The Host Review: Horrified (Ch 40)

Oh god I am not looking forward to having to actually think about this chapter…  It hurts me just considering considering it.  So much more just awfulness.  This chapter is everything I’ve yelled about in previous chapters all jammed together in one boring, bigoted, personal space invading, emotionally abusive biologically inaccurate and PAINFULLY BORING mess of a plot conflict.  That all but gets COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN by the end of the fucking chapter.  You could cut this chapter and the next one out completely and it would not change ANYTHING.  One line of bridging context to chapter 42 and bam, the book moves along, two chapters shorter.

Can I just, do that?  Can I just make up a bridging line between the end of the last chapter and the start of chapter 42 and just, not go over this chapter or 41?  No?  Dammit.

Sad Batman

The chapter starts off with her hearing voices in the distance.  She doesn’t know what they’re talking about yet.  But there’s one important thing she overhears:

“Doc didn’t want to. It was Jared’s idea this time.”

That comes up later.  I will reference it.  Probably multiple times.  Because Wanderer is a fucking moron and Meyer is a terrible writer.

The characters with names I don’t recall ever reading before here but apparently we’re supposed to remember keep talking about how disgusting something is and Jared’s motivation for doing it.  It’s clear to ME that they’re talking about trying to get the aliens out of people’s brains, but Wanderer hasn’t clued in that the people she’s listening to are implying Jared is trying to figure out how to free Melanie from Wanderer.

I moved cautiously now, putting each foot down with silent care. It was very quiet. For a moment, I wondered if I was wrong and there was no one here at all. Then, as the uneven entrance came into view, throwing a block of white sunlight against the opposite wall, I could hear the sound of quiet sobbing.

The sobbing is relevant to the Doc quote above.  It’ll come up later.

If you read my review for chapter 39 you may recall me just kind of skipping over most of the second half of that chapter because despite that it was actually plot relevant as opposed to the parts I did focus on, it was just a whole lot of words to talk about something that could have just as easily been communicated in only a line or two.  This chapter again, there’s plot relevant information going on, but I’m already a page and a half into it and there is absolutely nothing worth talking about except pointing out quotes that give me fuel to yell at Wanderer for later on.  So far it’s been her describing the sounds of footsteps and people’s voices and her walking pace.  The pointless descriptions of the scenery around her I assume is meant to set the tone but it just bores me to tears.


“There, there.” It was Jeb’s voice, thick with some emotion. “’S okay. ‘S okay, Doc. Don’t take it so hard.”

Hushed footsteps, more than one set, were moving around the room. Fabric rustling. A brushing sound. It reminded me of the sounds of cleaning.

Take this for example.  She just heard Jeb say that Doc was crying and clearly upset about something, and instead of wondering what was wrong with Doc that made him cry, she is talking about how the brushing sound sounds like cleaning.  What the fuck does cleaning sound like?  Meyer is trying to establish that the humans are trying to clean up the blood of the dead bodies they’ve got in there, and build tension.  But to do so she has to take her supposedly selfless character and have her not even ACKNOWLEDGE the upset of someone she, in previous chapters, declared an undying respect for due to his strength of character and compassion.  She has been declared as compassionate multiple times, thinking of the needs and feelings of those around her.  She instead thinks about the random sound that reminds her of cleaning.

No, seriously, describe to me the sound of ‘cleaning’.  What kind of cleaning exactly?  Scrubbing right?  That’s what she’s saying it sounds like.  But that’s not what CLEANING sounds like.  That’s what SCRUBBING sounds like.  Cleaning can mean scrubbing, sweeping, dusting, tidying up, organizing, washing dishes…  Meyer just had Wanderer make that association so when the time came you would understand that she had overheard them scrubbing the blood.

Scrubbing blood

There was a smell that didn’t belong here. Strange… not quite metallic, but not quite anything else, either. The smell was not familiar–I was sure I had never smelled it before–and yet I had an odd feeling that it should be familiar to me.

