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The Host #1

The Host

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Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Also see: Alternate Cover Editions for this ISBN [ACE]
ACE #1 - ACE #2

624 pages, Hardcover

First published May 6, 2008

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About the author

Stephenie Meyer

144 books72.8k followers
Stephenie Meyer is the author of the bestselling Twilight series, The Host, and The Chemist. Twilight was one of 2005's most talked about novels and within weeks of its release the book debuted at #5 on The New York Times bestseller list. Among its many accolades, Twilight was named an "ALA Top Ten Books for Young Adults," an Amazon.com "Best Book of the Decade So Far," and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.

Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three sons.

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5 stars
366,137 (37%)
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286,922 (29%)
3 stars
196,636 (20%)
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77,765 (7%)
1 star
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 43,192 reviews
Profile Image for Jenne.
1,086 reviews666 followers
Shelved as 'didnt-finish'
October 10, 2016
Okay, so I was reading along, and thinking all, hey, this is pretty interesting! Not bad, Stephenie!


I just can't do it. CAN'T DO IT AGAIN! Not the older man, and the younger woman, and the 5-page discussion of why they can't have sex yet because NO DEAR YOU'RE JUST NOT READY EVEN THOUGH YOU REALLY WANT IT BECAUSE LOOK, YOU'RE A GIRL AND YOU CAN'T POSSIBLY MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS.



i think i need to go lie down now.

Profile Image for Britt.
72 reviews39 followers
May 12, 2008
I originally had not planned on even reading this book because the Twilight series instills much rage within my soul, but I was in a dry spell for reading, so I decided to give it a try. I have to say I really enjoyed it much more than the Twilight series. I have seen a lot of people complain about how slow the beginning was, but I didn’t really notice. It sucked me in pretty quickly. It was very clearly a Stephenie Meyer book, though, which did lead to certain amounts of anger and eyes rolling nearly out of my head.


My biggest complaint with Stephenie Meyer is her romantic plots. I feel like I’ve accidentally picked up a Harlequin romance. It is super cheesy and super melodramatic. It makes my brain hurt. Here’s an example: “I stared into Jared’s eyes, and the strangest thing happened. All the melting, melding, welding that I had just been through was shoved aside, into the smallest part of my body, the little corner that I took up physically. The rest of me yearned toward Jared with the same desperate, half-crazed hunger I’d felt since the first time I’d seen him here. This body barely belonged to me or to Mel—it belonged to him” (595, ARC). WHAT! First, horribly cheesy. Second, nobody but you owns your body, and if you find it romantic to think otherwise, that is unhealthy. Let’s learn some emotional and physical independence!

What the hell is up with underage characters and older men?! Why could the females not be slightly older? This is supposedly being marketed as an adult book, so maybe it’s a bit alienating to make your main character(s) 16 when she first meets Jared who was 26, then 17 when she was starting in a new body (which they thought was younger!) when Ian is in his mid-20’s (I am guessing).

I’m just glad the romantic interests were not supposed to be seen as perfect. They had similar flaws as Edward & Jacob, but we were not reminded every 20 seconds how easily they dazzled everyone. Jared can barely stand Wanderer for most of the book. He would kill her easily if it weren’t Mel’s body. He is cruel and violent towards her. Ian is the first to physically assault her. And then in the end he does it again, while also being a bit violent toward Sunny & Jared. Of course, Ian ends up pretty near perfect with his perfect understanding and perfect kindness and perfect love. But I will accept this because I think that his perfect personality fits with the gentle, loving, peaceful personality of Wanderer.


While still cheesy, there were bits that were not romance-based that were emotionally compelling. I felt Wanderer’s fear about what she had to do in the end. In the tunnel on the way to Doc for the last time, when she asked Jared where everyone slept when it rained, my heart ached for her. I thought that was a lovely way of noting how much she still really wanted to find out about this world and how much she was going to miss and that life was going to go on without her. I know, I know, we are being emotionally manipulated, because if you don’t know how it’s going to end before you even pick it up, you haven’t read enough in life. But if you put yourself in the character’s place when she has a very clear idea of what is going to happen, it’s pretty sad.


The thing that made me love this is that it is not a romance. It is a story about humanity with romance thrown in. I like looking at humanity through alien eyes. I like learning what it means to be human with Wanderer. I like the interactions between Mel and Wanderer. I like that Wanderer picked up sarcasm from Mel. I love how absolutely confused she initially is by humans. She views humans as violent, hateful creatures. She is confused when they feed and protect her. This completely goes against her view of humanity.

I like how we perceive the humans through her eyes, how we get an idea of their motives from her which she is normally wrong about, and then we slowly see the change. This is seen especially with Doc.

I enjoyed seeing how Wanderer reacted to humans and how her perception of them changed. She goes from being terrified of humans to constantly surprised and confused by how good they end up being to loving them and embracing her own humanity. But throughout it she is ashamed of betraying her kind and feels like a traitor. She constantly second guesses herself, whether it’s in favor of the humans or the souls. It’s not until the end when she really accepts that maybe what she does is wrong, but if it brings about good then it’s the best thing for her to do.


I like the question of how much of yourself comes from some ethereal personality/soul and how much comes from your physical body. What makes us human? What parts of us do people fall in love with? Are we more physical, spiritual, emotional? It’s a bit cheesy (have I said that enough?), but I like the idea portrayed when Ian says, “It’s not the face, but the expressions on it. It’s not the voice, but what you say. It’s not how you look in that body, but the things you do with it” (p. 397, ARC). And then we get to see Wanderer in two different bodies which change her a bit. We have weak v. strong, etc. When in Mel’s body, Wanderer feels a physical longing for Jared but an emotional one for Ian. After she is put in a new body, she still loves Jared. Melanie occasionally seems overly familiar with Ian before remembering who she is. Jared stares searchingly and confusedly at Wanderer. What makes someone who they are? What part of a person do others connect with?


There are a lot of small touches that really pleased me. I love how people act and react in this book.

I thought it was hilarious when Wes (?) said, “You may have taken the planet, but you’re losing this game,” when they were playing soccer. That's just funny to me. If you can't use humor to cope with the apocalypse, you'll never make it.

A reaction that rings completely true is when, after Wanderer walks in on the dissections and is absolutely horrified, the guys are confused about why she is so upset when they were sure to cover the bodies so she couldn’t have seen anything. However, they only covered the human bodies. They still see the souls as alien and other which negates understanding and compassion.

I love what happens in the following bit: “’Ah,’ the seeker’s familiar voice moaned from the human body. ‘Ah.’ / The room went utterly silent. Everyone looked at me, as if I were the expert on humans” (p. 553, ARC). Of course that is how they would react when she is the one who knows how to bring the humans back!


One theme of the book is belonging. What makes one belong? Wanderer does not think she belongs in the cave because she is not human. Many of the humans agree. But she becomes part of the community, and her friends, who have gotten to know her and thus care about her, believe she belongs. Jeb never calls her ‘it’, and as the others get to know her they stop doing this. Lacey is instantly accepted by many of the humans because she is human (or becomes human again). But she has a hateful personality, and most of the main characters do not like her. Jeb refers to her as ‘that creature’. So what makes us belong somewhere?


I think the characterization is actually not terrible.

Ian, for instance, initially comes off as cruel and violent (he tries to kill her), but he’s just reacting to his world being taken over by beings who want to basically kill all humans. We see that he has the capacity to be kind, to gain perspective, to learn to understand. Granted, it seemed a bit incongruous to go from Killer to Most Compassionate & Loving Person Alive Ever in such a short time, but I'll take what I can get from Meyer.

Even Kyle is developed, though it mostly comes up in the end. Initially, he is just the villain of the story, but once Sunny is brought in we see that, yeah, he is rash and selfish and arrogant and angry, but he can be gentle and kind. And we don’t see this 180 done on his character where all of a sudden, out of the blue, he is capable of love. We know he had a girlfriend before this all started. Someone, at some point, must have seen some good stuff in him. And his grief at losing his world is manifest through anger and violence towards those who destroyed it. Sunny looks at him as her protector, but he doesn’t jump into a relationship with Sunny. He wants Jodi back. But through his interactions with Sunny, he gains understanding. He is confused by her reaction to initially meeting him and is surprised he can be so kind to her. He is compassionate when she realizes what is going to happen and is terrified, he didn’t realize it would be that hard. Once Jodi doesn’t come back, he has Sunny put back in her body, and he takes care of her. But he’s confused by it all; he doesn’t know what he’s doing or how to have a relationship with her. As shocked as I am by this, Meyer is able to create a character that grows but still remains himself.


