Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, 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. Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves-Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.
If you don’t like the Twilight series (gasp…yes some YA fans don’t give a crap about Team Edward or Team Jacob) still give this book a try. It’s a bit long, but if flows really well and such a unique take on an Invasion of the Body Snatchers norm.
While Melanie (the human) and Wanderer (the “soul” invading alien parasite thingy) are stuck in the same body, they have very distinctive personalities. The love triangle is done really well, with Wanderer unsure if her feelings for Jared are only echoing Melanie’s own love for him.
This also touches a lot on human nature (as all good alien invasion stories do). The band of survivors has to decide how to treat Melanie/Wanderer and do not know how to deal with someone they know and love who is at the same time someone they loathe and are fighting against. Wanderer also has to come to terms with her own humanity and revaluate her species. Although they rationalize their presence by making the world better, taking away disease and crime, Wanderer begins to see that they are also harming the world they occupy, by taking away the dominant species' free will.
The Host isn’t typical teen angst YA and is actually listed as an adult novel (although it reads like YA). Check this one out, if you haven’t already.
Back next Wednesday after the holiday.