Customer Reviews for

The Host with Bonus Chapter

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

177 out of 203 people found this review helpful.

Don't like Twilight? No problem!

The Host / 978-0-316-12865-0

I figure it's pretty much impossible at this point to not know who author Stephenie Meyer is - one way or another, you've surely heard of the massively popular "Twilight Saga" by now, and you probably already know whether or not you love ...
The Host / 978-0-316-12865-0

I figure it's pretty much impossible at this point to not know who author Stephenie Meyer is - one way or another, you've surely heard of the massively popular "Twilight Saga" by now, and you probably already know whether or not you love or hate the series. For myself, I'll be honest (and probably earn ire saying this, but it's just my opinion) and say that I didn't much care for the characterization and writing in "Twilight". I thought the romance was too heavily focused on, to the detriment of all the (in my opinion) more interesting side plots, and I thought a lot of the characterization seemed a little forced and sometimes shallow. I had heard, however, that "The Host" was very, very good - even for non-Twilight fans - so I decided to check it out.

I was astonished at the size of this book - the hardcover is 656 pages and weighs an absolute ton. I almost never enjoy books over 400 pages without feeling like heavier editing should have been applied, so I'm fairly shocked to say that I completely loved every page of this book, and never felt like the pacing was too slow or needed to be sped up in any way. The plot premise is fascinating enough - starting "in medias res" after a "Pod People" style invasion of earth - but it's particularly fascinating that Meyer has chosen to tell the story from the point of view of one of the occupying parasites. The characterization here is superb - very in-depth and surprisingly well-revealed through the vehicle of the plot - and it's fascinating to see how sympathetic the narrator is, despite her alien nature. Best of all, I'm impressed at how the love interest starts out as "flawless" but is quickly and thoroughly revealed to be flawless only in the mind of an infatuated young girl - her dream man, as it turns out, is complex, human, and flawed, and therefore a genuinely interesting character.

"The Host" isn't perfect - the first few chapters are a bit of a muddle and I wasn't really comfortable with the plot and writing rhythm until about the fifth chapter. Not unlike Bella from "Twilight", the protagonist here also gets beaten up a fair bit and carried around enough to qualify as luggage, but the characterization here really *works* for me - it's fascinating to see a protagonist that is an actual, full-blown pacifist, sort of like if Gandhi were a parasitic glowing silver brain-worm. I really can't say if this is the book for everyone, but I *can* say that if the premise grabs you, definitely give this book a try, and I suspect you'll be quickly hooked. It's a rare thing for me to feel like a 650 page novel is so perfectly paced, well-characterized, and realistically driven as "The Host" is. Although I originally checked this out from the library, I will be buying a copy to add to my collection.

A word about the audiobook for this novel: I particularly like the narration provided here. The voice actress adds a lot of realistic inflection to her voice to convey the protagonist's struggle with her new, unfamiliar emotions. The interactions between "soul" and "host" are surprisingly well done without being gimmicky, and it's easy to tell which character is talking, even when they share the same voice (both in our world and in the book setting). If you're a fan of audiobooks, and especially if you're a little daunted by the 600+ page commitment, I de

posted by AnaMardoll on January 6, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

34 out of 139 people found this review helpful.

I want my time back.

After reading her Twilight series (another poorly written series, but at least vaguely enjoyable), I decided to pick up this book as something to read cross-country on the plane. I try to give every book I read a chance, and my love for science fiction put me in a posit...
After reading her Twilight series (another poorly written series, but at least vaguely enjoyable), I decided to pick up this book as something to read cross-country on the plane. I try to give every book I read a chance, and my love for science fiction put me in a positive frame of mind to start reading.

The characters are all flat, the actual plot is weak and full of holes, and I struggled to just finish the book. I couldn't warrant spending that kind of money on a hardback just to throw it down in disgust half way through.

If you're on the fence about reading this book, then run the other way and don't look back. If you like mindless drivel, then this book won't disappoint you. Don't come looking this way for anything with one iota of intelligence. This is a perfect, mindless, rainy-day, time-wasting book.

posted by 2285970 on July 1, 2010

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Page 1 of 173
  • Posted January 6, 2011

    Don't like Twilight? No problem!

    The Host / 978-0-316-12865-0

    I figure it's pretty much impossible at this point to not know who author Stephenie Meyer is - one way or another, you've surely heard of the massively popular "Twilight Saga" by now, and you probably already know whether or not you love or hate the series. For myself, I'll be honest (and probably earn ire saying this, but it's just my opinion) and say that I didn't much care for the characterization and writing in "Twilight". I thought the romance was too heavily focused on, to the detriment of all the (in my opinion) more interesting side plots, and I thought a lot of the characterization seemed a little forced and sometimes shallow. I had heard, however, that "The Host" was very, very good - even for non-Twilight fans - so I decided to check it out.