Alien blood.  She’s describing alien blood.  But also, you know, human blood.  She’s trying to express that she’s smelling alien blood but that also describes human blood, so I don’t know why Meyer did that.  It’s CLEAR to me that it’s supposed to be the aliens she’s smelling because why else would she phrase it like that?  But more importantly, she says at the start of this book that she’s never had a sense of smell before (because that always made sense) and now she’s saying she feels like she should have smelled it before.  How would she have smelled it before?  She’s smelled human blood before though, so she should recognize that a kind of metallic quality but not is blood at least.  She’s just trying to explain that Wanderer somehow has some innate instinct regarding the smell of her own blood.  THAT MAKES NO SENSE.

She finally walks into the room and sees Doc sitting with his head on his knees sobbing.  Jared and Kyle are standing over some dead bodies she doesn’t recognize as dead bodies because they’re covered by blankets.  She describes in detail the colours of everything and the shapes of everything and then goes on and on about the ripped up pieces of alien carcass strewn about by the bodies heads.

They finally realize she’s there and she has something resembling a weird panic attack.  I think she’s describing vertigo, but it’s all pretty weirdly put so I’m not sure.


“What did she see?”

“Nothing–nothing. The bodies were covered!”

That was a lie! The bodies were hideously uncovered, strewn in obscene contortions across the glittering table. Mutilated, dismembered, tortured bodies, ripped into grotesque shreds…

This is just another one of those things to bring up later.  Just remember, the only bodies she cares about are the alien ones.  Not the dead humans.  It will be important.

I had clearly seen the vestigial feelers still attached to the truncated anterior section of a child. Just a child! A baby! A baby thrown haphazardly in maimed pieces across the table smeared with its own blood…

I’m not entirely certain why her species would have vestigial anything, let alone feelers.  I also think she doesn’t know what ‘vestigial’ means if she’s implying they come off when the babies grow up.  Vestigial appendages are permanent fixtures, not temporary ones.  They’re useless, and outdated at the creature’s evolutionary point, but they aren’t something that the creature grows out of.  But since her species clone themselves to reproduce, they shouldn’t develop vestigial appendages to begin with.

She spends half a page describing everyone panic around her as she throws up the bile in her stomach.  Once she has ‘cleared her throat’ as she puts it, she yells at everyone to get the hell away from her, calling them monsters and torturers.

You're a monster

They restrain her, refer to her as being hysterical and SLAP her to bring her around.  Word of advice, that is the single worst thing you can possibly to do someone who is freaking the fuck out.  Especially if she’s freaking out thinking you’re vicious monsters.

My ears were ringing, but not from the slap. It was the smell–the smell of the silver blood dripping down the walls–the smell of the blood of souls.

No no Wanderer, your ears were ringing because of the slap.  Your head was probably spinning from the smell, but that’s not how anatomy works.  Your ears literally cannot ring because of a smell unless you have synesthesia and we would have known about that by now if you did.

The room writhed around me as though it were alive. The light twisted into strange patterns, curved into the shapes of monsters from my past. A Vulture unfurled its wings… a claw beast swung its heavy pincers toward my face… Doc smiled and reached for me with silver trickling from his fingertips…

This reaction feels unrealistic to me.  I’ve seen things that made me so horrified I nearly threw up, I’ve suffered traumatic over reactions to seemingly harmless things that just so happened to trigger horrible memories of past experiences that overwhelmed me and caused me to freak the fuck out, and I’ve had panic attacks.  None of them were anything like what she’s describing.  This sounds more like a bad acid trip.  I suppose it’s possible that someone could react this way, but I think it’s more likely that Meyer just wanted to over dramatize this and then connect the depressed, sobbing Doc, that, as I pointed out earlier she overheard didn’t even want to be involved with this, to the most horrible memories she can dredge up.