I did have a problem with the ending. It’s just too neat and happy. While I was amused and pleased that Jared held a knife to Doc to get him to save Wanderer, it’s way too pat of an ending. Of course, you knew it would happen from the beginning, but I have to wonder whether it would be a better ending to just let her die. She’s lived, she’s learned, it’s her time to go. Life and love go on even in the face of death, as Meyer reminds us numerous times. Show us how the humans cope, how they do on their own once she’s gone. Of course, she is the main character of the book, so maybe allowing her to continue learning how to be human is not such a bad thing. And we know how Meyer hates making her characters suffer any type of consequence...
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Nataliya.
745 reviews11.9k followers
April 25, 2023
I must be a masochist. Why else would I pick this book up in the first place, let alone finish it? And it was so NOT worth it. To sum up my impressions of this story - WAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! WHYYYYYYY??? *
* This refers to the pointless waste of an entire tropical forest on the printing of this 600+ pager in which NOTHING happens. I kid you not. **

** Well, what else did I expect from a woman who created sparkly virgin vampires??? Hanging my head in shame. ***

*** In my defense, here is the quote from this trainwreck book: "Perhaps without the lows, the highs could not be reached." Maybe I expected the highs (just teeny-tiny highs) after Twilight the sparkly book I don't speak of? ****

**** This definitely had the aforementioned lows, but also a conspicuous absence of highs. And it didn't even have the unintentional hilarity of Twilight sparkly series. WAAAHHHHHH!!!!!
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! There will be a movie.
It IS happening (unlike the book, in which nothing is). Ok, it's old news, but I am behind on my pop culture. The important thing is - the movie stills are out. And they highlight the very important way in which it differs from Twilight - the male love interest is wearing a *gasp* SHIRT!!! In both pictures. Proof:

Alright, enough of the silliness. Let's get to business. This book COULD HAVE HAD potential. The premise can be interesting - our planet overtaken by mind-controlling centipedes souls, it takes people a while to realize that the invasion had happened, and the resistance emerges. Add to it that the invaders are apparently looking for little more than world peace - and this has the beginnings of a fun sci-fi-ish story. Alas, that didn't happen.

Our lovely protagonist, ladies and gentlemen! (My vision)

Let's immediately clarify - this "sci-fi romance" (as I have seen it described) is neither sci-fi nor romance. Instead we have a watered-down story of sometimes angry overprotective men pushing around and ordering around the helpless, meek, anxious, and "selfless" heroine - and occasionally carrying "their women" around (as all men are prone to doing in Ms. Meyer's books). There is a lot of brooding, glaring, staring, whispering, and murmuring (was Ms. Meyer paid extra for every instance of "murmur" in the book? It would seem so). The narration is weak, lazy, and overly dramatic. The characters are caricatures. Pages and pages go by without ANYTHING happening. Boring. YAWN.

This book deserves ZERO stars. It is to literature what Gigli was to movies (Anyone remember that awfulness? Probably not, as I was likely the only sane human who saw it. Again - masochism). Your time is precious; please don't waste it on The Host. Do anything else instead - like watching paint dry, which still would be more enjoyable.
Edited to add (in bewilderment): This "book" has a 3.86 rating on GR. Am I reading the same thing as everyone else? Was my copy of this book defective in any way?
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
December 10, 2020

New week, New BookTube Video - all about the best (and worst) literary apocalypses to live through!
The Written Review

Body and soul. Two different things
Wanderer is a parasite. Her people are parasites.

For millions of years, they traveled to new planets, colonized the species and lived out lives in their hosts' bodies. It's about the experience and the journey.

When Wanderer (the soul) arrives to Earth, she is placed in an adult female host. What she doesn't know, is that the host is still very much there.

Melanie (the host) is desperate. She absolutely refuses to let a little thing like being trapped in her own body by an parasitic alien stop her from getting back to her brother.

And soon, Wanderer does not want to go back. She's found a home (and a human) that she wants forever.
What was it that made this human love so much more desirable to me than the love of my own kind? Was it...Because these humans hate with so much fury, was the other end of the spectrum that they could love with more heart and zeal and fire?
I just adore this book. I've read it once every 2-3 years and enjoyed it every time. This was no exception.

Normally, when character who is too good to be true (looking at you, Wanderer), it annoys me. Not with this book.

Wanderer might be nearly perfect, but her internal conflict and the external factors (i.e. Melanie, other humans) provide enough tension to keep her from seeming like a Mary-Sue.

This book is a slow build but it is so worth it to me. I love it.
It's not the face, but the expressions on it. It's not the voice, but what you say. It's not how you look in that body, but the thing you do with it. You are beautiful.
Ahhh, my heart is just a melty puddle of goo.

Audiobook Comments
Read by Kate Reading - I absolutely loved her last name! She was an excellent reader. This is the first time I listened to it and this was a whole new experience. Really pleasant to listen to.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Khurram.
1,597 reviews6,645 followers
June 2, 2023
I really did enjoy this book. It is narrated in the same style at the Twilight book in the first person. The things that make this book really good are the internal dialogue between the main characters Melanie and Wanda. I am told that this did not work too well in the movie, but as a book, it makes great interesting reading.

The story of an alien invasion has happened we the humans have lost or have we? The Aliens call themselves Souls; they think it is the closest translation from our language. They are parasitic/symbiotic in nature. They are inserted into through the back of the neck and attach themselves to our brains and control our bodies. They have done this on at least eight other different planets. The society seem to have 3 classes: Healers, their Doctors, seekers, their police force, and the general populace (they are never referred to as more then Souls). Their occupation seem more a seeking of knowledge and experiences that maliciously or ambitious. The aliens do not seem to be well armed and do not like violence. The invasion has been more stealthy, slowly taking over people and their neighbours before any realised. Most of the technology seems to have been concentrated on healing and space travel.

The reason I ask the question is did ne lose is because on all the other planets they have conquered, they have never met a species that is conflicted, emotional diverse all at the same time. The other species offered little or no resistance, and the aliens were just accepted. The Aliens seem to have no personality of their own in their natural states. The personalities seem to be the sum of their experiences from previous and current hosts. The only real method of telling if some have been taken over is their eyes.

Melanie is one of the few humans left, till she is captured, she tries to kill herself rather than submit to being taken over, but the aliens heal her body. The soul she is bonded with is called the Wanderer because of all the worlds she has visited but never settled on for more than one hosts lifetime. Usually, this is it the soul takes over and replaces the Host with full access to their memories and carries on living their lives. Melanie, being the fighter she refuses to, goes quietly he is present and voiced constantly with the Wanderer. As the story goes on, we find this is happening more and more strong will Humans refuse to give the aliens full control.

Using or being led by Melanie, Wanderer finds possible the last outpost of pure Humans. If she has any hope of surviving, Wanderer must make peace with Melanie; then, together, they must try and convince the humans they mean no harm. Both sided must put aside their preconception of the other and try to find common ground. This is a great story about the human spirit. The language is definitely at a higher level than Twilight probably because Meyer has realised her fans have grown older. Meyer's writing style has a good story telling flow to it. I enjoyed reading the whole book. The only thing I would grip about is the lack of action in the book; there was more action in the football game and the bonus chapter "Alone" than in the rest of the book. However, she was writing more for emotional content than action. This is an intelligent, different story, seen through the eyes of both humans and aliens.
Profile Image for Holly (2 Kids and Tired).
1,037 reviews9 followers
December 4, 2013
It's no secret that I did not jump on the Twilight bandwagon. I put my name on the hold list at the library for The Host, however, because I wanted to see if Stephenie Meyer had improved in her storytelling. I'm happy to say, "Yes, she did. To a point."

I would like someone tell me what her fascination is with sappy, overly dramatic dialogue, 17-year old girls and over-protective older men who carry them while running? Because there are some definite similarities here.

I find it interesting that this novel is pegged for "adults" where the Twilight novels were pegged "young adult" as I don't see a great deal of difference, except for one main fact: Wanda and Melanie are likeable. Thank goodness. If one of them had shown up as whiny and annoying as Bella, I never would have finished the book. Well, I would have finished it, but only to say, "I told you so."

While I found a lot of similarity to the Twilight novels in her storytelling and in the details (over-protective older men, teenage girls, dramatic sappy dialogue, etc.) this was a much better story. Far more developed than I would have expected. It still takes her a long time to get to her main points, but I wasn't as bored with this one in the beginning as I was with Twilight.

