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Stephenie Meyer's 'The Host' makes up for 'Twilight' blunder

By Marissa Neeley
On March 31, 2014

Remember “Twilight”? The mere mention of it is likely to send a shudder up your spine. It was the rave of raves as far as books go; that is, next to “Harry Potter,” “The Hunger Games” and the current one, “Divergent.”

Oh, junior high. That is when “Twilight” became a phenomenon. There were Team Jacobs and Team Edwards, horribly made movies and the renewed fandom of vampires and werewolves was born.

Now before you stop reading, just know this is not a book review about “Twilight” – heaven forbid. It’s funny when I look back at some book reviews I wrote about “Twilight.” I laugh, but I think I want to cry at how well-done and amazing I thought it was. When compared to some — no, scratch that — when compared to anything, “Twilight” is quite pitiful.

So what does this have to do with anything? Stephenie Meyer, the author of the “Twilight” Saga, wrote a solo novel after you-know-what. That novel, “The Host,” contains a lot of the same writing style you find in “Twilight.” However, “The Host” is definitely better-written, with better characters, a surprisingly good original plot and a better movie to go along with it.

The trendy books these days seem to be futuristic, dystopian societies. This book isn’t necessarily dystopian, but definitely futuristic when our race has become self-destructive, making it necessary for aliens to invade and inhabit our bodies. These aliens are a small specimen which, when injected into the neck of a human, changes the human’s eyes and controls its body, thus turning the human race into an utopian society.

Out of the five novels Meyer has written, “The Host” is by far the best one of her books to pick up and read. The size of the book may be daunting. Maybe the huge face you see on the cover of the book frightens you; who knows. It’s a fast read and nothing like Dickens when you have read over the same sentence 50 times to grasp its meaning.

Let’s delve a little into the movie, shall we? I know, I know. This is a book review column, and you’re dying to read every little detail about the book, but let’s face the facts: You can read the book and find out the details yourself. I suppose you could technically watch the movie and find out all about the movie that way, but there’s nothing like good old-fashioned analysis. That’s what professors emphasize nowadays. I’m only a freshman, and that word along with “networking” are both starting to get annoying.

My advice before we begin is to not read the book immediately before seeing the movie. This happened to me when I saw the movie “The Book Thief.” I had finished the book maybe a week before and though the movie was good, I had pictured everything completely different in my head than they did in the movie. I also found myself talking to my friends about everything that was left out or misrepresented as we left the theater. I think you’ll find, like I did, that you annoy the crap out of your friends and while you’re at it yourself. So no. Don’t do that.

My former tap class re-read the book right before seeing the movie, and the next time I showed up to class, they asked what I thought.

I loved it. Seriously. Don’t judge. It had been probably two years since I read the book, and while I remembered the main plot and details, the little things were lost to me. I like the actors — one of them is especially good-looking. Again, don’t judge. I thought what I had pictured in my head and what they portrayed coincided nicely. But my class? Heck no. They didn’t like it at all. One girl, Chloe, had finished the book minutes before the movie started. That’s a no-no. Naturally, you are going to hate a movie when you just finished the book it is based on unless it followed perfectly, which is preposterous. Since when does that happen?

All in all, read “The Host.” Watch it. It’s even on Netflix. However you get your fix of storytelling, do it. I recommend it.

Marissa Neeley is a freshman majoring in history with an emphasis in teaching. She is an avid reader, reading anything from historical fiction and fantasy to romance and nonfiction. Send any comments to marissa.neeley@aggiemail.usu.edu.

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