Freak Out

So far Doc is the single most consistent character in this entire book.  That consistency he has displayed is compassion, sympathy, empathy, and basically everything Wanderer is SUPPOSED to be.  And Wanderer is making the association of him being the absolute most heinous person in the caves.  Even though it was JARED’S idea (which I pointed out earlier for this very purpose) and Doc is clearly upset over it, where Jared doesn’t seem to care about even the dead humans, let alone the dead aliens.  But he can’t be the one she’s mad at because that wouldn’t be plot convenient.  He also can’t have objected to this because he was the one that brought them back.

Wanderer passes out, but apparently only for a few seconds.  This also seems incredibly unrealistic and plot convenient.  Apparently Ian is carrying her now.  Apparently this is something he did a LOT while she was healing.  This aggravates me.  See previous reviews for why, because I just do not at all feel like going over that again.

Ian is yelling at Jared about why Wanderer was so upset.  Jared thinks it’s because Wanderer is scared they’re going to do that to her, which is reasonable, but Ian thinks she’s upset about the bodies.  Ian is right, but I hate him, so I will point out that he makes a show of how barbaric the act was to do at all.  I will also point out that he has done this before himself, and even nearly strangled Wanderer to death upon her arrival.  He has no room to talk.


“The wrong bodies, Jared. Oh, I’m sure Wanda would be upset by a human corpse–she’s so gentle; violence and death aren’t a part of her normal world. But think what the things on that table must have meant to her.”

And this is where the quote about Wanderer’s reaction was for.  She didn’t give two shits about the human corpses Ian, you’re projecting what you THINK Wanderer is onto her.  She ONLY cared about the dead parasites.  She is NOT that ‘gentle’.

“Yes. If you or I had walked in on a human vivisection, with torn body parts, with blood splattered on everything, it wouldn’t have been as bad for us as it was for her. We’d have seen it all before–even before the invasion, in horror movies, at least. I’d bet she’s never been exposed to anything like that in all her lives.”

Vivisection?  The only other books I’ve ever read that in are HG Wells novels.  No normal person uses that word.

Wanderer finally lets them know she’s awake by insisting Ian let her go.  He refuses at first, so she starts kicking and shoving him.  She gets out of his arms and goes off running.  She couldn’t do these things to save her own life, but she can be violent now after being horrified by all the violence.  Sure.


“Let her go.”

“Don’t touch me! Wanda, come back!”

It sounded like they were wrestling behind me, but I didn’t slow. Of course they were fighting. They were humans. Violence was pleasure to them.

NO ONE in that room was happy.  Doc was actively CRYING.  The people walking away were talking about how horrible it was.  No one was ENJOYING it you fucking bitch.  I know you just saw something incredibly traumatizing, but throughout this entire book you have seen over and fucking over again how compassionate these people can be!  You didn’t even ask what the hell was going on!  You just assumed it was torture!  Maybe those people were already dead when they found them, or dying out in the desert.  Maybe the aliens attacked THEM first and they defended themselves then decided to try and learn something from the people they had to kill in self defense.  She makes a point of saying how one is a baby, but Seeker was a fresh soul, so maybe she was under one of those sheets.  Maybe she had seen them, got back up and tried to follow them back to the caves!

But no, Wanderer just automatically returns to assuming that every single human being is completely and utterly horrible and loves to fight.

She spends half a page going on at length in an incredibly drama queen esque way how horrible humans are some more as she heads to a hole in the wall of the game room.

I just really wanted to use this...

I just really wanted to use this…

It wasn’t what we thought. Doc wasn’t hurting anyone on purpose; he was just trying to save –

GET OUT OF MY HEAD! I shrieked.

She just banished Melanie.

I’m sorry so far this review is incredibly short and incredibly uninteresting.  This chapter is just so uninteresting…  Meyer spends so much time trying to set and maintain the mood that it’s just page after page of stupid melodramatic descriptions.  I might care more if I didn’t hate Wanderer so much.  If she hadn’t shown so many times that she’s still racist against humans before this even happened so it’s not even that drastic a change.  I might have cared if this wasn’t completely negating the best part of this ENTIRE book up to this point, the death of Walter.