I found the storyline fascinating: that aliens who invade other planets and take over the species, invade earth and take over the human bodies and then live as humans. Wanda is one of those aliens, a "soul" who takes over Melanie's body, only to find out that Melanie isn't quite ready to give it up. This is where Meyer's storytelling has improved. She crafted a story where the romance was secondary to the main plot, and I think that is why this book is so much better than her earlier attempts. She explores the idea of a person's soul or spirit and how an individual is defined as much by that spirit as by their physical body.

I thought her character development was well done. I liked these characters. I cared about them. I don't need to tell you that I never cared about Bella. I enjoyed the complexities that the storyline created. Wanda was affected by Melanie's memories and feelings and couldn't help but love the man Melanie loved. Then, when she found herself caring for a different man, the conflict is believable. The humans have a difficult time accepting Wanda, but when they do, she truly becomes one of them.

The novel ends neatly, with hope. Predictably there is room for a sequel, which I no doubt expect.

I'd actually re-read this book. I won't re-read the others.
Profile Image for Ariana.
938 reviews1,303 followers
March 20, 2015

“It’s not the face, but the expressions on it.
It’s not the voice, but what you say.
It’s not how you look in that body, but the thing you do with it.
You are beautiful.”

I give this book 5 stars because is just such an amazing book. I really, really love it!

At first sight it looks like it's a book about aliens, but in reality it's about the human kind and it's questioning how much humanity remains in us all.
It's a book about survival, about love (so many types of love: loving yourself, loving the planet you live on, loving your family, your friends), about finding yourself... a book about trust, friendship and faith.

It starts kind of slow, but as you get through the story you can see how amazing it can be... so captivating, so entertaining.
The main characters are Melanie and Wanda (the body and the soul) and they take you in a journey not only to find the people they love but to find themselves, to understand the reasons to lose everything for love, the reason to give your life for the people you can't live without.

There is enough action to keep you reading, but the story is deeper than that, it's not about what the characters do but why they do that, it's not about whom they love but why they can't resist the feeling, it's not about what they say but about what they think.
This book is all about emotions, and reading about how the characters feel in every scene makes the story so real, so true... you can feel the pain, the anger, the faith, the love, the hope... it's a carousel of emotions and that is what makes this book so good, because it's just so close to your heart.

If you are looking for adventure and lots of action and UFOs this is not a book for you, but if you are looking for an emotional, tear-dropping story this might be the one.

Note: You can read my latest review for this book here, but only if you've read the book, as it contains various spoilers.

Happy midnight reading!

* This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com

Blog (EN) | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Bloglovin' | Blog (RO)

Later Edit 1: Check my 3rd book boyfriend: Ian O'Shea

Profile Image for Sella Malin.
458 reviews142 followers
November 25, 2009





Those are more accurate phrases, more fitting descriptions of my reaction at the end of this book. Unfortunately, those cannot be precisely translated into the English language.

Holy Crap. HOLY CRAP!! I can't even process my thoughts to write a review for this. This book was so stunning, so amazing, so crazy good that I can't even describe it. XD I'm extremely impressed of Stephenie Meyer. This beats Twilight by a long shot; it's SO much better. She writes so much better in this book, and the complex, in-depth plot is nothing compared to Twilight's shallow one.

The idea is so cool. The characters are awesome and lovable. Stephenie Meyer is incredibly skilled with emotion; that's her strongest suit. She writes emotion in a way that makes you feel everything the character feels. When the character is in pain, the reader is in pain too.

Meyer writes love in a way that makes you love everything and everyone the character loves with a strong passion. Even though he was just a character, I loved Jamie as strongly as if he was my own brother. And I was in love with Ian as strongly as if I was Wanda and he was actually real. Stephenie Meyer is a queen of emotion; I don't think anyone can write it like she can.

This was just so much better than Twilight, and that was so relieving. Even though I enjoyed Twilight, it's nice to see that the same author is capable of writing something that isn't shallow in the slightest, and writing something so much better than Twilight. This book just blew me away.

I actually cried at the end. In fact, I cried several times throughout the book, it was so good. :) The funny thing is, I didn't cry at the end because of the reason that everyone else cried. I cried because what everyone thought was the end of the book, WASN'T the end. I cried because Meyer changed it from the perfect, bittersweet sad ending, to a happy-dovey ending. I wish she made the ending the chapter before the last, the one before she skipped pages in the book. (I'm trying not to spoil things here ;D.)

Apparently, Meyer is making a second book. I kind of wish she wasn't. While it would be nice to read the next one, I feel like The Host would be best as a stand-alone novel, and to make it into a series would just ruin it. This is a storyline that would best not be continued. I don't know.

Anyways. The Host is a phenomenon and everyone who hasn't read it must go get it now. It is an essential read. XD
Profile Image for Annalisa.
525 reviews1,349 followers
May 22, 2008
I wanted to like this book more than I did--to see that Stephenie Meyer can pick a topic not meant for shallow teenage girls and write on a deeper level--but I think this book is more of the same, sans the vampire excitement. I liked the idea: an alien soul inhibiting the host body of a girl who doesn't want to relinquish her control and the conflicts that arise, particularly in romance. There are some interesting topics, like what defines humanity and are we living worthy enough for the planet we are entrusted. The story isn't as page-turning as Twilight, but mulling nonetheless.

My problem with Stephenie Meyer is her characters. They seem shallow, unbelievable, and small variants on her same cookie cutter. Her girls in particular are, well dumb, always jumping to the wrong conclusions, never wanting to believe they could be loved. Your damsel in distress. I am often exasperated by the emotion and stupidity of her female characters. I tried to allow for the alien learning curve, but when solutions and realizations are painfully obvious to me chapters before they are explored by the characters it creates frustratingly slow plot progression.

The mold for guys is more frustrating because they exhibit none of the characters I am drawn to, and even ones I despise. They are always big, strong, forceful verging on the abusive side of controlling with a scary tendency to irrational jealousy and anger. They are emotionally immature, intense, and display their passion with an abnormal display of affection and cheesiness to the women who make them crazy with love. I don't trust intensely passionate men. (I did like Jeb's character but he wasn't a main romantic interest characters so he didn't need to be intense.)

Because of this conversations were unrealistic. I could not imagine real people speaking this way so the story felt childish at times. The cheese is laid on so thickly in parts I could not swallow it. This is supposed to be a more adult-themed book, but in many ways I found it less adult enticing and more juvenile in tone. Her choice of juvenile-enticing characters is proof enough that her style is not intended for a truly adult audience.

Plus the middle dragged with insignificant humdrum and a lack of good character development. There was more that could have been explored with a two-spirit/one-body complex. And there were holes in this parasite species theory that bothered me. I didn't care enough about the story to think about them too much, but they were there and made her tale less believable. So creative idea, but the delivery and details didn't quite hit the mark.

What Stephenie Meyer is good at is passionate taboo romance. As for Wanda herself how she changed from first juxtaposing her ingrained annihilation justification with her extreme pacifist views to sympathy for humans and eventually protective love for the planet.

I still don't think Stephenie Meyer is a good writer, but she's a decent storyteller. Had Twilight not brought her fame, I doubt this book would go far. Creative plot idea, but it could have been so much more if she had explored the conflicts between Melanie and Wanda more thoroughly and left a morally obvious choice without a happy ending. Then it would have been a book for adults. The book was too shallow and slow enough that I probably wouldn't read it again.
Profile Image for ♥ℂĦℝΪՖƬΪℕÅ.
230 reviews3,934 followers
May 5, 2020
5 Happy Heart STAR'S

“If I was given the choice between having the world back and having you, I wouldn't be able to give you up. Not to save five billion lives.”

'The Host' is a hit or miss for readers, you either LOVE it or HATE it. I think it's got a bad rep because of Twilight, and that's a bummer. As for me, I FREAKING LOVEEE ITTT!!! I'd pick The Host 100 times over the Twilight series any day!

Growing up I was a very shy kid and I didn't like reading out loud in class. I was slower at reading and didn't always know the right words. So in turn, I hated reading. I despised it really.

Witch it crazy because reading is such a big part of my life now. I was in my early 20's when I found my love for books and It's all because of this book right here!!! The Host was instrumental in finding that part of me. The Host will always...always have a special place in my heart. It will always be one of my all-time favorites! I have read this book 5 times if that's any indication.

