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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • Posted July 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The story that wouldn't end

    This is an interesting story and different form the Twilight saga. I do feel, however, that the book could have been half the length and still have gotten it's message across. Stephenie Meyers tends to be long winded in this particular book. She spends a lot of time detailing the day to day life when this time would be much better spent progressing the story and reaching a conclusion.

    11 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    Awful!!

    Absolutely the worst book I have read. Not only bad, but couldn't even finish it. I read this book until the last 75 pages, and couldn't take the pain anymore. I would never recommend this book to anyone. If this is the route Stephanie Myers is going after the Twilight series, she is going to go bankrupt. I am a 40 something woman, who read the Twilight series once, and thought they were great. I was not obsessed, but really enjoyed them. So I was looking forward to Stephanie's work on other things. Not anymore.

    9 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    Confusing

    I didn't like this book because when I opened this book to read I didn't understand it, it's like opening a random page and you don't know where to start from. She just starts talking and you don't even know what she's talking about. I regret buying this book. I can't return it now;(

    7 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Some one needs to stop this woman from publishing. She's a hack.

    Some one needs to stop this woman from publishing. She's a hack. Her writing is terrible and her characters are flat as boards. Just awful!!

    5 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2012

    I seriously can't stand this book and I am just now starting the

    I seriously can't stand this book and I am just now starting the second chapter. Yes, I am aware that it might be too soon to be making judgments on this book this soon, but I know several people that are almost finished and they hate it as much as I do. I feel like I have to read it or else I wasted my money, but I am seriously considering not even continuing. I am a definite Twihard so I thought that I would love this too, but I am starting to wonder how someone that wrote The Twilight Saga could right this junk. If I could have given it no stars, I would have. I urge you to save your money, I wish I would have.

    3 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Not the best

    Her other books r a lot better then this one i mean alot i just got bored after 5 chapters

    3 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Twilight or Host?

    Better or worse then Twilight?

    3 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2013

    The Host

    I read this book because it was recomended to me. It was not the fabulous book i expected. It was horribly written and its obvious Meyer has no true connection with her characters like other authors such as John Green, C.S. Lewis, Ted Dekker and Tolkein. I was totally disapointed.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

    Please read this! :/

    It wazzz the worst book i have read this year and ive read over 200... no lie...haha... dont get me wrong.. i love stephanie myer and i love twilight... but this book waz confusing and unclear and just plain BORING... i couldnt even read past the 5th page! It made no sense.... like she thought u alredyyy knew the facts bout the book...

    2 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Not hard science fiction

    This is plain old fantasy.

    2 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2010

    The Host

    I was very disappointed in this book as I really enjoyed Meyer's "Twilight" Saga. The major premise of "The Host" was not an intriguing one but I bought the book anyway thinking that Meyer's writing would hook me. I was wrong. While the writing was not awful it couldn't make up for a plot that was very difficult to get into. I ended up not even finishing this book because I found it to be so boring. "The Host" is not a book that I would recommend to anyone, not even Stephenie Meyer fans.

    2 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    S

    Should i read this book im twelve

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Help! Please write back and give me advice!

    Would this book be good for a 10 year old girl who is very mature for age and has already read divergent, matched, part of twilight and other book like those???!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    Anonymous

    I havent read the book but I think its probobly good cause my sister has read it and she loved it.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2013

    Must read!

    Another masterful love story. Very original story line with well developed characters you quickly grow to love or hate. Recommend a box of tissues close by!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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