The entire point of that section was how Wanderer finally changed and realized humans were compassionate.  Especially Doc.  She says there that she forms a bond with him over their shared pain.  That’s COMPLETELY gone now because of this.  And that’s not even an important plot point!  Nowhere in the entire rest of this book does it matter that she now hates Doc!  She just needed to blame someone other than Jared, the only logical character to blame, so it would make sense when she doesn’t still hate Jared later on!

I also might care about this, maybe, if I didn’t know already that it has no impact on the plot whatsoever.  The ONLY thing that actually makes a difference to how the plot progresses from here is her banishing Melanie, and I’m pretty sure if you cut out that little plot cul-de-sac it wouldn’t matter either!  So my claim that this and the next chapter are irrelevant isn’t even accurate, this chapter, the next one, AND the one after that DO NOT AT ALL AFFECT THE PLOT.  There is NO character growth from this.  It does NOT come up later in any way that couldn’t be cut out without even having to put anything in to make up for the cut text.  THIS BOOK COULD BE THREE WHOLE CHAPTERS SHORTER GODDAMMIT!


It was only me now. Just me, and the pain and the horror that I would never escape. I would never not have that image in my head again. I would never be free of it. It was forever a part of me.

Until chapter 43 where it almost never comes up again.

She goes on about mourning, and how she’ll grieve in silence like that bats where she lost a friend to a fallen tree.  Except she said early in the book that she’d never had any friends.  So that’s just trying to make you feel bad for her.  I want to sympathize with her dealing with seeing something so horrible, but I have spent too much of this book absolutely hating her.  The descriptions come off as way too melodramatic, specifically designed to try and elicit my sympathy.  It just feels fake.  Obviously it is since it’s a book, but I just mean it feels more like how they would show someone being upset in a comedy, or just a really bad actress in a movie.  You just can’t get into it.

She says that her mourning is ‘stolen’ from her.  She says this before explaining that a few hours later, as she was still just sitting there in her silent mourning, that someone finally found her.  It’s rather jarring because it sounds like she’s just saying that she sits there in silence and that’s how her silent mourning is stolen from her.  It makes no sense the way it’s put and I had to read this section a few times to understand that the ‘stolen’ line is connected to the paragraph under it, not the ones above it.  YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO USE SECTION BREAKS MEYER!

As the people search the room, Wanderer calls them monsters over and over again.  Calls Jamie a monster twice, calls the people who find her monsters, calls Jared a monster when he shows up, calls Melanie a monster… GET A DAMN THESAURUS.  Do you see what I mean about it feeling like a bad actress in a B movie drama?

It's like watching Miley Cyrus pretend to be pitiable.

It’s like watching Miley Cyrus pretend to be pitiable.

He tries to apologize and she refuses to talk, pointing out to the reader that Jared was the one who’d ordered it, but still for some reason she hates Doc more than Jared and I don’t understand why.  She flinches when he touches her shoulder and he backs off, and tells her he respects that she wants to be alone and he’ll keep everyone away from her.

After Jared goes to watch the door, Ian shows up and does the exact opposite by fighting with Jared to be allowed to go talk to her!  He claims moral superiority, ignoring the fact that he knew about it or he wouldn’t have tried to keep her from the hospital, thus making him ‘party to it’ as he claims he wasn’t.

I huddled myself more tightly together, expecting him to touch me.

Say it with me now, I know you know what’s coming by this point: Ian’s a creep.

There was a quiet sigh, and then the sound of him sitting on the stone, not as close beside me as I would have expected.

With a click, the light disappeared.

I waited in the silence for a long time for him to speak, but he was just as silent as I was. Finally, I stopped waiting and returned to my mourning. Ian did not interrupt. I sat in the blackness of the big hole in the ground and grieved for lost souls with a human at my side.

