when Melanie and Wanderer started working together more, and getting involved with the fugitive humans I liked it a lot better.

Fiona said...

I must admit that when I read the back of the book blurb for The Host it didn't grab me. But I loved the Twilight saga, and generally like sci-fi, so I'm not sure why...
Now you've inspired me to try it!

Kristi said...

Dreamcatcher by Stephen King would probably be my favorite alien story - but for movie it would have to be ET. Would love to win this one and get a new favorite!

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Jenn M said...

ARRRRGH! My husband and daughter won't leave me alone and I've tried to post this response 3 times now.

Okay...Let's try again! (putting happy face back on)

I agree with Ruth, Doctor Who is my favorite alien. I seem to watch a lot of alien tv shows, but tend not to read many books about aliens.

I LOVED The Host as well. I did have a hard time with the beginning of the book. It just took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on. It could have just been my frame of mind or above mentioned husband or daughter causing distractions.

I was sad when I had to give my library copy back. I was in love with the cover as well as the content.

I shall Tweet and post a link on my blog in a moment and then post the links :)

jennifermorrill(at)att(dot)net

Yay! I'm so excited about this giveaway!!

Lena said...

The Host was so awesome!!! I hope I win it so I could read it again!

y0un6cut13z@gmail.com

Jenny Girl said...

War of the worlds for book and The Thing for a movie.
Jennygirl73(at)gmail(dot)com

Great and honest review as always :)

Belinda M said...

My favorite alien story was and still is Signs


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com


"Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Fun:
CoolCanucks.ca"

Jen said...

I'm so glad that I didn't give up on this book. It definitely took me awhile to really get into it but it was worth it. I loved the story and I really hope that she writes a sequel. Actually, I wouldn't even mind a prequel to learn more about how Jared and Melanie fell in love and the aliens came to earth. Great book!

Holly said...

I borrowed this from the library to review it. I'd actually re-read it, so please enter me. I can't say that for the Twilight series. For the most part, I thought this one had the depth that the Twilight books lacked. I enjoyed how she explored the idea of a person's spirit and how an individual is defined as much by that spirit as by their physical body.

Jenn M. said...

Here is my link to your giveaway on my blog.

http://jennifermorrill.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/book-giveaway-my-friend-amy/

~Jenn
jennifermorrill(at)att(dot)net

I will Tweet as soon as I remember my password...It was saved on my old one and I never bothered to write it down.

lauren said...

I heard a story once about a couple in England who saw several flashing lights on night and woke up surrounded by crop circles -- a few days later men dressed in all black in a black Mercedes stopped by inquiring about what the couple witnessed -- apparently no one knew who they were. Crazy! Thanks for the opportunity to win the book!

lovelylifeoflauren(at)gmail(dot)com

Jo-Jo said...

Thanks for the review Amy. I haven't read many alien related books, but I remember long ago when The Martian Chronicles was on tv, I loved it! I think that Midnight by Dean Koontz may have been alien related also.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

FatalisFortuna said...

Hm... my vote goes for any Star Trek: The Original Series episode! :D

There were things I didn't like about The Host, but I thought it was a lot more mature than the Twilight series, and the plot was much better and more interesting. I'd love to have a copy, thanks for the giveaway! :)

Debbie said...

I'd love to win this book. My favorite alien story - Independence Day with Will Smith. Too fun:)
fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail(dot)com

Renee said...

Hmmm I've never really read any alien stories but I LOVE the Twilight series so I would love to get The Host! I'd love to win it, read it and pass it on! I'll post a link to this contest on my blog as well! Thanks for the chance to win!

steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com

melissa said...

I really haven't read a lot of alien stories. I enjoyed Ender's Game and also really liked The Host (hence, I'm hoping to win)!
librariansbook(at)gmail(dot)com

Sarah said...

I just finished reading The Host for the second time! I borrowed it from the library but I love it! I was never really into alien stories, so I guess The Host would have to be my favorite! I really hope they make a movie of it and that Stephenie Meyer will publish the sequel (and soon!)! Thanks for the chance to win!
~Sarah
tikvah14@hotmail.com

Jo-Jo said...

I blogged about your contest here.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

silverhartgirl said...

I would love to read this.

Crystal said...

I don't think I've read many alien stories, but this one really interests me and I would love to win it.

My favorite alien movie will always be E.T. :)

crystalfulcher(at)ec.rr.com

throuthehaze said...

I havent really read alien stories before except The Host..so I guess that would be my favorite one.
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Liz said...

Please enter me in your great giveaway!

liz

liztapioka14@yahoo.com

Luvdaylilies said...

The Body Snatchers~
Thanks for hosting the giveaway=)
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

melissa @ 1lbr said...

I just blogged about the contest as well! See it here

LeeAnn Jones said...

Hi I happened to stumble upon your blog when I was looking for the Stephanie Meyers Twilight quizes. I didn't even know whe had another book out. I can't wait to read The Host. I think I will post about it on my Facebook page too.

As far as alien stories, I think I liked 'War of the Worlds' the best. I especially liked the remake of the movie with Tom Cruise. I liked the way they changed up the story line a little to show the father/son personal aspect in it.

Thanks for having this blog and running this contest.

LeeAnn Jones said...

Guess if I gave my email addy it would be easier to get ahold of me when I win, lol.
LeeAnn J. jezleave@hotmail.com
Original posted Sun Jun 21, 06:15:00 PM

*Heather* said...

I don't really have a favorite alien story, or at least I nothing comes to mind right now. But I did adore the tv show Roswell (Liz and Max such a cute couple!), so that would have to be my favorite. And, of course, ET was a wonderful alien movie! Classic!

*Heather* said...

I tweeted!
http://twitter.com/_HeatherAnne_/status/2322880335

*Heather* said...

Blogged about it!
http://allrubycakes.blogspot.com/2009/06/awesome-book-giveaways.html

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