I was hooked from the very first page. I love the characters, the plot, the writing style, everything...I love everything about it! All the relationships are strong, the love is electric, and you feel everything they feel. This book has all the feels and it was such an emotional read for me. I cried a LOT, but I also smiled and laughed. The ending was done in such an incredible way. It left me feeling complete and I'm a sucker for HEA's♥. The host was so unique, I haven't read anything like it since.
Profile Image for Jessica Edwards.
Author 20 books791 followers
August 10, 2017
When it comes to reading books that has a film made about it, I tend to watch the film first and then read the book. The Host is probably one of my favorite films, I absolutely love Max Irons, I think he's gorgeous, and while I was watching the film, I also couldn't help but admire the actor who played Ian.
I'm a huge fan of Stephenie Meyer, she's one of the authors that made me want to start writing, but I couldn't possibly be as skilled of a writer than she is. She's incredible!
I loved the Twilight series but others hated it. Team Jacob all the way!
I don't really watch science fiction movies other than Alien, but I genuinely enjoyed this book. It took me awhile to get into it considering I know what happens, but I wanted to see the things that are in the book that might not have happened on screen, and to be honest I felt that it should have been the other way around. I should've read the book first and then watched the film, but that's just me. I always tend to jump on the bandwagon.
When I read books, I love a heroine that's strong and a bad-ass. I refuse to read a book that has a weak heroine who let's people walk all over her, it actually makes me really angry when that happens. People might like that though, but for me I love a heroine that can stick up for herself no matter what the situation is, and that's why I loved this book, and that's why I gave this book 5 stars!
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
October 9, 2021
The Host (The Host #1), Stephenie Meyer

The Host is a romance novel by Stephenie Meyer.

The book is about Earth, in a post apocalyptic time, being invaded by a parasitic alien race, known as "Souls", and follows one Soul's predicament when the consciousness of her human host refuses to co-operate with the takeover of her body.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: از روز دوم تا روز پنجم ماه دسامبر سال 2010میلادی

عنوان: میزبان؛ نویسنده: استفنی مه یر؛ مترجم: شهناز کمیلی زاده؛ کرج در دانش بهمن؛ 1388؛ در 769ص؛ شابک 9789641741039؛ چاپ دوم سال1388؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 21م

یک پرسش
جسم من، خانه ی من
اسب من، سگ ِ تازی من
آنگاه که تو از میان بروی
من چه کنم؟

کجا سر به بالین بگذارم
چگونه حرکت کنم
چه چیزی شکار کنم؟

بدون مرکب سریع و بیقرار خود
به کجا میتوانم رفت؟
چگونه دریابم
در بیشه ای که پیش رو دارم
خطر در کمین است یا گنجینه ای مدفون شده
آن زمانی که جسمم، این سگ خوب و درنده ی من از میان رفته
آرمیدن در دل آسمان
آسمانی بدون سقف و در
چگونه خواهد بود؟
و در میان ابرهائی که
بر اثر باد به سرعت تغییر شکل میدهند
چگونه خود را پنهان کنم؟

کره ی زمین را، ارواحی از کرات دیگر تسخیر کرده اند؛ انسانها در حال فرار از ارواح هستند؛ یکی از همین افراد «ملانی» است، که به تازگی کشته شده، و آماده برای ورود روح به بدن خویش است؛ «آواره» نام روحی است که قرار است وارد بدن «ملانی» شود؛ «آواره» یکی از نامدارترین ارواح است که هشت زندگی داشته، اما «ملانی» حاضر نیست فکر و ذهن خویش را تسلیم «آواره» کند...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 09/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 16/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Railee.
98 reviews3 followers
July 23, 2008
Talk about an emotional roller coaster!!!! This book was very difficult to rate. If someone were to ask me, "Was it good?" I'd have to think for a long time and then say, "No.... Well... yes, sorta.... No... It was ok." But if someone were to ask me if I'd enjoyed it, I'd instantly reply, "Yes!" Would I read it again? Probably not. Was it exciting? On occasion. Was in interesting? Very much so, in my opinion. Was it weird? YES! Were the characters well-developed? ... After the first half of the book, yes, I suppose.

The Host is about a species of aliens who call themselves Souls. They are born without bodies and can not live very long without one, so they live like parasites inside the bodies of other creatures, completely taking them over. These "souls" come to earth and take over the bodies of mankind, living peacefully as they experience the new world around them.

The main character of this book, through whose eyes the events of the story are witnessed, is a soul named Wanderer who takes over the body of a young woman formerly known as Melanie. When Wanderer realizes that Melanie is still alive inside of her body, she tries desperately to fight her out, along with the painful and wonderful memories of the man Melanie is in love with. Eventually, Wanderer falls in love with this man, too, through Melanie's memories and the two of them set out to find him.

I don't usually read Science-fiction, and so maybe that's the reason I found this book so odd. I wouldn't have picked it up, knowing the storyline as I did, except that my sister had it in her room and I was bored. As weird as the whole alien/possession thing was and is, I found that it was interesting to read about. It was interesting to read the descriptions of human emotions through a character who's never felt them before. This book was VERY EMOTIONAL! Happy, sad, angry, jealous, confused, hurt, obsessed, offended, frustrated, loved, hated, admired, rejected... all feelings were vividly described and painfully lived as I read this book. It ended the way I wanted it to, which made me happy, but.... I don't know. There were just a few things I would have changed had I been the editor of this book.

1) Stephanie Meyer seems to be developing, more and more with every book, a strange fascination with writing graphic make-out scenes that are slightly embarrassing to read. There were two in this book that were completely pointless, like she just wanted to write them. There was one that was almost pointless, but I can see why she would think it necessary. I'm not against kissing in books or anything like that, but there is such a thing as overdoing it to the point of ridiculousness.

2) I wished that she would have spent less time with the first half of the book and more with the near-end of the book. I wished there would have been more after "the problem" was fixed. Hopefully anyone who's read the book knows what I mean by that. To me, the book really got interesting near the middle, and it kind of dragged a little before that. But it wasn't really boring.... Just... uneventful....

That's it! This book was uneventful for how long it is! But I wasn't ever bored, exactly. Stephanie Meyer is too good of a writer to allow that. There was always something I enjoyed about it, but there was just enough that was weird or not quite right about it that I can't say that I loved it.

In conclusion: I don't know exactly what I think of this book. It was enjoyable! I'm not sorry that I read it! But it was weird, and I would have liked it better with a few changes here and there.
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,221 reviews2,164 followers
May 20, 2008
Aimed at the adult science fiction crowd, as opposed to the Young Adult Twilight fanbase, The Host isn't about science or where the human race is headed, but about what it means to be human, here and now.

Earth has been quietly, non-aggressively conquered by a kind, pacifist species unable to lie or deceive, who go by different names on different planets in different languages. Here they call themselves "souls", while the rebel humans who have slipped through the net call them "parasites". They are silvery, ribbon-like sentient creatures small enough to hold in two hands, covered in feathery antennae. Inserted into the back of a host body's skull, they take over a host's mind and motor functions to the point that the host's mind is completely subsumed: in effect, killing them.

That is, until Earth, where the hosts fight back.

Wanderer has lived full life cycles on nine other planets - a record among her kind - before taking a human host, a young woman called Melanie. Unfortunately, Melanie's not going away without a fight, and on top of the gamut of new and intense human emotions Wanderer must contend with, she also struggles to take complete control of her host and find the memories Melanie's keeping from her - memories of her brother Jamie and the man she loves, Jared. They'd managed to elude the alien takeover, until Melanie was caught. As Wanderer gradually gets to know and understand Melanie, she dreams more and more of Jared and Jamie until she finds herself ruled by Melanie's desire to find them, a desire stronger than the need to keep them safe from the parasites.

While the story is very different from Twilight, the writing is much the same, and there are certain qualities in the characters that are becoming almost Meyer trademarks. I can already hear the same complaints and criticisms as I've read regarding the other series, but I'm not sure what these people are expecting - highbrow literature? The earth to move beneath their feet? Some people are never happy, and will often read a book determined to hate it. With one book they complain that something was mentioned and then seemingly forgotten, in another that something was repeated too many times. Personally, I didn't have a problem with the repetition in Twilight and I don't have a problem with it here.

I think the first readjustment to my assumptions was with the alien race and Wanderer in particular. When I read about the book last year, I assumed the aliens are aggressive and cruel and the humans would be portrayed as humane and vulnerable. That's how it usually goes, after all, though I don't care for it. The opposite is true here however: the humans are portrayed as greedy, deceitful and violent - which we are, pretty much, especially when cornered - while the souls are kindly, generous, non-suspicious, terrified of humans and - apart from the Seekers - couldn't harm a fly. Especially Wanderer. It's not easy having a pacifist as your main character and narrator, especially one who's easily scared. But Wanderer has her moments of strength too, and resourcefulness, as well as her moral dilemma which is what really carries the story.

