Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Host: a Stephenie Meyer Adult Book

I usually write this blog on Saturday mornings but I was away at a choir festival this weekend and left my computer home as I knew that I would have no time to even boot it up. One of the things I did have some time for was reading on the long bus trip.

As a result, I just finished reading Stephenie Meyer's most recent book The Host. It is promoted as a book for adult audiences so I was really quite excited to read it. I've read all of her YA books beginning with Twilight and I was hoping that her writing would get a little more explicit for an adult audience ( I am a fan of writers like Diana Galbadon - great storytellers with a flare for ... um ... romantic scenes!).

The book is science fiction, which is a departure from the romantic horror (a combination you think wouldn't work but does) of Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse. The story is about an Earth where alien parasites are inserted into humans to take over the body and brains of their hosts. Here's the teaser from the publisher:

The author of the Twilight series of # 1 bestsellers delivers her brilliant first novel for adults: a gripping story of love and betrayal in a future with the fate of humanity at stake. 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.Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.

So think of the writer's craft here - Meyer wrote dialogue that had to show internal conversations between Wanderer and Melanie, she had to write external dialogue between Wanderer and the other characters and had to write reactions to the conversations by 'both' main characters without losing the reader! Meyers does an excellent job of this. Amazon has a video of Stephenie Meyer talking about The Host and you can access it here.

This is the reason I think why this book is classified as adult - it will take a fairly fluent reader to keep track of the dialogue. The content of this book is very tame - the romantic scenes are less than one would see on television and no more than what one would read in a YA book. But it's the sophistication of the writing that makes it a book for adult readers, not the content.
I definitely recommend the book for secondary school students. It certainly would be a way of introducing science fiction to students who would probably not read it. Science fiction doesn't appeal to many but here in this book Meyer has taken the genre and softened it to appeal to a wider audience. I really enjoyed the book and recommend it.
P.S. Meyer's fourth book in her Twilight series will be released on August 2nd and is called Breaking Dawn. Chapters is taking orders now.
Image from: www.amazon.com

No comments: