Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review and Blog Tour: The Host by Stephenie Meyer


Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

One of the most compelling writers of our time, Stephenie Meyer brings us a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the very essence of what it means to be human.

Author Q & A

1. What inspired the idea for The Host?

The kernel of thought that became The Host was inspired by absolute boredom. I was driving from Phoenix to Salt Lake City, through some of the most dreary and repetitive desert in the world. It’s a drive I’ve made many times, and one of the ways I keep from going insane is by telling myself stories. I have no idea what sparked the strange foundation of a body-snatching alien in love with the host body’s boyfriend over the host-body’s protest. I was halfway into the story before I realized it. Once I got started, though, the story immediately demanded my attention. I could tell there was something compelling in the idea of such a complicated triangle. I started writing the outline in a notebook, and then fleshed it out as soon as I got to a computer. The Host was supposed to be no more than a side project—something to keep me busy between editing stints on Eclipse—but it turned into something I couldn’t step away from until it was done.

2. Did you approaching writing The Host, your first adult novel, differently than your YA series?

Not at all. Like the Twilight Saga (this is probably the only way The Host is like the Twilight Saga!), The Host is just a story I had fun telling myself. My personal entertainment is always the key to why a story gets finished. I never think about another audience besides myself while I’m writing; that can wait for the editing stage.

3. You have referred to The Host as being a science fiction novel for people who don't like science fiction. Can you explain why?

Reading The Host doesn’t feel like reading science fiction; the world is familiar, the body you as the narrator are moving around inside of is familiar, the emotions on the faces of the people around you are familiar. It’s very much set in this world, with just a few key differences. If it weren’t for the fact that alien stories are by definition science fiction, I wouldn’t classify it in that genre.

4. There is a lot of internal dialogue between Wanderer, the narrator and invading "soul", and Melanie, the human whose body Wanderer is now living inside. Each character has her own distinct voice and internal struggle. Was it a challenge to have the two characters, who essentially take up one body, stand on their own?

Wanderer and Melanie were very distinct personalities to me from day one; keeping them separate was never an issue. Melanie is the victim—she’s the one that we, as humans, should identify with; at the same time, she is not always the more admirable character. She can be angry and violent and ruthless. Wanderer is the attacker, the thief. She is not like us, not even a member of our species. However, she is someone that I, at least, wish I was more like. She’s a better person than Melanie in a lot of ways, and yet a weaker person. The differences between the two main characters are the whole point of the story. If they weren’t so distinct, there would have been no reason to write it.

5. Did any of the characters surprise you while writing?

I am constantly surprised by my characters when I write—it’s really one of my favorite parts. When a character refuses to do what I had planned for him or her, that’s when I know that character is really alive. There were several characters who caught me off guard with The Host. One in particular was slated for a bit part as the wingman to the villain. Somehow, he knew he was more than that, and I couldn’t stop him from morphing into a main love interest.

6. Your Twilight series has had a lot of crossover appeal for adult readers, do you think The Host will also appeal to your younger readers?

I’ve had a great deal of interest from my YA readers about the release of The Host. I have no doubt that they will continue to make up a core part of my readership. I love blurring the lines between the different genres and categories—because in my head, a good book won’t fit inside the lines. I hope that The Host continues to do what the Twilight Saga is doing: showing that a good story doesn’t belong to any one demographic.

7. How do you feel about the enormous success that you’ve had with the Twilight series? How has it changed your life?

I am continually shocked by the success of my books. I never take it for granted, and I do not count on it in my expectations of my future. It’s a very enjoyable thing, and I’ll have fun with it while it lasts. I’ve always considered myself first and foremost a mother, so being a writer hasn’t changed my life too much – except I do travel a lot more and have less free time.

8. What adult authors do you read?

I’ve been reading books for adults my entire life. Growing up I was an avid reader—the thicker the book, the better. Pride and Prejudice, Gone with the Wind, The Sword of Shannara, Jane Eyre, Rebecca, etc. I’m a huge fan of Orson Scott Card, and Jane Austen-- I can’t go through a year without re-reading her stuff again.


I have to admit that sci-fi is not a genre that I'm usually drawn to. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't read it, it just depends on the story. I read the young adult Twilight series when it came out and while I wasn't always crazy about the story line I did enjoy Stephenie Meyer's writing. She made the pages fly by and I wanted to know what was going to happen next.

The same thing happened in this book. It took me a little while to get into it but once I did I was engrossed in the story. It's a large book but it went quickly. I had read other people's comments where they mentioned that it didn't seem like a sci-fi book once you started reading it. That was the same feeling I got. It's not that you forget that aspect, especially since it's about aliens invading humans' minds, but there is so much more to it. The relationships of the characters are quite complex and interesting. Melanie is the human and her body will become the host for Wanderer, a new soul. But Melanie doesn't give up and go away and she and Wanderer share one mind. Two species are intermingling in one body and that wasn't part of the plan. Wanderer begins to experience Melanie's emotions and memories and rather than destroy her they form a bond. When Melanie shares her worries about her loved ones Wanderer feels it too and they set off on a journey of survival, trying to adapting to their new world.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I cared about the characters and wanted to know what was going to happen to them. Meyer took an unusual idea and made it interesting. If you are a fan of her writing I think you will like this one as well.

Author's website -
Book website -

These are the blogs who are hosting for the rest of the month. Check them out!

Thank you to Miriam at Hatchette Books for including me in this tour and for providing me with the books to giveaway in my contest.


  1. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book too. It is certainly sci-fi, but it's not "way out there." Hope all is well with you and your family.

  2. Thanks for the Q & A with Meyer. I love author interviews. She semms very down to earth despite her success.

  3. Sci-Fi is the last genre I would read but your wonderful review and insight has me getting closer to the edge. I might even consider reading this one. Great review!

  4. I really enjoyed this novel when it first came out.

    Great interview. I think the best stories are those that entertain the authors themselves.

  5. I love this book so much more than the Twilight saga. I heard rumors that she may continue in this world. Not sure how I feel about that. I'm looking forward to the ghost story that she has been playing with


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