I was originally going to comment on the other posts, but it ended up being too long. So I am creating my own post.
I think one of Stephenie Meyer's strongest writing characteristics is her character development. The characters in her novels become real. We go through the emotional ups and downs of her character and that is why we all become so attached to her books. She said in one of her interviews or blog posts that the Twilight characters were real to her and she would find herself talking to them. She's able to translate that into her writing. I love getting to know her characters.
I really liked The Host because of how it delved into the complexities of the human emotions and bodily cravings. There are very much some celestial undertones in there if you look at it. A soul inhabiting a body that the soul must learn to control! Wanda says several times in the book that she has never experienced a host that had such strong emotions.
Andrea talked about how she understand the love triangle and how Wanda could love Jared the way she did, especially after the way he treated her. I think the point Stephenie was trying to make is how strongly we are influenced by our emotions and our bodies. We have spirits that are independent of our bodies but yet our bodies have these cravings and urges that are overpowering and it takes an immense amount of control to master them. I think Wanda loved Jared the way she did because she felt the love Melanie had for him and he had for Melanie. That kind of "true love" is a powerful connection. One that reaches beyond death. Wanda had never felt that powerful of an emotion before, so of course she loved Jared. I liked that Stephenie created the love triangle because she shows the true complexity of an eternal emotion called love.
I also thought the book was long and a bit tedious in parts, but I really can't complain because I literally took the book to work and read it while I was at work. CRAZY! I thought it was interesting that the title of the book was The Host when in actuality it was not about the host but the invader. I liked how Stephenie took something inherently evil (an alien invader) and made them so good. You fell in love with the souls and yet you grieved for the humans. Would there be a way for them to coexist?
I would have liked to have Melanie more vocal while they were in the caves and seen more of her after Wanda took on her new body. She was too vital of character that I think we missed out on.
Overall I think Stephenie did a great job and I loved it! Definitely a keeper. Even though I was very skeptical about the book at first.