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.