I have to preface this review by stating that I was heavily prejudiced. I was not a fan of Twilight, and yes I really tried to read those books, but t
I have to preface this review by stating that I was heavily prejudiced. I was not a fan of Twilight, and yes I really tried to read those books, but this review is not about the Twilight trilogy. My husband insisted that I read The Host, but I resisted because the way he kept selling it never adequately described the concept. How the situation in The Host was so compelling.
We frequent the theater a lot, so I'm sorry to say that I saw the movie before I read the book. When I saw the movie, I couldn't say that I liked it, but it had done what no one else could--it sold the book to me. I was intrigued enough by the tense conflict it TRIED to present to want to see how Meyer ACTUALLY handled it.
I was not disappointed.
Again, this is a review of the BOOK, but I have to address the movie in some way, as its the entire reason I even read this wonderful story.
There were logical holes in the adaptation's script, and something felt off about the conflict resolution. I got the distinct feeling that the film had somehow missed the point, and my husband's grumblings confirmed this. The issue was, I later learned, that the movie tried to bring more focus to the Seeker in an attempt to create a "recognizable" antagonist. What the film makers failed to realize was that, if they had cut the extraneous scenes with the Seeker out, they could have returned attention to what made up the CORE of the book. The conflict with the humans. This story isn't about whether or not the Seeker will find and succeed in turning the humans into hosts. This story is about humanity, and violence, and pacifism. I guess the creators didn't trust their YA audience to be able to understand that violence and negative emotion were the true antagonists of this book. Aren't one of the first things we learn in fiction that an antagonist doesn't have to be a PERSON in a book to work or make sense? Even children can grasp that on an unconscious level.
The film was like a huge signal boost. By seeing its failings, I was able to see the novels strengths.
As I read, I ended up really liking Wanda.
...No, LOVING her.
I'm a sucker for angst and martyrdom, but it has to be done just right, and Meyer does it exquisitely here. Wanderer's struggle to reconcile her sense of self from the wants of her body were fascinating, and her steadfast compassion and pacifism brought a tear to my eye. Normally, when someone seems overly non-violent, I go nuts, but in this case, I was touched every time Wanda refused to resort to violence, even as Melanie, her host body, yearned to. And Meyer treats the psychological and emotional problems that come with occupying a body that is loved by others and still sheltering its host consciousness very well, too. Jared's callousness toward Wanda broke my heart every time, and I cheered when Ian revealed his incredible insight to our protagonist's dilemma.
And geez, does Wanda get the SNOT kicked out of her.
I can gush about this book forever, and I'll miss the comfort and entertainment it provided me these few days. The ending was very sweet, and MUCH more satisfying than the film. I may not be a rabid Meyer fan, but I can certainly admit now that I've enjoyed some of her work, and I'm curious to see what she comes up with next!...more