Day 2, The Host, Chapters 7-12

July 9, 2008 at 6:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Day 2: July 9th. Discuss chapters 7-12 (pp. 59-117)
As “homework” to read between 7/9 and 7/11 read 118-180 (Chapters 13-18

Confronted

Wanderer in action as a teacher, a lecturer. And Wanderer’s confrontation with the Seeker. She is really really annoying. I don’t blame Melanie one bit for trying to coax Wanderer into getting rid of her. She does find out through this confrontation that adult “implantation” only has a 20% success rate. That is if the human host was part of the resistance and had the ‘will’ to fight off the parasite.

Motherhood. It’s hinted at briefly here as one of the “professions” of the Souls. So far we’ve only seen Seekers and Comforters and Healers. I wonder what other options there are. It seems Wanderer hasn’t locked into one. At least I don’t think she has.

Loved

Wanderer is on her way to meet her Healer, Fords Deep Waters. Seeker wants her to fly. To go ahead and get on with it. Wanderer wants to drive to meet him. Wants some time to herself. Wants some time to reflect, to decide. She knows that as a “good little citizen” Soul she should ‘skip’ this host and be removed and implanted somewhere else. But she feels, in a way, attached to this host, this body, this life. She doesn’t want Melanie to be “murdered.” Though in a sense, she’s already been violated or compromised.

Most of this chapter is a flashback. Well, not so much a flashback as a memory that is being played for Wanderer for the first time. We as the reader get to see a bit of Melanie and Jared’s past. Their past with Jamie.

What is your thinking? Do these flashbacks work for you? Does the transition from present to past and back again work for you? Do you like the way they flow together? Or not so much? Is there enough distinction so that you know where you are and who you are? I must admit that I don’t always find the transitions smooth enough. It takes me a bit of adjusting to realize what is happening. The distinctions in the font-type don’t seem to be quite distinct enough so that I can distinguish at a glance between Melanie and Wanderer.

The flashback seems fairly intimate. I don’t know how Melanie/Wanderer deals with this blending. Wanderer getting just as caught up about the feelings, the thoughts, the sensations, the desires. It seems a bit awkward for me. To “spy” on these very personal moments.

Discovered

More memories and a decision is made. “I could not separate myself from this body’s wants. It was me, more than I’d ever intended it to be.”

Turned

The decision to go in search of Jared, of Jamie, of her family. It was a bit impulsive. But it wasn’t really that hard for her to make in the end. Melanie and Wanderer are beginning to work as a team for the same goals. Creepy or not so much?

Dehydrated

Wanderer/Melanie out in the desert, following forgotten clues that Melanie is dishing out a bit at a time. The car soon runs out of gas and then they make the journey on foot.

More commentary on humanity and the first invasion.

“When the evening news was nothing but inspiring human-interest stories, when pedophiles and junkies were lining up at the hospitals to turn themselves in, when everything morphed into Mayberry, that’s when you tipped your hand.” (108)

Failed

More wandering, out of food, out of water, seemingly out of luck…but then rescue. Uncle Jeb. We really don’t get much to go on at this point, do we. That is if we stop and don’t read ahead. Will Uncle Jeb prove to be their savior? Or not so much??? After all, Wanderer is the enemy. Melanie may be his niece but she’s been compromised.

So what do you think so far? We’ve definitely shifted locales now. Are you liking it? hating it? Hooked? Not so much?

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  1. One of the things that made me cringe about Eclipse pops up in these chapters: Meyer seems to like having her female characters throw themselves at the male heroes. It annoys me. And he put her off because of birth control?! Very sensible of him. She seems to be conflicted: a need/pressure to include sex but a reluctance (or inability) to write about it.

    I like how Melanie’s toughing it out, and how she and Wanderer are beginning to work together as a team. I don’t think it’s creepy — it makes sense in this context; if Melanie’s tough enough not to die with the invasion of Wanderer in her body, it kind of makes sense that they’d end up working together.

    I still feel like it’s plodding, though. I put the book down for four days, read three other books, and didn’t even miss it once.

