If you like Stephenie Meyer's writing but the Twilight series puts a bad taste in your mouth, The Host is for you. It was written for adults, and the complexity and realism reflect that.
The plot is taken from your basic bodysnatcher sci-fi story, but in this book, it's not about resisting the takeover. The takeover has already happened, and the protagonist, Wanderer, is one of the bodysnatchers. Unfortunately, the body she snatched, Melanie, is not happy with her. Then, to make things worse, Wanderer starts falling in love with the memories of Melanie's lover... and he may still be out there to find if they can work together.
The characters here have much more depth than in Meyer's young adult fiction. They have a certain intrinsicness, like they would exist without the framework of the story, and the breadth of the work allows for a deeper exploration of themes like sibling love and romantic rivalry. I also loved how both sides of almost every argument are totally understandable, and Meyer doesn't shy away from shades of gray. Each story question involved me totally.
At first the science fiction elements of the story were a bit eclipsed, but by the end I had the same sci-fi feeling I mentioned in my last review. The feeling that there are things out there that are totally other, but fascinating. And while many of the themes are stock sci-fi themes, they're treated with appropriate sobriety. The ending is amazing.
I like Twilight, but I have a lot of problems with Stephenie Meyer's work (or lack thereof). I've heard from some Twilight fans that they had trouble getting into The Host, which I take to mean that it is indeed a more rewarding read. It is her best work by far.
One of the best bodysnatcher movies I've seen is the 2007 release The Invasion, but no books are coming to mind. Recommendations, anyone?
I post weekly reviews of books in all genres, though I have a special affinity for fantasy and YA. Reviews are posted on Fridays or shortly thereafter, are spoiler-free or clearly marked, and feature recommendations for similar books near the end of the review. I make an effort to give exposure to books that are not already highly publicized and/or are not brand new. If you're passing out review copies and think I might like your book, email me!
My name is Fatalis Fortuna, Fate for short. I am currently a student and a part-time librarian. When I'm not working, I occupy myself with all things fictional, be they in print, on television, or on the silver screen; my two cats, Amontillado (after "The Cask of Amontillado," of course), and Alice (after Alice in Wonderland,); and my novel-in-progress, which is of course the next Great American Novel. To my knowledge it will be the first Great American Novel that is YA urban fantasy, and for this I will become both famous and rich. I've been published in both regional magazines and national magazines (Teen Ink, anyone?), but have not yet cracked the professional market.
Feel free to ask for a list of books in my BookMooch inventory. They're there because I want to give them away, don't be shy.