Sometime in the near future, silvery parasitic aliens infiltrate the human population, bringing peace and love but causing their hosts’ personalities to be erased. Melanie Stryder is a seventeen-year-old post apocalyptic street fighter with a bad attitude who also happens to be stunningly gorgeous. Wanderer is a 1,000-year-old well-traveled female alien soul who, despite being parasitic, is altruistic to the point of martyrdom. The two of them are both attempting to occupy Melanie’s body and making a sorry hash of it. (Souls are surgically inserted into the base of the neck by doctors who have already been Body-Snatched.) Melanie is trying to keep the location of her small rebel human outpost a secret from her parasite, but eventually the soul breaks through and seeks out Melanie’s man, Jared, her little brother Jamie, and a rag tag assortment of other folks who have managed to evade having their brain stems coated with memory-wiping silver silly-putty. When Melanie’s body first shows up at the secret desert camp under the direction of Wanderer, the insurgent humans are all for murdering her on the spot, but Wanderer wins them over by giving voice to Melanie’s thoughts and discovering to her own surprise that she actually digs these passionate, violent, lusty life forms. Things get complicated when two of the men in camp both fall for the dystopian Sybil—Jared, Melanie’s hot, older-man savior-type, and Ian, a brooding bad boy who has lost his heart to the selfless Wanderer, who he calls “Wanda.” Sound familiar? It should–Meyer treads some of the same supernatural romantic love triangle ground she traveled so well in her enormously popular Twilight series. If you liked those books, you’re gonna love this one. Personally, Meyer’s melodramatic dialogue drove me a little nuts, but I did dig her descriptions of Wanderer’s past worlds, and the sympathetic alien’s fascination with this planet. Clocking in at over 600 pages, it’s also not going to be easy to stuff in your backpack. If you prefer your interspecies romances with a few less pages and a bit more grit, you may want to pick up a copy of the now classic Blood and Chocolate, one of my all time fav romantic horror stories, instead.
The Host by Stephenie Meyer