Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Host

Book: The Host
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Like/Don't Like: Um, kind of a medium here

I'm going to have to come up with a new category for this one because I can't say that I actually liked it, but then I didn't really dislike it either. I should say up front that if you recognize the author as being the one who wrote those Twilight books, I have not read them. I specifically read this one first because I didn't want to get sucked into a series if I didn't really like her writing style.

And I don't. Except that it's not all bad. See what I mean. It's tough to categorize. I think most of my problems with it is that it needs some serious fine tuning. She's got it in there, she just needs to learn how to edit herself. There were a good 300 pages that she could have cut to tell the exact same story. And it would have been a better story for it because she would have had to use less prosaic terms to describe things. She certainly would have had to cut out all the times she described characters' eyes as "denim" or "sienna" or "chocolate". Well, now I'm just being picky, except to be fair, I think the exact same thing about J.K. Rowlings. Their editors need to start reading the manuscript and stop looking at the dollar signs attached to it.

The story was an interesting one and I wanted to finish it but the characters were dull as cardboard. They were so one-dimensional and she never gave us any background on them to let us know why they were that way. Or any hint as to why they weren't changing. It was all very manufactured conflict and I found myself wishing that something drastic would happen about every 20 pages. A cave-in, a bomb going off, a hang nail. Anything.

I would like to hear from people who have read both this book and the Twilight series and let me know what you think. The girl who recommended this one to me said that she liked it better than the series so that doesn't give me much hope. But her taste is a little different from mine so I don't know.


Rac said...

I kind of know what you mean about this book. I enjoyed it, because I thought it was a very interesting idea, and I liked the whole schitzo dialog going on the whole time. I thought that was funny. But I thought the end was very obvious and predictable, and that disappointed me a bit. My other complaint about her writing style is her descriptions of making out, because their skin is always "on fire" or "scorching" and there's a lot of tingling involved. Which makes me think either she has a really spicy marriage or a very dull one and is guessing. As for a comparison to the Twilight series, I thought "The Host" was much better than the second and third books of the series, but I think "Twilight" pretty much compares as far as style and quality. The second and third books would drive you insane, because if you think she needs to edit out a lot in The Host, you will not enjoy the 300 pages of Bella's ragged hole in her heart and pages and pages of making out. Ugh. I think the author has really great ideas, but is a bit self-indulgent or has an editor that doesn't know what should stay and what should go. Whatever you do, don't read any of the Twilight books aloud. It's very painful.

Karina & John said...

I am on it! I have been meaning to pick up this book. I agree that her 2nd and 3rd books in the series could have been cut in half due her ramblings (ESPECIALLY NEW MOON - or that may just be because Edward wasn't in over half the book). Twilight grabbed me though and I developed a huge crush on Edward and I had to keep reading to find out more about him. (That's pretty sad)

Anonymous said...

I somewhat agree with what you said, but again not really. This book I did enjoy better then the twilight series because I think it has more depth to it and its not just a love story. I realize its hard to get into. In fact the first several chapters are confusing and when I was reading it I just wanted to give up. But I sincerely hope that you would at least try to read it again, because it is really an amazing book and it really makes you think about things. Justttt sayinn.

Anonymous said...

well i absolutely loved both the books. Some people hated the host and breaking dawn but i loved them both. And personally i love Stephenies writing style. Books that could have been ten pages long but were 100 because they described everything bore me to death, and books that are not descriptive at all bore me to. But stephenie's writing is right in the middle and i love it. I agree with the comment above, new moon was just bella talking to herself and it was sooo boring but i wanted to get to the part were edward came bak so i like forced myself to finish it. But in the end i love the host and twilight series and i hope that stephenie keeps writing the host series

Anonymous said...

I disagree with everybody. The Host is one of the best books in the whole world! It has depth, romance, sci-fi, and so much more folded all together. I have reread it at least ten times! It makes you think for days after finishing it - every time! TEAM IAN!

The Twilight Saga IS the best book series in the whole world!! Twilight was my least favorite suprisingly. I love action, but not in this book. I have no clue why! New Moon was my favorite, it really showed how close Bella and Edward and how much he loves her. The movie is GREAT too! Eclipse is good too, it kind of binds them together! Super Good! Breaking Dawn is my second favorite, only because I felt like she squished too much in it! I feel she should have done five books, Breaking Dawn split in two, and go into more depth! TEAM EDWARD!!!!!