This is how the chapter ends.  I think it’s supposed to come off as sweet and considerate.  But it comes immediately after her cringing because she KNEW he was going to touch her.  And he WAS going to touch her!  That’s why he sighs, because he understood what that reaction was for!  ‘Aww, isn’t it sweet that he invades her personal space so often she actively expects it, and that he ignored her desire to be alone yet again!  Isn’t it so considerate of him to not touch her after she flinched at even the IDEA of him touching her!  He’s so sweet!’  FUCK YOU.


The actual plot events in this book are SO BORING!  The crappy filler chapters at least have bits worth talking about, even if that’s only because I would sooner stab myself in the eye than read more about Ian touching Wanderer and cow-spiders.  At least it’s SOMETHING!  Half my word count on this chapter is just me talking about how much nothing there is to talk about!

The next chapter isn’t much better unfortunately.  But I guess it does have one section that would have to be grafted onto the start of chapter 43 if the rest of this was cut out completely.

Oh wait I just figured out why this happened… Meyer had them murder people so she could have Wanderer conveniently displaced so she could be shocked by what happens in the second half of the next chapter.  Hurray.  Fuck I hate this book.

Till next time!  Check out The Llama’s review!


Q&A: Shopping

What is your favourite store in the world?

Here is how my basic non-grocery store shopping generally goes:


“There’s a hole in your jeans.”  My sister says while pointing at a large hole in my pant leg I’ve been aware of for quite some time.

“Yeah, I know. I should probably get a new pair…”

A few days go by, I’m wearing the jeans with the hole once again.  As I walk to the bathroom, I snag the structurally unsound pant leg on the coffee table, causing the hole to grow to a size I can no longer ignore.  I let out a resigned sigh as I dig out another pair of pants that are significantly less comfortable and get changed.

‘What store is close by that sells jeans for less than $50?  Target?  Probably.’  I think as I change.

On my way out I grab my coat and my keys and head to the store.  When I arrive I glance around, trying to figure out where the jeans are.  I head towards the aisles that look to have clothes at a brisk pace, not bothering to grab a cart or shopping basket.

I finally locate the jeans, glad I didn’t have to walk past the movie section because I probably shouldn’t buy one, and look for a pair of jeans that don’t have any stupid designs on them.  I grab a pair in my size, grimace at how much they cost and head to the self-checkout.  I grab a chocolate bar from the impulse purchase shelf and pay for my items.  I walk out of the store as fast as I walked in.  Less than ten minutes have past.


That’s how I shop.  I don’t have a favourite store.  I have a ‘store close by that will serve my needs’.  If I want a computer or movie, Futureshop (Best Buy for any American readers) is literally right across the street.  If I need clothes, Target or Walmart are a 5 minute drive up the road.  Everything else I want (and a lot of the time those things too) I buy online.

The Host Review: Worried (Ch 39)

This chapter is not less rage inducing than the last one.  So let’s just get this over with shall we?

Perfect, I grumbled to myself. Just perfect.

Ian was coming to join me for lunch, a big smile glued into place on his face. Trying to cheer me up… again.

That’s the first two paragraphs of this chapter.  She’s pissed at Ian because Ian still won’t leave her alone.  We don’t know yet at this point how long it’s been since the end of that chapter, but we do know that Ian is still being a clingy douchebag and it’s actively pissing her off.

I'm pissed off

“Hey, Wanda,” Ian greeted me, hopping up onto the counter beside me. He had a bowl of tomato soup in one hand, still steaming. Mine was beside me, cooled and half full. I was toying with a piece of roll, ripping it into tiny pieces.

I didn’t answer him.

“Oh, come on.” He put his hand on my knee. Mel’s angry reaction was lethargic. She was too used to this kind of thing to really work up a good fit anymore. “They’ll be back today. Before sunset, without a doubt.”

He touches them in an intimate manner SO OFTEN that Melanie can’t even get worked up about it anymore.  She is just resigned to the fact that it’s happening.  That’s depressing, horrible, manipulative, abusive, etc.  Honestly even I’m kind of burnt out on getting worked up over this.

