I pretty much do what I'm told.
(Sometimes not right away, of course. And occasionally I'll say that I'll do something, then I actually don't. But I probably won't ever tell you NO, not right out loud. And mostly, I just do it.)
But anyway, some of you told me you want a review of The Host (great hordes of you, numbering maybe in the double digits). I have been accosted not only on my blog, but by email, phone, and even in real live life. I have just started reading a book entitled Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History, so maybe all this passive aggression and obedience will soon be in my past. Maybe reading Women's History textbooks will turn me into a lawless, bra-less, big-mouthed libber, but so far all I've learned is that making t-shirts with catchy phrases on the front is very lucrative. And honestly, those shirts are gonna look better if I've got a bra under them.
So, The Host. I feel nervous embarking on this, because the Twilight books excite such strong feelings in such normally mild-mannered women. Ladies don't just take em or leave em: they
a) REALLY, REALLY LOVE them, and sometimes accidentally call their husbands 'Edward'
b) Really love them, and have read them more than once
c) just love them a little
d) read them, all of them, immediately upon their hardback release, even though they don't totally love them, and cannot explain why they keep throwing cash at them
e) read them, but without letting them disrupt their lives and laundry (these are women who might be dead inside, or have nary a romantic bone in their bodies)
f) can't read them because the books have been burned or banned in their countries, and besides, they don't know how to read. And if they could read, they wouldn't waste their time on such fluffy American drivel.
g) sort of hate them but can't say that out loud because they fear they will be shunned by their Edward-lovin' peers
h) haven't read any of them yet (only because the books haven't been translated into Farsi).
i) haven't ever seen or heard of them (a la Helen Keller)
I am a 'd'. I was intrigued by Twilight. I felt like a teen again while I read it. (Or more, like I wished I'd felt as a teen, because I totally forgot to have exciting, amorous adventures with vampires or even regular boys back then). I couldn't put it down, but then when I was done I couldn't figure out why I got so caught up. (Da Vinci Code was another of these. I ended up reading everything Dan Brown ever wrote and then was very sorry I did). I don't love her writing (though it isn't terrible), or the characters, but I can't deny that Meyer has got something going here. I'll give ya that, Stephenie. I didn't like the next two books nearly as well, but I read em.
I'll admit it (sheepishly).
The Host is even further out of my literary comfort zone than than the Twilight books. We are talking alien invasion, people. Parasitic aliens who need human host bodies to survive, and have taken over the earth before the beginning of the novel. Course, it turns out they aren't all bad. There has been something of a misunderstanding. And, whoops. One strong-minded human whose spirit (my word) doesn't wholly disappear when the alien is inserted into the back of her neck. Which can be so embarrassing. For both parties involved. It is like when you steal a car, and as you drive off you notice the owner is handcuffed to the back seat. And the handcuff keys are lost. And you really need THIS car, because if you get out of the car, you will immediately die.
Yeah. It is pretty much exactly like that. I'm SO good at analogies.
You know something I really enjoyed? That most of the novel is set out in the desert by Picacho Peak. I have always had a special place in my heart for Picacho Peak (funny shaped hill sticking out of desert to the west of Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson.
They used to have a grimy little old Dairy Queen there that I used to frequent as I commuted back and forth on weekends between school at the U of A and all the cute boys (and my family) in Mesa. And did you know that Picacho Pass was the scene of the westernmost battle in the Civil War on April 15, 1862? Well, it was. All that and a gift shop with velvet desert paintings, too. Which is great, but don't head down there expecting Gettysburg, cause then you might be a little sad.
The human protagonist in this novel has a little more gumption than her Twilight counterpart, but the alien is just as wimpy as Bella and you want to slap her around a little. I actually enjoyed the bizarre relationship the two women shared, but then Meyer muddies the waters by introducing their love interests (yes, that was plural. And yes, they just have the one body.) An aside: Why does she always have boys physically carrying girls around? It bugs. Girls know how to walk, even alien-infested girls. I can't decide if I was generally more annoyed or fascinated. But I do know that at some points I was neither; I was bored. Things really slowed down. Melanie/Wanda mopes around in a dark hole for what felt like 200 pages. And then the end was mildly disappointing, and mildly pedophilic. No, maybe predatory is a better word. (Especially in the case of all the vampires.) Maybe Meyer uses the teen girl/older man relationships to titillate her younger readers. I thought it worked in Twilight. I was just creeped out a little here.
But even boring and creepy didn't slow me down or stop me. I pressed on, and finished the book in a 24 hour period. So as much as I complain, I still can't explain why I keep coming back.
Someone told me the 4th Twilight book is on its way. You know I'm gonna read it. And you probably will, too. Unless you are a closet 'g'.
What sort of Stephenie Meyer reader are you? You can feel free to add additional letter choices if you cannot fit comfortably into mine.