Regarding the other characters, I really didn't like Jared, and Wanderer's attraction to him is one of the weakest points of the story. The point is made that she loves him because her body, Melanie's body, loves him and responds to him, and her mind too in a way. But it just didn't gel for me, probably because he doesn't come across well. His own dilemma - that the woman he loves is trapped inside a body ruled by an alien - gives him some excuse, but really, what's this thing Meyer has about women loving men who treat them horribly? Edward was pretty mean to Bella in the beginning, remember? Anyway, I liked Ian early on and it was pretty frustrating, the way Wanderer treated him etc.

The themes of the novel are pretty obvious, and definitely well-meaning, but still interesting. Questions of whether humans deserve to live on when we are so cruel to each other, and waste resources etc. The souls don't even use money, they take only what they need, and treat everyone with the same kindness. This raises the age-old issue of individuality, which is often the victim - and the ace up humans' collective sleeve - in such stories. The same theme was explored in Scott Westerfeld's Uglies/Pretties/Specials trilogy, for example.

Definitely one of the things I liked about this book was the conflict between Melanie and Wanderer, having two minds in one body with one more dominant than the other. It reminded me of Annon and Riane in Eric van Lustbader's Pearl Saga, a boy in a girl's body whose individual identities are slowly merging yet still conflicting - written so well, I think Lustbader created a whole new gender. It's simpler here because they're both female, but other problems arise because of it - like loving the same man, or of Wanderer wanting to respond to Ian but unable to because her host body lusts after another man. Among other things ;)

Because I didn't like the characters as much as I did in Meyer's Twilight series, I didn't fall in love with this book. It's an oft-times exciting story, with moments of tension and uncertainty, but I would have liked to understand the souls more - I didn't really understand where they came from or how they came to be, it's kind of like the chicken-or-the-egg: if souls can't survive without host bodies, how did they come to be? How did they get inside their first hosts? - and it was a tad bit heavy-handed on the moralising. Not enough to annoy me, but it's there nonetheless.

In short, if you enjoyed the Twilight series, you'll probably enjoy this because it means Meyer's style won't aggravate you; if, on the other hand, you didn't enjoy them, and you have bitched and moaned about her writing style like so many other people, I'd rather you didn't read The Host, not 'cause your criticisms will be wrong, but because you're missing the story. I should know, I've bitched and moaned about books I don't like often enough before. But I don't usually go on and read more books by the same author, unless I'm hoping they'll have improved. And I think Meyer's writing is improving, but it is what it is: simple, unadorned, reflective, introspective (but not too much), and clear. Even the repetition is necessary, which I think is true of Twilight as well.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,839 followers
January 15, 2018
Not a bad sci-fi story. A little like the Twilight series - some of the formula poured over into here. I feel like the creativity level was a lot higher as Meyer was working with an alien species of her own creation and not necessarily the myths and legends of the vampires and werewolves.

My only issue is that it seemed to drag on a bit at times. This was only compounded by its length. This is one of those books that I think could have benefited with a trimming.

I think this book was advertised as Meyer getting away from YA, but it is pretty much YA. This is an interesting place to bring up the argument about what makes a book YA? I have seen some books designated YA and it seemed to be only because one of the main characters is a teenagers. Other times, there are books where all the characters are adults that feel so YA it's not even funny! Thoughts?

I don't think you can go wrong with this one if you are looking for a thrilling, sci-fi, YA novel - if you don't mind a bit of filler!
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
February 12, 2011
I just can't comprehend why so many people are rating this book 5 stars. Seriously, why? I understand we are in love with Twilight, but it's not a good enough reason to support this mediocrity.

I was extremely disappointed by Breaking Dawn, but decided not to be a hater and give SM another chance. So I opened The Host. I have to say, I have never had to put this much effort into reading a book in my life. If I didn't know who SM was, I wouldn't even bother to read after page 10, it was that boring and uninspired. But because of SM, I continued on, especially after some people told me that it would get better after about 250 pages. Oh boy, were they wrong! I was more like 500 pages. It took me 3 days to get through first 100 pages (to compare, it took me probably about 3 days to read Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse). After that I just skipped through the rest of the book within a couple of hours. You can literally read every 50th page and not miss anything! There is absolutely nothing going on in this book! Pages and pages of conversations between Wanda and Melanie. And both these characters are so undeveloped, it's hard to tell them apart. In fact, it's hard to get attached to any character in this book! They all are so flat and dull.

This book is marketed as sci-fi/romance novel. Trust me, it is neither. The sci-fi backdrop of this novel is laughable. Altruistic "souls" that save planets from cruel species, among these "cruel species," believe it or not, are: Flowers, See Weeds, Bats... It is just plain ridiculous!

There is very little romance in the book either. A couple of kisses between underage girls and older guys is all you get, in spite of the fact that this is SM's "first adult novel." "Adult" conversation goes as far as discussing that a couple of characters can't have sex because she is too young (of course!) and they don't have contraceptives. Give me a break!

So many reviewers say that this book has a deep meaning, that it shows "what it means to be human" and demonstrates that we can "extend the status of "human" to other entities," etc. I think these people have never read actually good books. In fact, I don't think they have ever read anything but Twilight before.

This is definitely the end of my love affair with SM's writing. I think she struck gold with Twilight, the rest of her creations are just plain bad. You may disagree with me, but this is the reality.
Profile Image for Lucie V..
975 reviews1,803 followers
May 18, 2022
Body and soul. Two different things.

This book is SO MUCH BETTER than the Twilight series.

✅ Amazing main character
✅ Great secondary character
✅ Hate-to-love
✅ Beautiful writing
✅ Such a sweet story about acceptance of our differences
❗️❗️ Be sure to have kleenex near you when you read this book (or maybe it's just me...)

“But what if it were you?” Ian asked in little more than a whisper. “What if you were stuffed in a human body and let loose on this planet, only to find yourself lost among your own kind? What if you were such a good…person that you tried to save the life you’d taken, that you almost died trying to get her back to her family? What if you then found yourself surrounded by violent aliens who hated you and hurt you and tried to murder you, over and over again?” His voice faltered momentarily. “What if you just kept doing whatever you could to save and heal these people despite that? Wouldn’t you deserve a life, too? Wouldn’t you have earned that much?”

Sweet, perfect Ian. He is definitely one of my all-time favorite characters. He is so kind, thoughtful, and amazing. I love him. ❤️

Because he was a soul, by nature he was all things good: compassionate, patient, honest, virtuous, and full of love.

The Host takes place in a post-apocalyptic reality. Parasitic aliens have taken over the Earth, they travel from planet to planet, and are implanted in host bodies to experience what it is to live as different species. They are virtuous and peaceful beings, trying to perfect our world and create a utopic planet where human violence and greed do not exist anymore. When a Soul is implanted in a body, the host's consciousness usually fades away, but not in the case of Melanie Stryder. When a Soul is put into her body, Melanie refuses to give up and disappear, and her mind battles with the Soul's mind (Wanda) as the story progresses.

I love that the main character is Wanda, the alien, but since she is sharing a body with Melanie's consciousness, we get to know them both intimately, and we realize that the Souls might not all be as bad as they seem. I am usually not a fan of alien stories, but this tale is more about what it truly means to be human, what differentiates us from the alien Souls, and why some humans keep resisting and fighting to remain free. A big part of this story turns around a moral dilemma: are we worthy caretakers of the Earth, or do we deserve to be conquered by the pacific Souls that know how to create a world where harmony and peace are dominant, and where the ugliness and flaws of human nature would not be a problem anymore?

The fact that the story's main character is Wanda, a Soul that is pure and kind, and does not want to hurt anyone, forces us to see and understand both sides of the dilemma.

“This place was truly the highest and the lowest of all worlds - the most beautiful senses, the most exquisite emotions.. the most malevolent desires, the darkest deeds. Perhaps it was meant to be so. Perhaps without the lows, the highs could not be reached.”

Where Wanda is gentle and kind, Melanie is fierce, stubborn, and loyal. She has learned to be ruthless in order to survive, hide, and protect her family in this world where free humans are hunted. Being forced to cohabit with Wanda creates a lot of internal conflicts and very interesting dialogues between the two characters, each one having her own distinct voice and personality. As the story progresses, Wanda and Melanie will become unlikely allies and will have to learn to trust each other and rely on each other in order to survive and protect their family.

“You are the noblest, purest creature I've ever met. The universe will be a darker place without you," he whispered.”