  2. I agree with you. I didn’t feel it so much in New Moon and Twilight. But in Eclipse and in The Host there is an awkwardness when it comes to sexuality. I think Meyer really really doesn’t want to go there –not all the way at least–and yet she knows her readers will probably expect it in some ways and so it has to be addressed. Having the men reject the women and play the role of gentlemen…

    I don’t think it’s creepy for them to team up in this instance especially. But the 2-in-1 can be a little creepy when it comes to what they want. And what they both want is Jared. And Wanderer is just piggybacking on Melanie’s emotions and feelings. Her “loving” or “desiring” Jared just because Melanie does is a bit odd.

    Though it reminds of Stargate. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched that show. Or if any of the participants have. But in my review I mentioned about the gou’ald and tok’ra. Sam, one of the main characters, a female, becomes a host for an episode and she too experiences the shared emotions of being in love–deeply in love with another tok’ra. The love of both human hosts and both tok’ra. Weird. But Sam does have her memories, her emotions, her longings. So that takes some adjusting to. (But she doesn’t stay a host for long.)

  3. I am only at chapter 5 and struggling. I promise to work more on it tonight. I’m not loving this like I did the Twilight series. Maybe it’s just too early yet. If this weren’t Stephenie Meyer, I would have stopped reading. But too many friends have said positive things, so maybe it will take time for me to warm up.

  4. J. Kaye–

    Give up if you need to. I don’t want to *force* anyone to continue on with it if they’re hating it. But since you’ve liked the Twilight maybe you should give it a tiny bit more a chance.

    I think most participants would agree that it didn’t really get going until a bit further on. I think it picks up around chapter 13. But it starts to improve some around chapter eight when she leaves town and goes on a road trip. Then the whole book shifts and starts moving.

    You’re not alone though. A good many reviews and from what I’m hearing from participants state that the book starts slow and takes a while to make a connection.

  5. I agree — I’ve been thinking it’s like a huge rock: it takes a lot of pushing to get it going, but once it starts picking up speed, it goes pretty fast. I picked it up to read a little bit more and found myself more than 1/2 way through when I finally put it down. That surprised me.

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who’s noticed the sexual clunkiness of her writing… 🙂

  6. Totally agree…it starts off slow, but once it gets going, it really gets going. I’m enjoying it now quite a bit. The flashbacks work really well for me. I enjoyed them, but here’s my think with the sexual bit. Just go there! Myers seems to be so awkward when writing about sexuality. Here she’s writing a book that’s being advertised as her first book “for adults”, so she can put sex in it if she wants. Why skirt around it. Either put it in or leave it out. Don’t just make it awkward…that sort of bugged me too. Aside from that, not too much happening in this section, but the next section is where it really starts to take off for me. This section just made me really thirsty!

  7. I’m really enjoying the book so far. As with everyone else, it seemed slow a bit at first for me too, but really picks up after this section. I like the flashbacks, and I like the way the relationship with Wanderer and Melanie is changing. I haven’t read the Twilight series books yet so I can’t compare the two. I hope to start that series soon.

  8. I had to LOL @ “it’s like a huge rock: it takes a lot of pushing to get it going, but once it starts picking up speed, it goes pretty fast.” My son said something like that about a book he ended up loving. He was glad he stuck with it.
    Becky, I don’t feel any pressure coming from you. I do from myself though. If I allowed myself to give up so quickly, after reading the three Twilight books, I’d be very disappointed. I really fell better after reading the comments. It’s nice to know others are saying the book is slow at the beginning. You have no idea how much that helps. I did find it getting better last night, so now I am excited again. I’m taking off Sunday to spend time reading. Hopefully, I can catch up then. If not, I’ll be the caboose for the group. 🙂 That’s why I love this set up. We can read at our own speed and not feel rushed. Thanks everyone!

  9. I’ve been thinking about this on and off for the last few days. I understand why Meyer won’t go full-out with sex (being a Mormon myself), and it’s not the fact that she doesn’t want to go there that bothers me. I can respect that decision on her part. What bothers me is the way that she doesn’t go there. (Does that make sense?) Rather than just leaving it alone, and leaving it open for people to see it there if they want it to be there, she has to actively find reasons for her characters not to have sex. And I find that mildly insulting.

    Granted, she does get better at it later in the book, so maybe it’s just this one instance.

  10. I am a little behind on the conversation. I posted my thoughts here. So far I am having little bit of hard time getting back into it.
    http://confuzzledbooks.blogspot.com/2008/07/host-day-2-chapter-7-12-disscusion.html

  11. Thanks !


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