Sunday, September 28, 2008
::podium lowers a good 5 inches::
::ahem:: Good morning, brothers & sisters, fristers & frousins. ::nervous laugh:: I wore my highest heels this morning hoping that, for once, when I got up to speak that they would have to raise the podium….but I am now thinking that is dream that will never come true.
::audience courtesy laughs at lame “ice breaker” joke::
Anyway, I am so grateful for the opportunity to speak to you today. The subject I’ve been asked to speak on is the novel The Host by Stephenie Meyer. You may be wondering how The Host fits into a talk of this nature. I hope I can share with you some of the insights I had while reading it although I am sure I learned much more preparing this review than I will ever be able to share with you today.
I remember as a youth in the church we would oftentimes discuss the War in Heaven. We would discuss the two sides of the argument: Satan’s Plan and Christ’s Plan. In Satan’s Plan, of course, none of us would have our free agency. We would all have come to earth, lived perfect lives due to the fact that we could not choose otherwise, and then return to heaven having had no hardships, poor decisions, or growth. Christ’s plan, however, would involve us deciding things for ourselves, making wrong choices, reaping the consequences & learning and growing every single day.
I often thought how nice it would have been if Satan’s Plan would have been the way to go. How easy would that have been? No wrong choices? No trials? Plus, everyone else would be making the right choices as well—life would be so peachy!
This is how the entire “Alien Earth” seemed to me in this book. Everyone going around, doing what they are supposed to be doing, no questions asked. You don’t have to pay for anything. You need to see a Healer for some No Pain? Maybe some Clean? You walk in (having cut yourself with a knife first, of course) and get treated. No insurance cards, no co-pay, nothing. You simply exist. You trust everyone because, well, why wouldn't you? If your host body seems to take a liking to some other host body then you pair up. It’s as simple as that. Everyone is cordial. Everyone is … well, peachy. Everything is honkey-dory.
Cut to where the “wild” humans are… some stinky cave out in the middle of the Arizona desert. Emotions run high. You can punch people whenever you want. There is some guy walking around with a rifle yelling out “my house, my rules” whenever he senses trouble a brewin’. People make mistakes. They inflict pain on others and have pain, sometimes, as a result. They experience true love & happiness. They experience the depths of despair. Their skin burns where someone touches them. They grow. And that was just Day One.
Believe it or not, this is how it is supposed to be.
The alien way is creepy. The pleasantries they exchange mean nothing. It seems to be a pointless existence. No one learns anything. No one steps outside of their comfort zones. No one takes chances. I much prefer the labyrinth cave way of life. I guess what I’m saying is, I’m now so glad Satan didn’t win (k, I’ve been glad for a while, like, since adulthood but I thought that would sound really poignant if I just came to that realization as I was preparing my talk). I like being human.
As far as the writing went, I thought Stephenie stayed true to form. Some things were so over-the-top melodramatic and other things were right on. I think she spent a little too much time in the desert with Wanda/Melanie near death. Then there was way too much time with Wanda curled up in that weird hole while JARED! kept watch over her. I also could have done without the incessant descriptions of Wanda’s other worlds. I swear this book could have been 309.5 pages rather than 619 if she would have consulted me first. The overused word of this book was “flinched.” Everyone flinched at what everyone else said all the time. Someone walked in a room and people flinched like crazy.
On the up side, I loved the inside conversations Wanda & Melanie would have. I kept thinking how it might be nice to have a little voice inside your head giving you inside information on everything and everyone. That is, if you were an alien who had been transplanted into another body and if the former tenant of that body was still kinda around. I wouldn’t want the kind of voices that require medication though. And I hearted Uncle Jeb like you would not believe. I have a soft spot in my heart for crazy, old, level-headed gize who are full of wisdom & have beards.
Major disappointment? The body they chose for Wanda at the end. Who wants to be some fragile, dainty, wimpy girl with a “high, reedy voice?” No one, that’s who. Especially after you’ve been running around in Melanie’s athletic body kicking everyone’s butt at soccer for the past however-long-this-book’s-time-frame-was. I thought they should have found someone who was strong but drop-dead gorge for her. I was extremely let down, as was Miss Wanderer. She didn’t let on too much, but I could feel it. Lame choice, Jamie. Lame choice.
So in closing, I’d like you to know that Stephenie Meyer basically plagiarized parts of the Gospel for this book. She still needs a thesaurus and she needs to create a leading female character who isn’t so “Bella” for once (Melanie doesn’t count). To recap: I’m glad Satan didn’t win. And you could not have paid me enough to take a bath in that weird inky pool thingy where you couldn’t see anything. Oh, and a little Edward thrown in wouldn’t have hurt anyone. I mean, I'd love to have seen what happened when the aliens tried to cut open the back of his neck. Am I right or am I right?
PS THIS is who I pictured as the Seeker.
Penned by (who else?) Landee at 12:01 AM