The Host: A Novel

By Stephenie Meyer
Binding:Hardcover
Publisher:Little, Brown and Company, (5/6/2008)
Language:English



Average Rating:
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3.80 out of 5 (10 Clubie's ratings)


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The author of the Twilight series of # 1 bestsellers delivers her brilliant first novel for adults: a gripping story of love and betrayal in a future with the fate of humanity at stake.

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.

Wanderer, 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.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.
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Nadine's thoughts on "The Host: A Novel"
updated on:5/5/2011



Very Unleashable



neeltje's thoughts on "The Host: A Novel"
updated on:4/25/2011



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krstn1335's thoughts on "The Host: A Novel"
updated on:9/28/2010

Enjoyed this read..however it does get a little slow during certain parts.

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CindyD's thoughts on "The Host: A Novel"
updated on:8/25/2009

I had a hard time getting into this and never really enbraced the whole "alien" thing.

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missmollyqueen's thoughts on "The Host: A Novel"
updated on:8/20/2009

i'm still in the middle of it!

DEFINITELY Unleash it



Fiction Lover's thoughts on "The Host: A Novel"
updated on:7/29/2009

If you have read Twilight, then you will love The Host, written by the same author, Stephanie Myers. It is geared toward older readers, but again, any age group will love it. Although I am not a "sci-fi" person, and not into alien stories, the plot goes beyond that, just as Twilight does. "Don't judge a book by it's cover"

DEFINITELY Unleash it



lucindagarton's thoughts on "The Host: A Novel"
updated on:5/27/2009



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Shan's thoughts on "The Host: A Novel"
updated on:5/25/2009

hard to get into but once hooked could not put down

Very Unleashable



reader's thoughts on "The Host: A Novel"
updated on:5/13/2009

Not my cup of tea. I'm not into reading books about alien invaders.

Mildly Unleashable



carlie's thoughts on "The Host: A Novel"
updated on:4/26/2009



DEFINITELY Unleash it


"The Host: A Novel"
By Stephenie Meyer

Average Rating:
Unleash it
3.80 out of 5 (10 Clubie's ratings)


The Gentleman
The Gentleman
By Forrest Leo

 
 
 General reading guide discussion questions to be used with ANY book your book club or reading group might be discussing.
 
 

1. How does the poem “Question” by May Swenson, which appears as the epigraph at the beginning of the novel, relate to some of the important themes in The Host?

2. The souls are described as bright silver ribbonlike creatures with hundreds of tiny tentacles. To some they seem beautiful, while others liken them to “worms” and “centipedes.” Do you think the souls’ physical form suits their nature? If you were to imagine a different form to give the souls, what would it be?

3. There is an ongoing debate in The Host about the true nature of humans. Wanderer refl ects, “The humans were brutish and ungovernable. They had killed one another so frequently that murder had been an accepted part of life” (page 47). Do you think this brutality is innate to mankind? If so, does this make the peaceable souls’ decision to take over the earth more ethical?

4. While most of The Host is narrated by Wanderer, Melanie occasionally takes over the narration to relate important memories. Why might Stephenie Meyer have chosen to tell the story in this way? Did you connect more with one voice than the other?

5. The souls believe they are transforming the vicious human world into a utopia. Is the society the souls construct better than the natural society of humans? Melanie tells Wanderer that humans realized the souls were taking over bodies “when the evening Host_TPtextF1.indd 642 2/5/10 11:32:31 PM news was nothing but inspiring human-interest stories . . . when everything morphed into Mayberry” (page 108). How does the society of the souls on earth compare to your image of “a perfect world”?

6. The souls are morally complicated creatures. On one hand, they are “all things good: compassionate, patient, honest, virtuous, and full of love” (page 3). On the other, they survive by taking over the bodies and minds of unsuspecting hosts. Does the parasitic nature of the souls overshadow their virtuous qualities? Did you sympathize with the souls, or did you view them as the clear enemies of humans?

7. When Wanderer is lost in the desert searching for Jared and Jamie, Melanie tells her, “You’ve fi nally found the place and the body you’d die for. I think you’ve found your home, Wanderer” (page 113). What is the signifi cance of “home” in The Host? Why has Wanderer chosen to move from world to world for so many millennia? Can earth ever really be home for a soul?

8. When Wanderer fi rst arrives in the caves, she refl ects, “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” (page 141). Are these extremes inevitable? Are our darker inclinations essential to the richness of human experience? Do you agree with the premise that more purely “good” beings like the souls can’t experience life as fully as humans can?

9. The humans in the caves are divided about how to view and treat Wanderer. Do you think it is more reasonable to extend kindness to Wanderer or to ostracize her as a potential threat to the group? If you lived in the caves, how would you greet her arrival?

