Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I have an addiction.

I can't get over it . . . and it's consuming me.

I love to read.

I have been on a week long reading detox. Being an English major, my hunger for reading is satisfied constantly, sometimes it's jammed down my throat and I have to remind myself that at least I get to do something I love . . . but reading for school, no matter how great the books are (and they are great) is a lot different than reading for enjoyment. When you read for enjoyment there is no need for analysis, no need to prepare for a long paper on the work, you just let the story take you wherever it pleases.

To begin my detox I read The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series . . . and it felt great!!! I had read the first book back in Jr. High. Honestly, it has a good plot line for younger teens, but I have been curious to know what happened to the characters ever since, so when I passed the second and third books at a discounted price in Target I couldn't resist. I went home immediately and read the second book in one day. The second day I read the third book. And the third day . . . I went in to work with my mom to help scan some paperwork. After only a couple of hours sitting thinking about the fourth and final book I couldn't take it anymore. I borrowed the car keys from my mom and drove as fast as I could to Barnes and Noble to buy the fourth book. The third day . . . I read the fourth book.

I was feeling much better after three straight days of reading, but I was also feeling that depression of finishing a great book and needing another one. Luckily there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon . . . but I would have to wait five agonizing days.

If you haven't heard of Stephenie Meyer, let me introduce you. She is an AMAZING writer. She has written a series of books that have become hugely popular called the Twilight series. If you haven't heard of them, just you wait . . . check out her website and you will be directed to a zillion fan sites, news articles, interviews, etc. many are calling her the new "J.K. Rowling." Look for the movie trailers . . . it looks intense! With three Twilight books under her belt and the fourth and final on its way (to be released on August 2 . . . only 86 more days but who's counting!) she just released a new book yesterday. This new book is called The Host.

I was so excited for this book that I surprised my family by waking up early (now that school's out I have been taking advantage of sleeping in) and getting ready. I was parked in front of Barnes and Noble five minutes before they opened. I know I should be embarrassed . . . but I'm not! When the doors opened at nine I waited for two minutes . . . I didn't want to seem to eager, but then I couldn't wait any longer. The employees were excited that I was their first of many expected people to buy the book. Needless to say I've been in a different world for the past two days. I would have finished it all yesterday but I had to go to work, which was very painful.

If you have read any of Meyer's books this one is completely different. The writing style, the story line, everything, but that is just a tribute to the great author that she is. Her characters are developed very carefully and thoroughly . . . something that is not often accomplished today. To give a little preface without giving anything away, here is the teaser the book cover gives:

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.

Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves—Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

Like I was saying, her characters are so well developed that even though there are two people sharing the same body, she has managed to make them separate and distinct from each other. If you need a great book to read this is it for you. Meyer calls it "Science fiction for those who don't read science fiction," because even though the premise is clearly science fiction it does not match the writing style of most science fiction books.

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