First though: an admission! I actually did enjoy aspects of this book. I thought the idea behind it was very interesting, and it did keep me interested throughout. However, it made me very very angry. Mostly because of the types of characters Stephenie Meyer promotes and idolises. Great idea, shame it was written by her.
I would love to see the day when Stephenie Meyer realises that a love interest does not need to be an older man who physically assaults the main character. In The Host, the main character has two love interests (sound familiar?), one who tries to strangle her with his bare hands, the other who repeatedly knocks her around, causing her physical pain and injury. How romantic! I can barely contain my hope that I will one day meet a man just like Jared or Ian. And they fight over her, too! There is nothing more romantic than that!
Rating: 1 out of 5
Stephenie Meyer just can’t help herself. I have read all but one of her books, and always her love interests are brutish, angry men who use violence and outbursts to get what they want. And yet the female protagonist is always drawn to them. Melanie/Wanda’s entire reason for being and continuing to exist is to find the men she loves and protect them, even if that means endangering herself. After all, she’s only female. What else is she good for? I’m surprised she just didn’t curl up into a ball and cry for six months.
This entire novel made me angry. From the love at first sight to the resolution at the end, where we are conveniently led to forget that the men these women love are angry bastards who show hardly any decency whatsoever (Jared) or who have murderous tendencies that are likely to resurface at any time (Ian).
The worst part is that I actually liked the premise of the novel. I liked the idea of these alien parasites and the resistance, and think that they could have made a fantastic science fiction novel… if only they hadn’t been written by Stephenine Meyer. If The Host had been a good few hundred pages shorter and written by a different author, it may have actually been a decent novel.
At over 800 pages, and written by Stephenie Meyer, The Host is nothing more than a long-winded rant about humanity and a woman’s need to be with the man she loves, no matter how much of an arsehole he is, no matter how many times he beats her up. It irks me that Stephenie Meyer is such a popular author of young adult books, and that her novels are consistently made into films. The last thing today’s teenagers need is female role models who think it is okay (even ideal), to be in a relationship with a man who abuses them! Enough is enough, Stephenie Meyer. How about some real role models?