10. Of everybody in the caves, Jared reacts to Wanderer in a manner that is perhaps the most complex. Does the way he treats her surprise you? What do you imagine is going through his head in the fi rst days after Wanderer’s arrival? What instigates the change in his attitude toward her?

11. When Wanderer /Melanie fi rst arrive at the caves, Melanie is eager for them to explain their situation, but Wanderer insists on staying mute, even if it means being subject to imprisonment and abuse. Why does Wanderer make this choice? Do you think it is a wise one? How might things have played out differently if they had done it Melanie’s way?

12. While Wanderer describes many of the worlds where she has lived in great detail, we learn very little about her birth world, The Origin. How do you imagine The Origin? What would a world populated only by souls be like?

13. Near the novel’s end, Wanda makes a deal with Doc. Do you think she makes the right decision about Melanie’s fate and her own? Were you satisfi ed with the humans’ response to her decision?

14. Jamie tells Wanderer he chose Pet because “I was looking for someone who looked like you. And I thought this looked like you” (page 605). Do you agree with Jamie? Do you think Pet’s body matches Wanderer’s nature?

15. Imagine a prequel to The Host. Of the different worlds Wanderer lived on before arriving on Earth, which would you be most interested in imagining more fully? Similarly, each of the humans living in the caves during The Host has a back story. Which of these would you be most interested in learning more about?

Clubie Submitted Discussion Questions
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Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, May 2008: Stephenie Meyer, creator of the phenomenal teen-vamp Twilight series, takes paranormal romance into alien territory in her first adult novel. Those wary of sci-fi or teen angst will be pleasantly surprised by this mature and imaginative thriller, propelled by equal parts action and emotion. A species of altruistic parasites has peacefully assumed control of the minds and bodies of most humans, but feisty Melanie Stryder won't surrender her mind to the alien soul called Wanderer. Overwhelmed by Melanie's memories of fellow resistor Jared, Wanderer yields to her body's longing and sets off into the desert to find him. Likely the first love triangle involving just two bodies, it's unabashedly romantic, and the characters (human and alien) genuinely endearing. Readers intrigued by this familiar-yet-alien world will gleefully note that the story's end leaves the door open for a sequel--or another series. --Mari Malcolm 

From Publishers Weekly
In this tantalizing SF thriller, planet-hopping parasites are inserting their silvery centipede selves into human brains, curing cancer, eliminating war and turning Earth into paradise. But some people want Earth back, warts and all, especially Melanie Stryder, who refuses to surrender, even after being captured in Chicago and becoming a host for a soul called Wanderer. Melanie uses her surviving brain cells to persuade Wanderer to help search for her loved ones in the Arizona desert. When the pair find Melanie's brother and her boyfriend in a hidden rebel cell led by her uncle, Wanderer is at first hated. Once the rebels accept Wanderer, whom they dub Wanda, Wanda's whole perspective on humanity changes. While the straightforward narrative is short on detail about the invasion and its stunning aftermath, it shines with romantic intrigue, especially when a love triangle (or quadrangle?!) develops for Wanda/Melanie. 10-city author tour. (May) 
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 

Review
"A brilliant and fascinating premise.... Its mix of adventure and new love on a new Earth is just right to get lost in this summer." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sherri Hallgren 2008)

"The Host lives up to the hype, blending science fiction and romance in a way that has never worked so well." (Library Journal Jane Jorgenson 2008)

"An epic story of love, family, and loyalty. . . . The Host is The X-Files meets Days of Our Lives." (USA Today Carol Memmott 2008)

"Meyer is more interested in relationships than in flashy genre conventions. . . . Meyer's affirmative life lesson is disarming." (Entertainment Weekly Jeff Giles )

"Meyer has, like one of her vampires, turned into something rare and more than merely human: a literary phenomenon....The way she manages the reader's curiosity maintaining tension and controlling the flow of information, is simply virtuosic....People do not want to just read Meyer's books; they want to climb inside them and live there." (Time Lev Grossman )

"A fantastic, inventive, thoughtful, and powerful novel. The Host should come with a warning label: it will grab you and keep you reading well into the wee hours of night, and keep you thinking, deeply, hauntingly, well after the final word. Stephenie Meyer captures characters and handles story line like a master--a hybrid combination of Stephen King and Isaac Asimov."
(Ridley Pearson )

"Stephenie Meyer is an amazing phenomenon--out of the brightness of her mind and spirit comes the illuminated darkness of her stories. For no matter how much pain her characters suffer, Meyer infuses the tales with light and hope." (Orson Scott Card ) --This text refers to the Paperback edition. 

Product Description
The author of the Twilight series of # 1 bestsellers delivers her brilliant first novel for adults: a gripping story of love and betrayal in a future with the fate of humanity at stake. 

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.

Wanderer, 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.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.

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About the Author
Stephenie Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature, and she lives with her husband and three young sons in Arizona. Stephenie is the author of TwilightNew Moon and Eclipse


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