    I was astonished at the size of this book - the hardcover is 656 pages and weighs an absolute ton. I almost never enjoy books over 400 pages without feeling like heavier editing should have been applied, so I'm fairly shocked to say that I completely loved every page of this book, and never felt like the pacing was too slow or needed to be sped up in any way. The plot premise is fascinating enough - starting "in medias res" after a "Pod People" style invasion of earth - but it's particularly fascinating that Meyer has chosen to tell the story from the point of view of one of the occupying parasites. The characterization here is superb - very in-depth and surprisingly well-revealed through the vehicle of the plot - and it's fascinating to see how sympathetic the narrator is, despite her alien nature. Best of all, I'm impressed at how the love interest starts out as "flawless" but is quickly and thoroughly revealed to be flawless only in the mind of an infatuated young girl - her dream man, as it turns out, is complex, human, and flawed, and therefore a genuinely interesting character.

    "The Host" isn't perfect - the first few chapters are a bit of a muddle and I wasn't really comfortable with the plot and writing rhythm until about the fifth chapter. Not unlike Bella from "Twilight", the protagonist here also gets beaten up a fair bit and carried around enough to qualify as luggage, but the characterization here really *works* for me - it's fascinating to see a protagonist that is an actual, full-blown pacifist, sort of like if Gandhi were a parasitic glowing silver brain-worm. I really can't say if this is the book for everyone, but I *can* say that if the premise grabs you, definitely give this book a try, and I suspect you'll be quickly hooked. It's a rare thing for me to feel like a 650 page novel is so perfectly paced, well-characterized, and realistically driven as "The Host" is. Although I originally checked this out from the library, I will be buying a copy to add to my collection.

    A word about the audiobook for this novel: I particularly like the narration provided here. The voice actress adds a lot of realistic inflection to her voice to convey the protagonist's struggle with her new, unfamiliar emotions. The interactions between "soul" and "host" are surprisingly well done without being gimmicky, and it's easy to tell which character is talking, even when they share the same voice (both in our world and in the book setting). If you're a fan of audiobooks, and especially if you're a little daunted by the 600+ page commitment, I de

    177 out of 203 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Love it!

    I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

    80 out of 97 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    My Favorite Book Will Read Over And Over Again!

    From the moment I finished this book I knew it had become my favorite. The story holds every kind of emotion. Everything from Humor to Misery can be found through the eyes of the first person narrative of the main character and lost soul Wanda. Some of the experiences that Wanda has made me laugh out loud, cry till the pages had splotches, and wish and question how the story can work out with every character getting to be happy. I have sugested this book to so many of my friends and family. This story has a way of pulling the reader in preventing them from putting the book down. I sincerly hope that Stephenie Meyer will continue on with this story with a sequel or make the book into a series. I would recommend The Host to anyone who wants a great book with adventure, humor, and a great love story.

    63 out of 72 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Pretty Good Book!

    After reading the reviews for this book, I decided to give it a shot.
    The first few chapters were a little slow, but after that I breezed right through it. This is not your typical alien abduction book. This book has heart and soul, it really makes you think about our human race.

    55 out of 63 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2011

    Still Searching...

    I am still to this date searching for a book that can measure up to The Host. I've read over 500 books (my bank acount can prove it!) and not one of them is as enthralling to me as The Host was, and still is today. I've read it over 20 times and I cry, laugh, and LOVE every minute of it every time!

    45 out of 53 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It's Hard to be friends when I'm living inside your body

    Wow. The Host is much better than Twilight. The main female characters Mel and Wanderer are more realistic and likable than Bella ever was. The only similarity being an annoying martyr complex which was actually relevant to the plot this time. The relationship dynamics among the characters both romantic and platonic are so weirdly wonderful. Oddly enough once again I found myself not finding Jared, the main love interest, appealing at all; much like I did not like Edward. Hmmm. Ian, the secondary love interest and another character who, like Jacob, was not supposed to be very important overall, I liked. Mrs. Meyers might have some kind of formula going but it has worked for me so far. The way the free humans live in some paranoid old guys hideaway while scrounging through the new Stepford civilization could be a story on its own. Also interesting are the stories of Wanderer's other lives. Like Uncle Jeb, I would love to hear how the souls get their off the wall names. The Host is great as a stand alone but if she does continue it there is plenty that can be expanded on.

    37 out of 46 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2010

    I want my time back.

    After reading her Twilight series (another poorly written series, but at least vaguely enjoyable), I decided to pick up this book as something to read cross-country on the plane. I try to give every book I read a chance, and my love for science fiction put me in a positive frame of mind to start reading.

    The characters are all flat, the actual plot is weak and full of holes, and I struggled to just finish the book. I couldn't warrant spending that kind of money on a hardback just to throw it down in disgust half way through.

    If you're on the fence about reading this book, then run the other way and don't look back. If you like mindless drivel, then this book won't disappoint you. Don't come looking this way for anything with one iota of intelligence. This is a perfect, mindless, rainy-day, time-wasting book.

    34 out of 139 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    The host

    This book was something else. Since ive read the twilight series and The Host, id say The Host won by a long shot. Love, action,fear this book will keep you reading all day. I recommend it strongly.

