The Host | Teen Ink

The Host

August 22, 2008
By withoutamuse DIAMOND, Dewey, Oklahoma
withoutamuse DIAMOND, Dewey, Oklahoma
56 articles 0 photos 19 comments

“I knew it would begin with the end, and the end would look like death to these eyes.” It is with these words that Stephenie Meyer whisks her reader away and into the head of the captured Melanie Stryder, one of the last remaining survivors of the human race. The earth has been infiltrated by an unknown enemy, humanity overthrown, their bodies reused as hosts for the invading souls. Wanderer, the narrator of this inventive tale, has been inserted into Melanie's body in order that the souls may uncover the hiding places of the last of the “wild” humans. As Wanderer begins to probe into Melanie's thoughts, the realization that Melanie is still present in mind and able to resist her terrifies her and leads her on an incredible adventure of undying love and impossible situations.

It is a story of acceptance and overcoming one's prejudices against those whom we do not understand. In The Host, Meyer paints a picture that reveals the intensity of man's hatred towards the alien invaders, yet also, the pure motives behind the soul's actions. Throughout the book, one often finds themselves caught up in an intricate web of conflicting emotions, unable to come to any certain conclusions about the characters themselves. The realization that good and evil are rather relative terms comes to the reader along the way; the fact that one cannot be satisfied with the labeling of a universal society by particular actions.

Surprising twists and turns in the plot cause Melanie and Wanderer to join forces and begin a search for the loved ones Melanie had left behind upon being captured. Both begin to understand the other, accept them, and eventually to love them. However, this is not as easy a task for the other humans once they discover that Melanie's body has been overtaken by one of the perceived murderers of humanity. Over time and after many hardships, Wanderer is able to prove herself and become part of their society. The humans look past the fact that she is part of a civilization that has caused the death of many of their loved ones and see her for how she truly is; pure at heart.

In the end, sacrifices are made and surprise endings unveiled. The reader is left with a smile on their face and a sad longing in their heart for the story to continue. One walks away thinking of how nice life would be if we had Stephenie Meyer to write it for us. Unfortunately, reality is inevitable, and acceptance far more difficult to master.

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