I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.
Okay, so you know how sometimes you'll be eating junk food, and you just want to keep eating it until it's all gone, even though you begin to feel a bit queasy? And then maybe once you've eaten it all, you look at the label and see that the food you just ate has partially hydrogenated oil, high-fructose corn syrup, and probably also GMOs (not required to be labeled), along with more calories than it has any right to have? Reading The Host was sort of the "book" equivalent of that for me. Or it was like that once I actually got some momentum going. I did have a couple of false starts with this book. Initially, I downloaded it as an audiobook from my library's electronic-collection website, but it was only available in WMA format, so I couldn't transfer it to my player. Being tethered to my computer defeats the whole purpose of having an audiobook, at least as I consume them (mostly while running!). So that expired on me long before I got very far into it. Then I had another false start after downloading the epub version. I simply kept forgetting I had it on my computer. Finally, I picked up the print version from the library--incidentally it was the paperback re-release that came out after the movie. Which brings me to this confession: relatively early in my reading process, I watched the movie. So I pretty much knew what was going to happen, but still I wanted to see how the events played out in the book. Of course, I couldn't help picturing the actors, and then I got annoyed when there were references to Wanda having cut her hair short, because movie Wanda/Melanie had long hair. But that's neither here nor there.
The premise: Our narrator is a "Soul" known as Wanderer, a shiny, metallic centipede-looking creature inserted into the base of Melanie Stryder's brain stem, where Wandered attaches her tentacles and becomes enmeshed with Melanie's spinal column and brain. Wanderer is a bit of a celebrity amongst her kind because she has lived on several different planets and completed lifespans on each. Wanderer's species has all but obliterated unaltered human beings, and Souls known as Seekers are busy looking for those who remain so that they, too can be enSouled. Before too long, Wanderer realizes that Melanie isn't like most humans, whose consciousness fades away once a Soul sets up shop in the body. Melanie is a fighter--in fact she tried to kill herself by jumping to her death rather than be captured and transformed, but the superiority of Soul "Healer" medicine saves her from that death. Melanie floods Wanderer with memories related to boyfriend Jared and little brother Jamie, so that Wanderer comes to love them just as Melanie does, but also works on blocking Wanderer from accessing information she could pass onto the Seeker assigned to Wanderer to find them.
I am about to get very spoilery, so I will throw up the requisite tags. [Spoiler tags have just recently been added to Booklikes, so I am adding them in now.]