Add to this compelling and original story a beautiful slow-burn romance, and even a kind of love triangle (but it is very well done!), and you are in for an incredible and beautiful adventure, full of emotions. I don't think I will ever tire of re-reading this book.

"It's not the face, but the expression on it. It's not the voice, but what you say. It's not how you look in that body, but the things you do with it. You are beautiful."

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Profile Image for Lissa.
Author 19 books175 followers
November 7, 2011
“Did you have a good bath?” he says as I come out after only an hour.
“No,” I say, recognising that my tone is petulant.
“Why not?” he asks in surprise, as the answer is usually the opposite.
“I hate the book. Nothing is happening. Nothing has happened. And the aliens who invaded still make junk food. This doesn’t make sense. They don’t earn money or pay for anything, but they still make junk food. An alien invader who could read the mind of its host would learn to only make food with essential nutrients and stuff, to keep the populace as healthy as possible. They wouldn't waste time and effort making junk food.”

I give up.
I just can’t do it.
107 pages and nothing has happened.
This book literally put me to sleep. I said I was in the bath for an hour. I was asleep for half of that time. And then I was so mad that the book was so shitty I got out of a perfectly nice bath.

And it's made me half sad and half really fucking angry. I like Twilight. It's not the best book or series in the world but it is special to me because I burned out my reading after doing a literature degree, and it took me a year to even pick up a book. Twilight was that book. It welcomed me back into the world of reading, and I've slowly been enjoying it more and more for the past two years. It was easy to read, fast, and relatively painless until you start looking at the deeper aspects.

If I had picked up The Host in September of 2009 instead of Twilight, I probably wouldn't be reading yet.

This book is fucking stupid. I don't care how much worldbuilding has gone on or how many different species of aliens there are or even what it's like seeing their worlds from their perspective. Which I should, becasue that is what is awesome about sci-fi. But who the fuck would want to live their life as an inter-connected sea weed? Or a land-based plant? They don't do anything. They just grow and reproduce. They don't live. They just exist.


How THE FUCK did this parasitic species evolve? In Animorphs, the book series by Katherine Applegate the idea pretty much mirrors (I know it's not original but I grew up with it so bite me), the Yeerks evolved alongside the Gedds, and the Gedds were pretty crappy hosts anyway. The Yeerks were expanding to give their brethren better hosts so they could experience the world like everyone else: notably, Yeerks are blind, and they love being able to see through their hosts. Souls are obliterating entire races just because they think they can do better.

How the hell did souls evolve and how the fuck did they evolve so that they need to be surgically implanted? The Yeerks evolved a way of doing it themselves, with anaesthetic solutions to dull the pain of drilling into the brain. The souls literally makes no sense. To gain the abilities to take over the brain of another host you'd need very specific evolution, and when technology is introduced evolution stops. This is why humans haven't evolved for a very long time, because they've been using tools and technology for ages - manipulating the world around you, adapting to change (such as wearing clothing in colder climates) leads to no need to evolve, for example, fur. So how do you get a soul from its pre-parasitic days to a parasitic state via evolution if they need to be surgically attached?


And what is Meyer's obsession with eyes being able to give people away? In Twilight, red-eyed vamps are the bad guys and golden-eyed vamps are the good guys (I don't remember if anyone says what colour eyes the vamps who drink donated blood from a bag have). In The Host, the parasites give people a shine around their pupil. Meyer may be reading too deeply into the whole 'eyes and the window to the soul' thing. Ha ha, I just made a funny.

And the book opened with a scene that was just contradictory. . Don't say something is really fucking easy and then go and show exactly how not-easy it is. Fucking fuck fuck (can you tell I'm exasperated?).

And where is the conflict?

If this was Meyer's first attempt at getting published, she would have been laughed out of the industry. I read 107 pages and nothing has happened! At least in 100 pages Bella had met Edward! There is such a thing called THE INCITING FUCKING INCIDENT and as an aspiring traditionally-published author, I pretty much chase what the agents say they want. Such as no prologues, for example. So it pisses me the hell off when an established author wields such clout no one cares what the fuck she writes so long as she puts out another book *cough*Cassandra Clare*cough*.

Sometimes inciting incidents are happening on the first page! The first chapter! It's totally awesome when that happens. But why should I bother reading the rest of the book when I've given it 100 pages to give me anything and all it's done is wasted my time?

I mean, why should us newbies stick to the rules when veterans can break them and still rake in a payload?

I know the answer to that. They're famous. And it boggles my mind WHY.

I hope Meyer wrote this in her spare time for herself because I fucking love light sci-fi and I hate to think she sat down and decided the market needed this.

This book should be ashamed to call itself sci-fi.

I was looking forward to reading this because I'm doing NaNoWriMo and I need a book that isn't totally awesome and I want to spend all day reading (Unearthly, Divergent, Bloodlines, Shiver). But it's just made me fucking mad.

Mello and Cory, I should have listened to you. I'm so sorry. Forgive me.

I can't write any more because the nap in the bath made me sleepy and when I get sleepy I get emotional and I refuse to cry because I hate a book so fucking much.

I'm going to go bury myself in a GOOD BOOK because I am sick to fucking death of being burned by bad ones. But first I need a cuddle and to be assured there are still good books out there because the last time I felt this bad about a book (Fallen, Torment) I ended up giving those books away (despite their GORGEOUS cover art) and I NEVER give books away.

Profile Image for Kris.
119 reviews2 followers
June 18, 2008
I am having so much trouble reading this book, and who am I to judge? I am just a lowly reader and spender, not a publisher. But there is just something about the writing in this book that is making the voices in my head scream. I had the same experience when I read "Twilight."
Ms. Meyers is over-the-top descriptive where there is no need to be. If I had to count how many times she wrote, "I winced." or, "I flinched." or, "I sighed." or, "Ian sighed." I bet it would be in the hundreds. She has added TOO many 2 word sentences that would drive most English Professors to madness. I know it is driving me to madness, and I only worked for English Professors.
It has gotten to the point to where I may have to set this book aside and move on to something else before I can come back and finish it.
If I didn't have the policy of "no book left unread," I would toss it aside. But alas, it is not in my genetic makeup to leave a book unread.

Ok, I stuck it out and finished the book. I can't say that I like it much better than what I said above. I don't know why this was classified as an adult novel. It read way too much like her Twilight series without a lot of complication. Her relationships and inward character battles are exhausting and juvenile. I do have to say that maybe my expectations were a little too high for this book and that is why I am disappointed.
However, I will end with this: who is the one getting books published? Not me, so what do I know. I just know what I like to read.
Profile Image for Kristalia .
384 reviews612 followers
December 24, 2015
Final rating: 5/5 stars

I cannot describe how much i love this book. Even though it was long, i still loved every page of it. I never read Stephanie Meyer before, but i love this book. She really is a good writer. The only downside that i had was that i watched the movie first - therefore i knew what was going to happen. But book was so much better, with more informations about Souls, and better characterization. And, one important thing: you will either love or hate this book.

One thing also that i really loved was that it was not an insta love, no matter how it seemed. The whole book happens in a long period of time - months actually, but nothing felt extremely rushed. And it can also be said that this is actually a love fourangle - 3 boddies and 4 souls. This story is actually centered on romance and less on science fiction (if it can even be put as sci fi, because we only meet aliens...and find out about some of their worlds).

“What was it that made this human love so much more desirable to me than the love of my own kind? Was it because it was exclusive and capricious? The souls offered love and acceptance to all. Did I crave a greater challenge?...Or was it simply better somehow? Because these humans hate with so much fury, was the other end of the spectrum that they could love with more heart and zeal and fire?”



World has never been more perfect - there are no wars, no hunger, no unecessary pain, no illness. But, the world belongs to the aliens called Souls. They are conquers and they are "parasites". They need hosts to live - otherwise they die. And when they discovered Earth which was slowly being destroyed, they thought it was perfect chance to save it. Therefore, they occupy it and start fixing the Earth. Souls are kind, caring, intelligent race, but can their good qualities compare to what they had done to human race? They destroy minds of humans and possess the bodies. Only a handful of people are left on Earth, the unpossessed ones called rebels. And they want to take their world back, but they can't do anything against them. To make things go as planned and to protect Souls, Souls placed Seekers to be something like a police for them. Seekers are the only one who are not honest, who lie and who hurt - and they are eager to find every human there is.

This is a story about Wanderer, a Soul who was put into the body of Melanie Stryder, a rebel human.

