**** After all you read with pleasure
This is certainly a book full of flaws, starting with the claim to be a novel for adults, as Meyer herself said in the interview given at the end of the volume.
There is little to say: it is not a book for adults.
The main characters aren’t teenagers, except one, but they are still in their early twenties, therefore very young. Their behaviour is in any case more consistent with that of so-called young adults and not adults.
The very fact that the main character, an alien in a human body, lingers on telling their own physical and emotional feelings makes them a metaphor of adolescence.
The plot has some weaknesses; they are essential to bring the story in the direction desired by the author, but they are still completely improbable stretching and the reader realizes it.
Another major flaw of the plot is the fact that there are only inner conflicts, while it’s lacking some real action. Simply put, really a little happens in the story though it is over 600 pages.
The little that happens tends to settle too easily (one wonders how the souls could invade the whole planet if they are so easy fooled!) before the next problem occurs. This last aspect creates pauses in the narrative, in which you may lose some less motivated readers, who might not feel the need to continue reading.
Despite all these shortcomings, I decided to give 4 stars to this novel. The reason is simple: in one way or another I kept reading, turned the pages, read the next chapter and did it with pleasure. In short, the novel fulfils its purpose: you read it to the end.
Although its being overly cheesy makes you immediately decide it’ll be the last you read by this author.
Although breaking the action to resume it in the next chapter is only a cheap trick to keep you going on.
Although 600 pages told in first person by a frightened and confused alien make you think a good idea for a science fiction novel was wasted.
Although while reading the above-mentioned interview with Meyer you discover that not only she does not realise that she wrote a novel for kids, but even that it is in all respects a science fiction novel: she says that it is formally so only because there are aliens, showing that she does not have the faintest idea of the meaning of science fiction and the fact that such a vast genre not only narrates about aliens and invented technology, but that this creates the setting for telling stories. In this case the story is about love.
I finally decided to ignore the decision to add some questions (and what questions!) to the end of the volume for reading groups and to put a playlist of songs. I fully understand that when you write you tend to see the scenes through music that you like, but the author must realise that the experience of reading is something totally different and is specific to each individual reader. I myself have tried to associate certain songs to the suggested parts of the book, but I could not see any similarities, because I can’t obviously see a book the same way the author does.
I originally wrote this review in 2011, when I read the book. Years later I went to see the film by Andrew Niccol. It was indeed difficult to adapt a novel like this into the language of films, unless you rewrite part of the plot. This is because in literature everything is fine, but movies, with their costs, claim a story that works, cinematically speaking. Moreover it is impossible to show 600 pages of the novel in a two-hour movie, without any cuts.
Well, unfortunately cuts and adaptations have turned this story into a film with teenagers (the main actress was only 17 at the time and she showed less) acting as adults, eliminating the little good that was in the novel and creating a hasty and not very engaging story.The Host on Amazon.