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The Host Review
Ask middle school and high school teachers what students are reading as an Accelerated Reader or independent novel choice, and several may say one of the Stephenie Meyer books. Many students are reading one of the Twilight saga books, but some are trying out The Host.
The Host Has Aliens and Souls
The Host [Little, Brown and Company, May 6, 2008] has over 600 pages. However, students are plowing through it. It starts out with a very bleak outlook for Earth. The aliens have come and taken over. They have not slashed and killed as in other "alien take-over" stories. These aliens have taken over the bodies, and new "souls" are in control. The aliens generally are not aggressive; however, there are "Seekers" whose job it is to go and to find resisters. These are human who have not had new "souls" implanted in the base of their neck.
Strong Female Main Characters
The soul is supposed to break the host and take over its mind. The Wanderer or Wanda as she is later called is having a little problem. Her host, Melanie, Is not cooperating. Melanie is resisting and trying to find her younger brother Jamie and boyfriend Jared. The two main characters are strong women living in the same body. They both end up wanting the same man, as the Wanderer has learned of Melanie's memories. This creates an interesting love triangle as Wanda ends up finding a group of resisters in an underground cave, which includes Melanie's brother and boyfriend. At the same time, they are being chased by a Seeker. Much of the action happens as the resisters are "stealing" supplies in the cities with the help of Wanda.
Tying It All Together
As with Meyer's last saga, she ends up tying up all of the loose ends with a happy ending. Read The Host for an interesting ride of what could happen when aliens find Earth a pleasant place to inhabit. Although it is a science fiction book, many middle school and high school students find the ending pleasing and enjoy the love story.
This fantasy genre appeals to many students. For the middle school or high school teacher, students can write a comparison paper between Twilight and The Host. With the new movie, New Moon and Twilight mania, many students are readily reading the Meyer books.