The thing that Wanderer didn't expect though was that Melanie is still alive and kicking in her mind. Melanie wants her body back, but she can't do anything about it and Wanda wants her gone, because the body belongs to her now. Melanie then shows her memories of Jared, her boyfriend and Jamie, her brother, and Wanda begins to realize that she slowly falls in love with those humans. And when she goes to try to find them, things don't exactly go as planned. The only thing left is to keep moving forward.




“Body and soul. Two different things”

Melanie and Wanderer are both kind, caring and wonderful characters. They made me feel so much, both of them are the characters i really love, and i loved how the book was told from Wanda's perspective. Wanda, the Soul, is one of the most kind of them all. She is called Wanderer for a reason: she never settled on any planet, and she was on a lot of them. Earth is all knew to her, and human race is confusing to her as well...our emotions are not easy for her at the beginning. But, she begins to feel like Earth is the planet for her:

“This place was truly the highest and the lowest of all worlds - the most beautiful senses, the most exquisite emotions.. the most malevolent desires, the darkest deeds. Perhaps it was meant to be so. Perhaps without the lows, the highs could not be reached.”

And even though she didn't like Melanie at the beginning, as can be said for Mel too, she starts loving Mel, and the other way around, until they became friends and sisters by souls.

But, even if Melanie spammed her mind with Jared and Jamie, she can't really know how she feels. She begins to love Ian, but her body loves Jared....and it makes it so confusing to her.

Melanie is fun, she is sarcastic, strong and amazing. And she is a fighter. She doesn't give up easily and her love for Jared and Jamie is so strong that she starts showing memories to Wanda, so she could understand. I loved Melanie, she was just awesome :)

“Melanie Stryder?” he asked, addressing her.
We both started at the name.
Ian went on. “I’d like the chance to speak with Wanda privately, if you don’t mind. Is there any way that could be arranged?”
Of all the nerve! You tell him I said no chance in hell! I do not like this man.
My nose wrinkled up.
“What did she say?”
“She said no.” I tried to say the words as gently as they could be said. “And that she doesn’t… like you.”
Ian laughed. “I can respect that. I can respect her. Well, it was worth a try.” He sighed. “Kind of puts a damper on things, having an audience.”
What things? Mel growled.
I grimaced. I didn’t like feeling her anger. It was so much more vicious than mine.
Get used to it.


Jared is Melanie's boyfriend. They met when Mel was robbing someone, and they both thought the other one was Soul... Except Jared noticed it first and he kissed her, which made Mel angry and she punched him (he deserved it).

“My name is Jared Howe. I haven’t spoken to another human being in more than two years, so I’m sure I must seem… a little crazy to you. Please, forgive that and tell me your name, anyway.”
“Melanie,” I whisper.
“Melanie,” he repeats. “I can’t tell you how delighted I am to meet you.”

And then, they slowly but surely, fall in love.

But, when he finds out that Melanie is gone and that Wanda took her place, he becomes cruel and unforgiving. He hurt Wanda many times and he said many many unkind things. And it shattered both Mel's and Wanda's heart seeing him like that. In some way, i can understand what he felt, it's not easy when the person you love is gone. And that someone else took her place. But he didn't have to be that much cruel (no wonder why everyone is team Ian). And even after all of that, i started liking the poor bastard, and in the end i loved him.


Ian is one of my favorite characters in this book. Even though he wasn't exactly kind to Wanda in the beginning (in that include him trying to strangle her), he grew to my heart. He regret what he had done to Wanda and soon starts seeing her as herself, not just the body. He starts to like her and eventually, he starts loving her.

“It's not the face, but the expressions on it. It's not the voice, but what you say. It's not how you look in that body, but the thing you do with it. You are beautiful.”


Jamie is Melanie's little brother. He was forced to grow up earlier than he wanted to. He became like an adult, despite his young age. He wanted to believe that Melanie was still alive, he wouldn't accept it otherwise, and he is the one of the rare ones who thought that Wanda is wonderful person and that she should be given a chance...


Jeb was amazing. When he was young he found out about a cave, which fortunately, saved their lives by becoming a perfect hiding place for humans who survived. The motto he has is "My house, my rules" and everyone respects him. He believed in Wanda, he saw her as she is, he liked her from the beginning and he was kind to her.

Kyle, Ian's brother, got on my nerves so many times, but in the end, i loved him too. Ian doesn't like him, and actually, no one really does, mostly because of his attitude and because he was irritating.

Wanda's Seeker is one of the characters i don't know how to feel about. We find out about her, but for me she was just confusing. But she isn't a quitter and she knows what she is doing. And that makes her scary opponent.

There are so many characters i wish to talk about, but i would be tempted to spoil and we don't want that to happen, do we? :D


I love this book. And i am sad that it ended. But, i will surely read it again and again, because i want to be with Mel, Wanda, Ian and Jared again... I am also happy that there is going to be a sequel and i can't wait for it.

This review can be found on my blog: infinity-of-time.blogspot.com also known as...
Profile Image for Saniya.
360 reviews816 followers
April 19, 2013
Okay. This movie was freaking awesome and I just want to hug somebody right now. :'3

I am so sorry Jake baby. You were awesome in it. I misjudged you. Now I will love you forever. *Creepy fan-girl smile*

Did You Know?
1)Dianna Agron auditioned for the role of Melanie Stryder.
2)Shiloh Fernandez, Liam Hemsworth, Kit Harington, Jai Courtney and Wilson Bethel auditioned for the lead male role, Jared. Max Irons was later cast.
3)Ian Somerhalder, Dane DeHaan, Thomas McDonell and Augustus Prew auditioned for Ian. Jake Abel was later cast.
4)Eva Green, Hayley Atwell and Claire Danes turned down the role of The Seeker.
5)'Emily Browning', who portrays Pet in this film, was Stephenie Meyer's original choice for the role of Bella Swan in Twilight, but she turned it down.
Okay, Max Irons FTW but,


My reaction: Fucking awesomely excited now. Can't.WAIT! XD

Just, just look at this amazing poster!

And okay. If I haven't already died... then there you go.

DEAD! <3

Everybody, we have THE HOST TEASER TRAILER in this world now.

First things first.

Dear Author,
Do you want readers to have an optimistic opinion about you? Do you want to be normal and popular again after your dramatic fail, you know what I am talking about, of-course, The Twilight series? Here are three steps to make your life better again.

Tell all the publishers to stop printing The Host.

STEP NO 1- Change the cover. The eye is just too creepy.
STEP NO 2- Change your name on the cover to, "Bad author gone good- in the human world"
STEP NO 3- ERASE The following line, "Author of the twilight saga"

And then let them print. I ensure you, The host will sell more than you have ever expected or imagined.
Yours truly,
P.s... I still don't like you, get over it.

Ahh. After reading this book for one whole week, I can finally say...
I liked it.

You: Hahaha, you are kidding me, right? You are talking about Stephenie Meyer here? Author of The 'twilight' saga, remember?
Me: Hahaha, Sadly, I am not. -_-

Let me show you a prove,

"Unexpectedly moving.... Stephenie Meyer's novels throb with an overwhelming emotional intensity."

Here is the thing, whoever wrote this, was a really good human. The very first words said were my feeling, Unexpectedly moving and kindly notice the four dots, FOUR dots after that.
The situation must be like:
The guy/girl reading it, "Oh, I will hate this book anyway."
Few moments after reading this book, *Typing on the computer* Unexpectedly moving... "Damn, what should I write next?"
COPY-PASTE-COPY-PASTE. ~overwhelming emotional intensity shit~
Her face, '=D' Net nowadays. Saves the day! :D

Even after reading a future, dystopian novel, I liked it. (I hate dystopian novels like anything, nowadays) The book would definitely be confusing for readers who haven't read books based on the future or soul before, at first, but then it becomes easy to understand and follow afterwards.
I think the only reason I finished this book so late was because the author wrote this book so slowly. One chapter consisted of her laying down, one of her eating, one of her feeling awkward and so on. This book could have easily been for about 400 pages if the author didn't use the pages unnecessarily on how the heroine was feeling and all.
And after a few chapters, I also started noticing that the writing was somehow, forced. Not like, "WRITE IT OR I WILL KILL YOU" but like, "how can I make this book much longer than it already is." Some situations were so not necessary. It clearly looked like she was writing this book for a movie.

Anyway, surprise surprise... or not. Saoirse Ronan is playing Melanie Stryder in The Host movie which is gonna be released in 2013. =D I am so waiting for it! ^.^

The story was good, nothing that I could explain and yes.

