So we all have those books that stick with us. The stories we come back to for the plot or the moments we overlooked or the characters we love and wish to be. For me that list of books is pretty long. In my house you can tell which books are most beloved because of where they are on the bookcase in my room.
One of these books for me is Stephanie Meyer’s The Host. I know what you’re thinking. I hate Stephanie Meyer. She can’t writer and her stories are lifeless and sad. I’m not making excuses for Twilight because quite frankly I don’t want to get into that whole mess, but I will say a bit before I get into The Host. I have read them and at the time I enjoyed them for what they were. I was fourteen when I read Twilight and I thought that it was a sweet love story and at the time vampires were all the rage I eagerly awaited each new book and the release of the movie. It was only after I watched the first Twilight movie that I realized the books I’d loved as a teenager didn’t hold up to the ideas I loved as a young adult.
When The Host came out I did not plan to read it. A friend told me to borrow it and after it sat on my bookshelf for six months I knew I was gonna need to get it back to him so I begrudgingly got started. I was reading before class and a friend saw what I was reading and asked how much I loved it. I replied with a deadpan, “this is the worst book I’ve ever read.” That continued for the next two days and I could not stop reading. On the third day when she asked me what I thought I freaked out and started getting so excited cause I was almost done. Obviously my initial impression of The Host was wrong, but before I talk about what I loved let’s talk about why I didn’t love it at first.
It was long. Like 800 pages of exposition and wandering through the desert before you get into the main plot. The first 200 or so pages are mostly just Wanderer (the alien) and Melanie (the human) talking to each other. And it took me a while to care about any of the characters. It didn’t happen until there were other characters to put everything in perspective.
So while I spent a lot of time complaining about reading The Host it’s one of my favorite books to read. The length is one thing I love about it. Every time I reread it I feel like I’m seeing something new in it, and the relationships are some of my favorite. Recently The Host was adapted just like every other YA book out there, but it was never written or promoted as a Young Adult book so it’s not Twilight or any of the other movie adaptation. And as adaptations go it was incredibly faithful to the story. There were differences and things that were left out, but again it was a 800 page book. How would that have been condensed into a two hour movie?
There are a few others, mostly books that I reread when a new book in the series is coming out so I remember everything that’s happened. Occasionally there are some books I like rereading my favorite parts because I liked the characters to the story so much. Lately I’ve felt the need to defend Stephanie Meyer and point out that Twilight wasn’t the only book she wrote and that The Host is one of my favorites. What are some of your favorite books to reread? Comment below?