“You said that three days ago, and two days ago, and again yesterday,” I reminded him.

“I have a good feeling about today. Don’t sulk–it’s so human,” he teased.

“I’m not sulking.” I wasn’t. I was so worried I could barely think straight. It didn’t leave me energy to do anything else.

Except that every single thing she’s said and done so far in this chapter implies sulking is exactly what she’s doing.


to be angry or upset about something and to refuse to discuss it with other people

to be moodily silent

So yes, Wanderer, you are sulking like a child.


Apparently Jamie and Jared went out on a raid and Wanderer is sulking because she’s worried that they aren’t back yet.  It was supposed to be a short raid, so she figured they’d be back by now.  She continues to be pissy towards Ian, which makes her come off as childish, but at the same time, I can totally understand why she would be pissy to Ian of all people, so I give her a pass on this one.

Ian turns towards his food when he realizes she’s not going to talk to him without biting his head off and she talks about how considerate he is.  Except that he’s not at all considerate, and she even basically says that when she adds at the end of that paragraph how since Jared and Jamie have been gone he’s been pushy and she’s getting pissed.  So he’s a dick.  But whatever.  She goes on at length about how it’s been a month since she moved in with Jared and Jamie and they’ve been gone a week now.  Jared and Wanderer were still awkward around each other when they left, but she had been getting used to it, so now without them there things felt weird again.

Ian speaks up again, because apparently he can’t leave her alone for five minutes.  He asks if she’s tired and she says she’s still not sleeping well without the noise of other people.  He offers to sleep with her.  Not jokingly.  Wanderer cringes and of course Ian assumes immediately that it was because of Melanie, not him.  The fact that he was right is less important than the fact that he has never once at any point we’ve been privy to checked to make sure it wasn’t Wanderer herself.  Wanderer even says he just always knows it was Melanie, not her.  And no, Wanderer, he doesn’t.  He’s presuming because he wants to believe that the only thing stopping him from getting in your pants is her, not that you might actually not like him.

He then tricks Wanderer into going off with him somewhere.  No, seriously, Wanderer even says he looks like he had been hoping she would respond to his leading questions the way she does.

He took my hand as he led me out of the kitchen. Again, this was so common that Melanie barely protested.

Just want to reiterate, Ian is a creep.

“Ian, I’m not in the mood.”

“You said you had plenty of energy.”

“To work. Not to play soccer.”

“But Lily and Wes will be really disappointed. I promised them a game of two-on-two. They worked so hard this morning to free up the afternoon…”

“Don’t try to make me feel guilty,” I said as we rounded the last curve. I could see the blue light of several lamps, shadows flitting in front of them.

“Isn’t it working?” he teased.

A MASSIVE creep.




I sighed. “Fine. Fine. Be that way.”

Ian hugged me with what Melanie thought was unnecessary enthusiasm. “You’re my very favorite person in the known universe.”

“Thanks,” I muttered dryly.

This reminds me of when my old roommate used to bug the shit out of me to drive him somewhere since I was the only one of us to have a car (or a license).  He’d wear me down till I was so annoyed with him I’d cave so he’d finally leave me alone, then he’d get this obnoxious overly happy grin on his face, declare me his best friend in the world and I’d just glare at him while I went to get my keys.  That’s not a positive comparison.

Holy crap this chapter is boring.  The next whole PAGE is just her stretching and them taunting and asking about the rules and Melanie talking about how she misses running.  There is so much nothing going on this may very well be my shortest review yet if this doesn’t pick up.  There is just nothing at all worth talking about.

Apparently Wanderer is a master at soccer.  I find this hard to believe.  Even if Melanie was amazing at it, her body has been healing from severe injuries and prior to that she had gotten out of shape.  She shouldn’t be physically capable of kicking the asses of two people that play for fun on a semi regular basis.  Sorry, that’s just not the way it works unless Wes and Lily (you may recall Wes has appeared in previous reviews as ‘the guy who I don’t know who he is but his name keeps appearing’.  Lily I think has been mentioned before?  Maybe?) are really REALLY bad at it.

you just suck

“No one ever said she couldn’t play.”