..actually I am... *hehe*

GOSH, HOT! ^.^ Everyone wants Ian Somerhalder to be Ian. And if, IF he is cast-ed as Ian, If will die with joy and have tears in my eyes of pure happiness.

Yeah, yeah. Give this book a chance, its really good, blah, blah, blah. And I will give this book 4/5 stars. :D
But seriously, don't make a trilogy out of this. Let it be a stand alone novel. Please. :)

Profile Image for Christy.
3,818 reviews32.4k followers
January 31, 2021
4 stars

I enjoyed re-reading The Host so much. I remember loving it when I read it when it first came out (around 12-13 years ago) and when a friend was going to read it I figured it was time for a re-read. The audio was a bit slow paced, as I listen at x2 speed normally, and I was able to listen to this one at x2.5 speed. I loved it just as much this time around. It made me cry more than once and I forgot that it was an emotional one, at least for me. I especially love Ian and Jamie. This made me nostalgic to read some of my old favorites.

Audio book source: Libby (library borrow)
Story Rating: 4 stars
Narrators: Kate Reading
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Sci-fi
Length: 23 hours
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,728 reviews1,279 followers
May 24, 2015
I still l♡ve this one ☺ Wanda is so self-sacrificing, and the way everybody hates her and grows to love her is inspiring ☺

Totally prefer the book to the movie though ☺
Profile Image for Kevin (Irish Reader).
274 reviews3,931 followers
April 24, 2020
Finally read this for the first time and it was so refreshing after I read Twilight, as I enjoyed this book so much more. It definitely still has problematic parts and isn’t perfect, but I enjoyed it. Wanda and Ian’s relationship was so adorable and one of the reasons I liked this book so much!

I also did a full video review and commentary to me reading this book, which you can check out here: https://youtu.be/kdlnJ1PlzFo
Profile Image for James Trevino.
68 reviews34.2k followers
September 5, 2017
Full disclosure: I was not a big Twilight fan. I read all the books, I found them ok and compared to many YA titles coming out nowadays, they were actually decently written.
But The Host is on a whole other level. It is a freaking GOOD book! Good characters, great plot, nice world building ladaladalada.
Sorry for being short today, but I am kind of on the run. Either way, what I wanted to say is that even if you disliked Twilight, don't give up on The Host. It is worth it!
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.7k followers
Shelved as 'not-to-read'
December 20, 2022
[The exchange below is part of a conversation between myself and ChatGPT. The answer given was ChatGPT's first response to the question, and I have not edited it in any way.

Note that, as described at greater length in the comment thread, ChatGPT's opinions on "La Prisonnière" do not obviously agree well with the content of the book.]

Me: Write a sexy, funny 500 word review of Stephenie Meyer's "The Host", comparing it to Marcel Proust's "La Prisonnière", the epic of Gilgamesh, and "Noddy in Toyland".

ChatGPT: I recently read Stephenie Meyer's "The Host" and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. This book is a far cry from her "Twilight" series, and I found it to be a refreshing and entertaining read.

One of the things I found particularly interesting about "The Host" is how it explores the idea of possession and how it can affect an individual's identity. This theme is not unlike Marcel Proust's "La Prisonnière", in which the main character is held captive by her own desires and memories. In "The Host", the main character, Melanie, is taken over by a soul called Wanderer, but instead of losing her identity, the two must learn to coexist and come to understand each other's thoughts and feelings.

Another aspect of the book that I found fascinating was the way it dealt with the themes of love and loyalty. This reminded me of the epic of Gilgamesh, in which the titular character must embark on a journey to find the secret of eternal life in order to impress the woman he loves. In "The Host", the character Jared must fight to protect Melanie, even after she has been taken over by Wanderer, because of his love for her.

At the same time, "The Host" also has a playful and light-hearted side, reminiscent of "Noddy in Toyland". This is particularly evident in the character of Jamie, Melanie's young brother, who provides much of the book's humor with his playful antics and childlike innocence.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed "The Host" and would highly recommend it to fans of science fiction, romance, and coming-of-age stories. It's a clever and well-written book that manages to be both thought-provoking and entertaining.


I've seen worse. It could have tried harder with the sexy and funny, but maybe I was too demanding?
Profile Image for Karin.
Author 15 books230 followers
April 7, 2008
Wanderer has just arrived on Earth and been implanted into her new host. She has lived on seven worlds before coming here. She is arriving toward the end of the alien invasion when very few humans remain. The aliens are known as “souls” and are a peace loving type that don’t know of violence or lying.

Very few humans remain on Earth. When the remaining humans are discovered, they are captured by Seekers - the closest thing to a police force the “souls” have. Once captured, they are prepared for implantation where a small cut is placed at the base of the skull and the “soul” is put in the body. The “soul” connects to the body and takes control. The first experience the “soul” has is the receiving of the host body’s memories. Typically, the host recedes and leaves the “soul” alone to continue life as usual. For Wanderer, this didn’t happen.

Since the only humans left are ones that are rebels, placing a new “soul” into an adult has become risky. The rebels seem to resist the implantation since they know what is happening. The Wanderer was granted this request because of her experience on so many other worlds and has proven herself as a strong and brave “soul.” Melanie is the name of Wanderer’s host and Melanie doesn’t go away quietly.

Melanie remains active and talks to Wanderer all the time. Melanie bombards Wanderer with her memories of life so much so that Wanderer feels the same feelings that Melanie did when she had control over her own body. Melanie hides the memories that Wanderer needs though. A Seeker has been assigned to Wanderer in order to get information about the human rebels that worked with Melanie. Melanie is strong enough to block those memories from her.

Eventually, in a weakened state, Melanie allows something to slip through the wall she has constructed to keep Wanderer away from the people she loves. She shows her memories of Jared, the man Melanie desperately loves, and Jamie, her younger brother. These memories overwhelm Wanderer and she physically aches for Jared and Jamie herself. Melanie knows where they might have gone into hiding since she was captured. She convinces Wanderer to go search for them and when the chance presents itself she slips away from the Seeker and sets off to find the people THEY love.

When Wanderer finally stumbles upon the rebels she is both elated and terrified. She is so relieved to know that Jared and Jamie are both alive and well, but at the same time, is frightened for her own life. Wanderer endures weeks of isolation and deprivation once in custody while the rebels decide what to do with her. Slowly some people warm up to her and begin to allow her some freedom around the hideout, but she is never alone. They are afraid she is there to get information to take back to the Seekers and then come back and capture them all. It takes a very long time for them to see that she has no intention of turning anyone in to the Seekers.

The story is complex. Not only is there the issue of Melanie loving Jared and the Wanderer loving Jared because of Melanie’s memories; we also have Ian, another member of the rebels. Ian takes it upon himself to become a permanent fixture in Wanderers life. He is friend and protector and begins to have feelings for her and her alone (not Melanie since he didn’t know her prior to the invasion).

The story ends on a note of hope. It is an emotional ride from beginning to end - all 631 pages. Any science fiction fan will enjoy this story, but I think Stephenie Meyer may have done for science fiction what she did for fantasy when she wrote Twilight. THE HOST is set in enough of a realistic setting that even people who aren’t sci-fi fans will enjoy this story. I want to read it again, but I have so much else to read that I can’t right now, but THE HOST is definately on my “to be read again” pile. I hope Stephenie Meyer writes another novel after she finishes with the Twilight Series.

Profile Image for Chloe.
64 reviews39 followers
July 30, 2015
I have to say I was not expecting this book to be as good as it was!
Even though the first 150 pages or so are slightly slow the rest of the book is fast paced and becomes a very interesting read.
Would defiantly recommend this book to anyone who is even slightly interested in it!

Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,600 followers
April 3, 2013

Edited after seeing the movie:

I went with my daughters to see the movie adaptation of The Host this evening, and was reminded of how much I loved this book. That said, it's as it was with the Twilight books-to-movie adaptation and the movies didn't do the books justice, and neither did it for The Host, which is one of my favorite stories.

My point is, please don't let the movie scare you off. If you go see it and find the story compelling but the acting not so much, please pick up the book and read it. It is so, so good, but there's too much story packed into the novel to fit it into a 2 hour movie and make it work.


Original Review:

Another fabulous story by Stephenie Meyer. Who ever thought a love triangle could exist between 2 people?

I loved the descriptions, the characters, the conflicts and the resolutions. There's one thing that you can count on Stephenie Meyer to deliver, and that's a tale with intricately woven story lines, lots of plot twists and turns AND a happy ending.

I'm hoping she'll be writing the next books in the series, soon!
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