Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Reads:

Recently, I read The Host by Stephanie Meyer. I think I should preface this by saying that I did not like any of the Twilight books. While I thought the subject matter (read: twinkling vampires and a weak female protagonist) was at best, completely ridiculous, and the writing not exactly stellar, I think the author did a good job of using her words to draw you in. Despite the fact that you hated what you were reading (or at least, I did), you read it. You had to finish it. And that's how she sold millions of copies. No judgement. She's actually a pretty decent storyteller and I can respect that. So I figured with this new book of hers, I'd give her another shot. Maybe I'd enjoy this one more.

So, let's talk about The Host. Have you read it? I think it was recently made into a movie. Maybe you watched that instead. Maybe you've never even heard of it. Maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about. So here it is:

"Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wandered, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. 

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love."

And my thoughts? While I didn't hate it was much as any of her vampire stories, I still didn't care for it. I can't pinpoint why. I read the first few chapters and kept thinking, "okay, just read a little bit more. Things will start to make sense and you'll get sucked in if you just stick with it a little longer." And I kept saying that to myself. Before I knew it I was two-thirds of the way through the story and still saying that to myself. It never really grabbed me. I didn't connect with any of the characters. I wasn't involved. I didn't really care what happened to anyone. And I didn't even really want to finish it. I did though, only because I have a hard time leaving a story unresolved, even if I don't like it. So I pushed myself to finish the book. And was relieved to be done. That's not the kind of reaction I generally have at the end of a story. It was a strange experience, reading this book.

So here's my advice: if you liked her other stuff, then you'll probably like this, but maybe not as much. If you weren't a fan of her before, this isn't going to win you over. You can probably skip it. If you do decide to pick it up, check it out from the library or pick up a cheap used copy. This isn't something you'd want to shell out full-price for a nice, new edition that will sit on your bookshelf for years to come. If you actually make it all the way through, you will probably never pick it up again. Or at least, I never will.

Did you read it? What are your thoughts? Have you seen the movie? Is it any better than the book?

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