Title: The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Length: 619 pages
Plot Basics: Sometime in the future, humans on earth become the host bodies for a race of sentient aliens. Most of the planet has been subdued, but there are a few remaining humans. Melanie Stryder is one of those... until she is captured and implanted with an alien "soul" named Wanderer. Most of the time, the souls take over the human so the human body cannot think, but Melanie is a fighter. And so Wanderer and Melanie inhabit the same body, Melanie's desires to be reunited to her brother Jamie and Jared, the man who was helping keep them safe, compelling some of Wanderer's actions and leading to discoveries that could start to change the planet.
Banter Points: Meyer proves she not just a one-series wonder with "The Host." Infused with the same rich level of emotion that her Twilight series is, the Host (like the alien soul) gets under your skin. Both provoking and moving, Meyer's twist on an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" plot gives readers classic sci-fi (putting an ordinary person in an extraordinary circumstance) with an emotional tug.
Bummer Points: SPOILER (jump to the recommendation if you don't want to ruin anything)
The Melanie-Jared-Ian triangle seemed more than a little reminiscent of the Bella-Edward-Jacob triangle, particularly in view of how the two men respond differently to the heroine.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Read this one. The hype about Stephenie Meyer is well-deserved and this is an interesting and less sci-fi-techy look at what it means to be human.