“The Host” by Stephenie Meyer

the host

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.

Stephenie Meyer’s life changed dramatically on June 2, 2003. The stay-at-home mother of three young sons woke-up from a dream featuring seemingly real characters that she could not get out of her head.

“Though I had a million things to do, I stayed in bed, thinking about the dream. Unwillingly, I eventually got up and did the immediate necessities, and then put everything that I possibly could on the back burner and sat down at the computer to write-something I hadn’t done in so long that I wondered why I was bothering.”

Meyer invented the plot during the day through swim lessons and potty training, then writing it out late at night when the house was quiet. Three months later she finished her first novel, Twilight. With encouragement from her older sister (the only other person who knew she had written a book), Meyer submitted her manuscript to various literary agencies. Twilight was picked out of a slush pile at Writer’s House and eventually made its way to Little, Brown where everyone fell immediately in love with the gripping, star-crossed lovers theme.

Twilight was one of 2005’s most talked about novels and within weeks of its release the book debuted at #5 on The New York Times bestseller list. Among its many accolades, Twilight was named an “ALA Top Ten Books for Young Adults,” an Amazon.com “Best Book of the Decade … So Far”, and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.

The highly-anticipated sequel, New Moon, was released in September 2006 and has spent more than 25 weeks at the #1 position on The New York Times bestseller list.

In 2007, Eclipse landed literally around the world and fans made the Twilight Saga a worldwide phenomenon! With midnight parties, vampire-themed proms and more the enthusiasm for the series continues to grow.

On May 6, 2008, Little, Brown and Company released The Host, Meyer’s highly-anticipated debut for novel adults which debuted at #1 on The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. The Host still remains a staple on the bestseller lists a year after its debut.

On August 2, 2008, the final book in the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn was released at 12:01 midnight. Stephenie made another appearance on “Good Morning America” and was featured in many national media outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, People Magazine and Variety. Stephenie headlined the Breaking Dawn Concert Series with Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October to celebrate the release in four major markets across the US.

The Twilight movie, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starting Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, was released on November 21, 2008. Twilight debuted at #1 at the box office with $70 million, making it the highest debut for a female director.

Stephenie lives in Arizona with her husband and three sons.

Do you want to know a little more about the author?  Here is a Q & A session to find out about the author and the book “The Host”:

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 haven’t had the chance to read this book yet but I certainly can’t wait for the chance.  This is a fantastic writer and while I wasn’t a big fan of the movie adaptation of “Twilight” (I know, I know), I am a huge fan of her work.  Have you read it?  If so, shoot me off the link to your review and I will include it on this post.

Thanks again so much to Miriam at Hachette for this awesome opportunity!

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3 Comments

Filed under Book Tour, Misc

3 responses to ““The Host” by Stephenie Meyer

  1. Hi .. just stopping by on the Blog tour. I am touring later in the week. I am reading this book and will have my hot of the brain review soon. I have links to my other Meyer’s reviews on my blog. I have to say Twilight the book was so much better than the movie.. but I did enjoy the movie also. I am a big fan…..and I don’t even read YA material usually.

  2. Yeah I didn’t like the movie either but I really enjoyed reading her series. I also haven’t read the Host.
    I’d give you a link to my Twilight review but I didn’t write one haha 🙂 There are just so many Twilight reviews out there they don’t need one more.

  3. Tiffani

    I’m sorry this book was ok but it was too dragged out in my opinion escpecially the cave parts it might have been better if it was a little condensed! not my favorite book. I enjoyed twilight series much more!

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