    28 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 24, 2011

    Couldn't get through it!

    Tried several times to get through it but couldn't get further than halfway. The idea of the story was very interesting but the way it was written ruined it. Overly descriptive and long winded.

    28 out of 73 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2010

    Awesome Book

    I don't know how Stephanie does it but her characters really come alive. The idea of the Host seems a bit Sci-Fi, out there, but really the story comes together and draws you in. I love her writing style and descriptions. I really connected with the characters and you see how they grow yet stay true to who they are. I balled my eyes out during parts of the book. Very good book; great story.

    28 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Hi

    First of all, I want to say that I am only 13 years old, just a few months shy of 14, and I absolutely loved and understood this book. The way Stephanie Meyer write this book is absolutely great and I was so hooked on this book that I finished this book in two days, and if you subtracted the hours I was asleep and not reading the Host it would probably be less than 24 hours ( as I am a fast reader ). The way Wanderer/Melanie had expressed her emotions just helped me understand what she ( they ? ) were going through, how Wanderer accepted that the person she loved, loved the body she was in, but not her. Yes, she was anle to find someone that did love her for being Wanderer. Amazing book, I would read it again anytime, I strongly advise everyone to read the Host.

    21 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2009

    unexpectedly brilliant

    When I began reading THE HOST, I was like, "no way can the same author have 2 hits in a row," but I was proven wrong immediately. it took me forever to quit thinking that Melanie and Jared were Bella and Edward. I kept having to tell myself, same author, DIFFERENT BOOK!!! The romance/connection between the two, Melanie and Jared, was phenomenal. I loved every minute of it. From page 1 you are immediately sucked in to it. Great, great, GREAT read!!! Stephanie Meyer has done it again!

    21 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    I truly believe that the people who like this book...do not read

    I truly believe that the people who like this book...do not read very many books. If you care even a little bit about character depth, plot development, quality writing, or any of those other "silly story elements," you won't like this book. I bought it to see if perhaps Stephanie Meyer was actually dumbing down her writing in the Twilight series. But, no, she really is just THAT bad of a writer. I have never put down a book without finishing. With this in mind, it took me 2 months to get through this book. AWFUL. How sad that Stephanie Meyer makes so much money on this book (and the upcoming movie) to add on to her millions from the god awful Twilight series, when so many actual writers go unnoticed. Please do not contribute to this. There is a reason this book is on clearance, and it is not even worth the $5 it costs.

    17 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    O.K

    Far better than Twilight

    17 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

    Totally stupid

    Too dumb to waste time reading this, believe me. I had a better time sorting laundry.

    16 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2011

    Hate Hate Hated this Book!

    The protagonist is literally a parasite bent on exterminating every sentient being it comes into contact with. I finished the darned thing and threw in on the floor, exasperated that I wasted so much time on such an unlikeable, hypocritical character. I kept wanting to slap Wanderer (the parasite) as she whined about how afraid she was of the violent non-brain wiped humans! This from a being that perpetuates the ultimate abomination - the extinguishment of a sentient individual's mind! Melanie (the human Wanderer has invaded) wasn't much better. When Wanderer tells Melanie that humans don't deserve to exist after finding a pre-invasion paper listing the terrible things people do to each other, Melanie's only response is that not all people are bad! What, literally oblitering another sentient being just so you can have "a chance at new experiences" isn't the most evil and peverse raison d'etre ever? Many reviewers have said they found the Wanderer/Wanda character self-sacrificing and noble as she struggles with the overwhelming urge to become more human as well as wishing to give Melanie back her body. I could never get over my initial revulsion at the idea of a parasite taking over a mind and body to care about Wanderer/Wanda at all. I think that is what is most chilling about how evil the "Souls" are - they have no compelling or urgent need to take over humans, no planetery crisis, no fear of humans as an eventual threat to their own species: they do it just for fun! Don't waste your time or money on this book.

    16 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    THE BOOK YOU DON'T WANT TO EVER END!

    This is a very well written book. I have read the Twilight series from Stephanie which was very good. (Obviously as we all can see the sale records) I don't want to give anything away about the story line thin but it is similar to Twilight in that it deals with the relationships of humans and non-humans (alien souls) with a love story thrown in. The story is so riveting that you don't want to stop reading. The story has a great ending yet when I finished I was sad because it was such a great story I wanted to keep reading more. The ending definitely leaves an opening for a follow up book if Stephanie wanted to which I hope she does. This is a great read!

    16 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Not worth your time..trust me

    This was very dumb and not worth the money. It was definetly not one of her greatest works. Ps.. vampires dont frickn sparkle. Sorry, twilight chiks who are obssesed, i had to just put that out there.

    15 out of 59 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I really liked this book. it was very original and creative

    I really liked this book. it was very original and creative

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    A Must Read

    I LOVE this book, I read it within 3 days.
    I Highly Recommend this book.
    I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE MOVIE!!! :D

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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Page 1 of 173