Day Four, The Host, Chapters 19-24

July 14, 2008 at 8:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Day 4: July 14th. Discuss chapters 19-24 (pp. 181-243)
As “homework” to read between 7/14 and 7/16 read 244- 312 (Chapter 25-30)


I don’t know about you but I am not liking Jared. I *know* that he has every reason in the world to be angry and distrustful of Wanderer/Melanie…but I just don’t like him. While I can see why he would hate her so much. I just can’t like a man who wants to beat up and torture a woman. Especially a woman who doesn’t deserve it. Of course he doesn’t know she doesn’t deserve it but still. Ian grew a lot in my books by doing his part in protecting Wanderer/Melanie. He seems more human now, and Jared less.

Jared is going away. (Yes!) Of course Melanie’s upset. But it turns out to be a good thing.


With Jared gone, Jeb has the power and authority to change things. The first thing he does really is give Wanderer/Melanie some freedom. He sees that she is more of a guest than a prisoner. He sees to her needs. He treats her as a human and not a parasite. After such poor I-could-be-killed-any-minute treatment, the kindness is a shock to her. She doesn’t know quite what to make of it.


Wanda? Really? The best he could do for a nickname?

In this chapter Wanderer gets a voice. She begins to talk to Jeb and to Jamie and to a certain extent Ian is part of her inner circle as well. Not as much as Jamie obviously. But he’s one of the few on her side. One of the few that are helping to keep her safe.

Wanderer begins to talk about the other planets and the other hosts she’s known. It’s an interesting subject for Jamie and Jeb. And one that they think the others will enjoy as well.


The stories continue. Wanderer/Melanie gets more comfortable in her surroundings. She’s part of the community–on the fringes at least–she’s been shown the caves, the rooms. She knows her way around a bit now. She’s helping with the work a bit too. 


Melanie is outed. Wanderer can’t help but revealing to Jamie that Melanie is still alive and well and fighting. Jamie isn’t repulsed by Wanderer anymore. And Melanie has made peace with her as well.


Wanderer/Melanie takes a bath. Jeb’s plot is obvious to get the others used to seeing her.

So what are you thinking so far? Of Ian? Of Jeb? Of Melanie? Of Wanderer? Of Jamie? Of Doc? Do you think it is possible for these humans to ever accept “Wanda” into the community? Do you think they should? Has Wanderer proven herself trustworthy? What do you think Jamie and Jeb see that the others can’t? Do you like or hate Wanderer’s new nickname/name? Are you finding the story exciting or boring or a bit of both at times? Are you happy you picked this one up? Or are you wishing you’d never signed up for this mess of a book?

Just be honest and share all!

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  1. So I’m thinking that so far you think it’s a mess?

    I for one HATE the name Wanda. I was so disappointed that I had to read that name for the rest of the book. Aggh!

    Honestly, I can’t believe that Ian, Doc, and Jamie are as nice to Wanderer as they are. Sure they don’t have to be as mean as Jared but they are acting eerily calm about the whole thing.

  2. I don’t personally think it is a mess. Not exactly. A bit uneven perhaps. But not a mess. If it’s a mess then it’s a likable mess. Perhaps what I mean is that as you’re reading you know it’s not first-class, first-rate, “great” literature. It’s not “literary.” There is nothing technically about it that says masterpiece. That being said, I found it unputdownable the first time through. I read it in two days. It held my interest, my attention. I wanted to know exactly what was going on. But second time through I’m noticing that it isn’t as spellbinding as the first time round.

    I just hate that Wanderer becomes Wanda.

  3. I’m trying to remember what I thought at this point. I don’t think I hated it; I do think I was bored with it. I agree that Jared is just unlikable; I’m often impatient with True Love, and it seems to me that True Love is the only thing binding him to Wanderer/Melanie. I did like how things changed once Jared left, and I admit that I really like Ian.

    I’ve already dumped on Wanda. Bleh.

    I’m not sure it bothered me that Jamie, Jeb and Ian were so accepting. I think there’s got to be the “sympathetic humans” in any alien drama story, and that they play the role is fine with me. What bothered me, though, was the active hostility of Susan and Maggie. What gives with them?

  4. Oh, I do have to mention that I liked the world-building that Meyer did. She put a bit of thought into the different worlds — the names, the situations, the personalities one each planet — and I liked reading about them. I also thought she did a fair job with the cave world-building; it’s an interesting community she’s created.

  5. Yes and yes. I was glad that Jeb and Jamie and Ian were so nice. It was refreshing to see how accepting and kind and compassionate they could be. How they were the first ones to see that perhaps this “alien” should be treated humanely. That it wasn’t just okay to treat the-unknowable-other, the monster, the alien, so cruely. They took the first steps in removing the barrier between “us” and “them.” I like that they were willing to try to understand their enemy.

    And I agree on the world-building too. It’s a bit uneven in presentation. We get a small glimpse of Wanderer’s other planets. A little bit here, a little bit there. A little more. A little more. What we get are teasers and hints that there are great stories to be told.

    I liked the cave community as well. It was different. It was very different. Almost as “foreign” as the alien. Though technically I suppose humans have at various times lived in caves and sought refuge underground. But I wasn’t expecting this community or this location.

  6. just two thoughts:

    i also do not like the name Wanda. i don’t have any positive connotations for it. actually i’m not sure i have any negative ones either, but it’s certainly not a name i would choose for one of my children. 🙂

    while it’s really hard to like Jared at this point, i’m trying to remember that Melanie really does love him – and i think it’s more than “True Love.” he was good to her and Jamie, and she wanted so much to find them again. so i’m trying to view Jared through Melanie’s eyes.

  7. You know my thoughts on the name Wanda….boooooooring. I would love to just ask Meyers “why?” on that one. I really don’t get it.

    This is the section where I really started to get drawn into the book seriously. When she’s talking to Jamie. I was thrilled to have her interacting with Jamie and I love Jamie’s character. I also adore what Meyer’s has done with her world building. I love listening to Wanderer’s (I refuse to call her Wanda) stories of her other worlds. I think they’re incredible. I’m definitely happy that I picked this one up. It’s not the best book I’ve read this year, but it’s by far not the worst. I’m enjoying it!

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