“No one ever said she was a pro, either.”

I liked that–it made me smile.

You know, last chapter she went on at length about how she didn’t want to be liked because of Melanie’s looks, and she wanted people to separate her and Melanie more than they do.  But here she’s getting complimented for MELANIE’S skill, and MELANIE’S knowledge of the sport.  She never played soccer before.  She never learned the strategies or worked her body.  That was ALL Melanie.  But apparently that only matters when it comes to appearance.  You can take credit for other people’s talent all you want.  Honestly though I think it’s for the same reason she brought up the appearance thing in the last chapter.  She wants people to think good things of HER.  Wes and Lily don’t know Melanie.  They don’t know that knowledge came from her.  They were complimenting WANDERER.  Ian was showing physical interest in her, and that indicated he only cared about Melanie’s body, not Wanderer’s mind, and she wants everyone to love HER and think good things of HER.  So as long as no one tells them that was Melanie, she can take credit for it all she wants and have people love her.

Lily and Wes start flirting and making out.  Apparently this is some shocking revelation to Ian and Wanderer.  Since I already mentioned earlier that I had no clue who they were other than I remember reading Wes’ name before, I kind of just assumed they were probably dating anyway, so I do not find this shocking.  Since the only way I could care less about those characters would be if they were Ian and Wanderer.

Wes goes off to try and get Kyle to help them win, and Lily tells Wanderer it was because Wes treated her well that made her like him.  I don’t remember Wes doing anything one way or another to Wanderer, so I can’t back that information up.  I don’t know why I’m supposed to care…  Meyer, just saying characters names as Wanderer walks past them does not give us tangible, memorable information about them and sure as shit doesn’t make us care about them.  Do not try and make it sound like we’re supposed to already have some kind of emotional connection to these characters who are in no way central to the plot.  They haven’t even been maguffins at any point.  They have served zero plot relevance.  ZERO!  I don’t care!

I don't care that I don't care

I spent more time writing that last paragraph than I have actually thinking about Wes and Lily in the entire book prior.

Anyway, eventually while they’re waiting Ian asks if Wanderer will play one on one with him.  Melanie is excited because she seems to genuinely love this sport and it’s kind of nice to see her actually get to do something fun for HER for a change.  But that gets completely and utterly ruined almost immediately because Ian and Wanderer are both incredibly horrible people.

Ian starts playing badly, so to try and convince him to play at his fullest instead of intentionally letting her win, Wanderer comes up with a plan.  And I want to make it very clear that Melanie objects to this plan, so it’s 100% Wanderer being a manipulative bitch using Ian’s crush on her to get what she wants.  She tells him that he can share her room until Jared and Jamie come back if he beats her.  And then Ian reinforces that he’s also a manipulative bitch by showing that he was clearly losing on purpose in the hopes that she would do just that, and then he kicks her ass.

“Tired?” he asked, the innocence in his tone a bit overdone. Being funny. He stretched. “I think I’m ready for bed myself.” He leered in a melodramatic way.

I winced.

“Aw, Mel, you know I’m joking. Be nice.”

Note here that she in no way indicates to the reader that her wince was due to Melanie in any way shape or form.  Her wince was genuinely her own.  She does not want to share a bedroom with this perverted creep.  His reaction is to just assume it was all Melanie, as usual.  Everything bad that happens seems to get blamed on Melanie in this book.  Melanie certainly isn’t the best character in the world, I’ve called her horrible a fair number of times, but she really seems to just be a punching bag more than an actual character, and despite that sometimes she’s a terrible person, I kind of feel bad for her.

Lily eyed us, mystified.

“Jared’s Melanie objects to me,” Ian told her, winking.

