As Mrs. Thrash pointed out on Friday, we will soon be starting our D.E.A.R. time. You’ll get the chance to pick out your own reading-for-fun novel and I hope that you all will be able to find one that you enjoy. Just in case you are having trouble finding that perfect book, I thought I would do another book review. I will continue to do these throughout the week, which will hopefully give you guys some ideas on what to read.
Since I know how much you all like movies, I thought my second review should also have that coming-soon-to-theaters connection. On March 29, The Host will hit the big screen but the novel was first written in 2008 by Stephenie Meyer. Does that name sound familiar? It should! Stephenie Meyer wrote the best-selling Twilight series. The Host is her first novel that does not delve into the world of Edward and Bella.
The Host tells the story of a dystopian society: a future world that can feature controlling technology, oppressive governments, harsh conditions and a small group of people trying to fight against and resist some sort of big, bad force. The villain in this case? An alien race that has taken over Earth by getting into our brains and erasing our personalities. This has made the Earth a peaceful and docile place; there are no wars, no one is suffering and no one is unhappy. Sounds pretty good right? Well, unfortunately the trade off is that you are no longer yourself. Your brain is completely gone and you are controlled by the parasite that now lives there.
There are a few humans who have managed to resist this invasion. They live underground, trying to avoid contact with this alien race (called “Souls”) and are trying to figure out a way to drive out the Souls and reclaim Earth. One of these humans is Melanie, a young woman who lives in this underground community with her boyfriend Jared. One night, Melanie is captured by a police force that hunts these rogue humans and Melanie is taken over by a Soul called Wanderer. What Wanderer (or Wanda as she is called for short) is surprised to find is how powerful Melanie is. Melanie is not going to give into Wanda’s control so easily and the two soon find themselves battling for control.
In an effort to regain control over her body, Melanie begins to show Wanda memories of her past and tries to express how much she loves Jared and the rest of her rebel group. Wanda decides to track down the rebel hideout and when she arrives, most of the group wants to kill her, since she is technically an alien and can give away their location at any time. However, Wanda (in Melanie’s body) is slowly accepted into the group and, much to Wanda’s surprise, she finds herself falling in love with one of the members: Ian. This causes a great deal of conflict between Wanda and Melanie, since they both love two different people. Unfortunately, things only get more complicated because a Seeker, one of those assigned to find the rebel humans, has been tracking Wanda and is hot on her trail.
The size of The Host might be a little daunting; the book is a few hundred pages long and doesn’t look like a quick read. However, Meyer draws you into this world that she has created and you’ll find yourself flying through the book in order to figure out how on Earth it’s all going to end. The conflict between Melanie, Wanda, Jared, Ian and the Seeker is definitely an interesting and unique one. I had heard several years ago that Meyer planned on making The Host a trilogy but as of right now, there is only the one book. But if she does eventually write another, you’ll be ahead of the game!
As I said before the film version of The Host will be released at the end of March and stars Saoirse Ronan as Melanie/Wanda, Diane Kruger as The Seeker and Max Irons as Jared. I am intrigued to see how the internal conflict between Wanda and Melanie is portrayed in the film. Saoirse Ronan, a young actress from Ireland, is one of my favorites; she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Atonement and was also in the film adaptation of The Lovely Bones. These are my two favorite books, so I’m a little biased toward her.
Be sure to check out the trailer for the film below and get a look at some of the pictures from the film.