The Host is the latest offering from uber-author Stephanie Meyer, goddess of the teen novel. She wrote such other treasures (and I say this completely unsarcastically) as Eclipse. As I've said previously, bestest book ever.
In this book, which does not take place in Bella and Edward's world; rather, in a post-body snatcher utopian society. The main character, Wanderer, is a slithery silver worm, and, along with other slithery silver worms, have been implanted into the bodies of the people on earth. Wanderer takes over the body of a girl named Melanie.
Melanie, however, refuses to give up her mind and disappear, so the two of them need to coexist in their brain. They escape this utopian society the body snatchers - or souls, as they call themselves - and track down a group of rebel humans hiding out in the desert, where Melanie knows her little brother and boyfriend have escaped to.
It's a nice story about self-sacrifice, which I can appreciate. It takes a while to get into it, but once you get into the meat of the story, it's well worth it. The ending is quite satisfying.
I find myself, however, a bit uncomfortable by something that seems to be a trend in Ms. Meyer's books. In the Edward books, Bella is 17 years-old, while Edward is a vampire, and therefore very old. Yes, Bella needs to be that age so the intended audience can relate, and Edward needs to be his age, but since he was turned as a teenager, it's all right. However, in The Host, Melanie's body is 17, while her boyfriend is 26, and while they fight over not sleeping together because of "conventions", it turns out the boyfriend is only hesitant because he hasn't stocked up on birth control. Later, when Wanda (as the Wanderer's come to be known whilst living in Melanie's body) is livin with the rebels, she forms a relationship with another man, also in his upper 20's.
After she gives up Melanie's body, the humans go find her another one. This one, however, is 16 years-old. And, although she lies and says she's going to be 18 in a couple weeks, the fact remains that she's 16, and is still sleeping in the same bed as this late-20's man.
My concern is that these books are meant for teenage readers. The teenagers in this book are having romantic encounters with men in their late-20's. I know that, as a Mormon, Ms. Meyer is trying to keep morals forefront in her stories, hence the importance of family and self-sacrifice, but I can't help but wonder if maybe she's missing a big problem.
Just a thought. Either way, definitely a good book for a long plane, train or car-ride.