I finished The Host this afternoon. Now I'm going into that post-awesome-book withdrawal that always haunts me after finishing books like this one.
I didn't want to know very much about the book before reading it, so I'll keep this review short on details.
Basically, I loved it. But I loved it in a different way than I loved Twilight/New Moon/Eclipse, and also in a different way than I can recall ever liking a fiction book before, at least in recent memory. It affected me on more levels than I expected it to, and got me thinking about cool existential dilemmas I hadn't ever considered before.
Before I scare you off too much, let me also say that it is a very readable, exciting, fascinating story. It has hints of the same elements that make up Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga (I won't say what they are, because I wouldn't have wanted to know ahead of time), but they are just hints. The stories and subject matter are very different.
This book has been touted as "sci-fi for people who don't like sci-fi." And for me, at least, that statement held true. I think that even people who do like sci-fi would like this book. As long as they aren't afraid of a little human drama being thrown into the mix.
A few last points:
1. For people who disliked Twilight/New Moon/Eclipse because it made them feel like they were being forced to live through high school all over again, this book is totally different. (Also, for those people: what was the point of going through high school if we can't read books about it years after the fact and laugh about being done with all of it??)
2. My favorite non-story element of the book was that it did not go elementary school on me by describing all the fascinating new inventions or ways of life of the "new world." Nothing is more distracting to me in a sci-fi book (Uglies/Pretties/Specials, I'm looking at you), and I was so glad that Meyer kept it to a bare minimum.
3. Almost the entire book takes place in or near Tucson. I've never been so proud to be "from" here. I think the drive from here to Phoenix will be slightly more interesting for me from now on.