Daring Reads — The Host

Have you read the vampire books by Stephenie Meyer? The teen vampire werewolf romance books by Stephenie Meyer? Me neither.

Okay. I did read them. A bit. Because they’re set in the Northwest and Ms. Meyer went to BYU so I feel some sense of loyalty. I was just going to dip my toes in and read a bit so I knew what everyone was talking about. That was a year ago. In August when book 4 is released, I’m going to Port Angeles with some girlfriends, staying up all night reading Breaking Dawn and tooling around Forks with the other tween wannabe mom-type people, visiting the various spots where Bella and Edward formed their bond of passionate and forbidden vampiric high school love. We picked a hotel in Port Angeles because it had a bookstore nearby that was willing to stay open until midnight on August 1st.

I wouldn’t call the Twilight books great literature but they are incredibly gripping page-turners and something about them makes me squeal like a wee girl, all the while rolling my eyes and saying, “I’m way too old for this.” And then I do things like book hotel rooms and beg bookstore owners to stay open until midnight.

Anyhoo, I recently read Stephenie Meyer’s first attempt at Adult Fiction, The Host and I was pleasantly surprised. While the teen series was fast moving and an engrossing narrative, it felt like purely a brain vacation. Packed with adjectives about the magnetically attractive hunkishness of Edward’s each and every bodily feature, from his chiseled passionately pulsing pectorals to the oh-so-steamy third-from-the-center eyelash over his liquid-gold left eye, I would classify the series as fun fluff.

The Host had a different feel. Although romance was a big factor and the book had its fair share of hot moments, it focused on deeper themes. War, intolerance, human cruelty, and alien medical procedures are just a few. The book made me think and feel and consider how I treat people. It was also really inventive and kept me guessing what would come next.

Stephenie Meyer kicked it up a notch as a writer and storyteller in the Host, which made the Twilight series seem like a warm-up exercise. I’m excited to see what she does next… that is after she’s finished writing a gazillion sequels.

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