Sunday, December 27, 2009

Language: 0
Violence: 4
Sexual Content: 3
Adult Themes: 3
Title:  The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Ratings Explanation
Violence:  Melanie is attacked by a man in the dark and held at knife point.  On Fire World, Fire Tasters burned Walking Flowers alive and ingested the smoke as their nourishment.  Eight humans surround Wanderer/Melanie “slavering for blood.”  Jared backhands Wanderer/Melanie with force enough to slam her into the rock floor.  Ian wraps his hands around Wanderer/Melanie’s throat in an attempt to strangle her.  Jared, Ian and Kyle take turns beating one another repeatedly throughout the book.  Doc kidnaps souls “…and mutilated, dismembered, tortured bodies, ripped into grotesque shreds.”… to learn more about them.  Jamie breaks Jared’s nose.  Melanie/Wanderer punches Jared after he kisses her.  Kyle attempts to kill Melanie/Wanderer and she ultimately saves his life.  Wes is killed by a Seeker.  At Wanderer/Melanie’s request, Jared hits Wanderer in the face with a rock and scrapes a few layers of skin off.
Sexual Content:  Sensuously described passionate kissing between Melanie, a 17 year old female and Jared, a 26 year old male.  Sensuous kissing and groping between Jared and Wanderer/Melanie and Wanderer/Melanie and Ian.  Ian implies that Wanderer ought to experience sex while she is living a human life.  Homosexual reference, one man to another, “But if you try cuddling up to me tonight…so help me, O’Shea.” 
Adult Themes:  Melanie attempts suicide by jumping down an elevator shaft.  She does not die, but is severely injured.  Wanderer/Melanie nearly dies of dehydration and starvation in the desert.  Euthenasia: Walter, a human suffering from cancer is given a morphine overdose and dies.  Wanda decides to sacrifice herself so Melanie can have her body back.
Wanderer, an invading “soul” with seven past lives, has been given Melanie Stryder’s body.  A human body - the host body.  The unseen souls (aliens) have been invading human bodies in a covert war with the human race.  A soul is a small silver centipede being that is inserted at the base of a human neck, where it connects its many legs to the human host’s brain and body, thereby controlling the host body and ultimately causing the human within to disappear.
Wanderer finds her host, Melanie, does not disappear.  Wanderer infiltrates Melanie’s memories in search of the whereabouts of the human resistance.  Melanie exposes Wanderer to her memories of human love and desire.  Wanderer finds that she also yearns to be with this man she has never known.  Melanie and Wanderer unite in a dangerous journey to find Jared and Melanie’s younger brother, Jamie as they traverse the unforgiving desert of the Southwest.  Wanderer is conflicted as she is forced to choose between the human race and her native race. 
The Literate Mother received a specific request that this book be read and reviewed.  I had to slog my way through the first 130 pages.  The author spent too much time describing the setting of the story and then finally the story began.  This book is Meyer’s first foray into writing expressly for adults.  This novel may be popular with science fiction fans.  “The Host” ultimately questions,  “What is our definition of a relationship?”  After the unhealthy relationships exhibited in The Twilight Series, this would seem to be a natural course for Meyer’s to explore.  As an Arizona Resident, I enjoyed the descriptions of the Sonoran Desert and Picacho Peak.  This book would be appropriate for a high school aged reader, if they were captivated by the story.  I was not.
Categories: Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, High School

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