Again, not allowing for the possibility that the reaction was Wanderer, and Wanderer not defending Melanie at all.  But also; ‘Jared’s Melanie’.  Not ‘Wanderer’s host Melanie’, not ‘the body Wanderer is stealing so she can live, depriving Melanie of her own life’, she’s described solely by her relation to a character that has spent less time in the caves than she has considering 90% of this book he’s been out on various raids.

“You know,” he said, “it’s really unfair for Melanie to make you suffer when she’s angry at me.”

“Since when are humans fair?”

“Good point.”

Typewriter Rage



*Ahem* sorry about that.  I lost my composure for a moment.

“Besides, she’d be glad to make you suffer, if I’d let her.”

He laughed.

‘Haha, the owner of the body I’m trying to fuck hates me so much she causes emotional and mental strain on the woman I love by imagining ways to hurt me!’  Fucking hilarious.

“That’s nice about Wes and Lily, don’t you think?” he said.

“Yes. They both seem very happy. I like that.”

“I like it, too. Wes finally got the girl. Gives me hope.” He winked at me. “Do you think Melanie would make you very uncomfortable if I were to kiss you right now?”

I’m not sure I will ever find the words to adequately express how much I hate Ian.

Punch you in the face

Note he didn’t ask whether Wanderer would be okay with him kissing her.

Wes comes charging down the hall to declare that Jared and Jamie are back.  Ian gets depressed and mumbles about how he doesn’t get to sleep with her now because he’s a selfish shithead.

She finds Jamie and everyone is acting all suspicious.  They assure her everyone is fine, but it’s made ludicrously obvious that there’s something up.  My level of fucks I give is just non-existent.  There is nothing this book could do at this point that would make me actually feel tense about the fates of any of these characters.  They could kill Jamie off and I’d be like ‘well, there’s one less annoying character, so we have to spend even more time with the other annoying characters.  Dammit.’  I didn’t realize it was possible for a book to inspire so much bitter rage in me while also BORING ME TO GODDAMN TEARS!  Ugh people.  Ugh.


Apparently Jamie managed to accidentally stab himself in the leg.  Because that’s a realistic injury right?  People usually hold knives with the blade facing down?  Pretty sure if you’re holding a knife properly and you trip and fall it’s much more likely to stab you in the upper body/head area.  But that wouldn’t allow him to have a seemingly minor injury that you wouldn’t worry over and a sympathetic limp.  Stabbing himself in the chest or face would be too significant a wound to allow for the scene to focus on the fact that they’re hiding something, the focus would be on Jamie, and Meyer doesn’t want that.

Wanderer asks why he walked all the way to the…foyer?  Whatever their big central gathering place is that’s rather vaguely possibly by the garden, instead of staying in the hospital.  He and Trudy (the female Wes as far as I’m concerned.  I recall seeing her name before, but I’ll be damned if I can tell you what she did that got her mentioned) get all sketchy and even the dumbest person on the planet would know they’re trying to hide something.  To bring my point home, Wanderer realizes they’re hiding something.

But not until after Ian comes over and laughs about Jamie’s gaping leg wound.  Because I needed more reasons to hate that character apparently.

Melanie guides her through the process of lying to figure out what’s going on since everyone is being really goddamn terrible at hiding that there’s something going on.  Seriously, they’re stuttering and making bullshit excuses that they pause part way through saying to choose their words.  It’s so painfully, unbelievably obvious.  It’s kind of irritating.  Couldn’t just have Melanie tell her she thinks they’re lying, Meyer has to make it super goddamn obvious.  Anyway, they take Jamie back to his room, Ian of course follows because of fucking course he does, but she gets him to get them food instead of sticking around.  He hesitates, clearly indicating he’s in on whatever they’re hiding from her and he’s trying to prevent her from finding out about it.  This will be relevant later, but not today.  Try and remember it in case I don’t.

Wanderer lies to Jamie saying she needs to tell Ian something and runs off.  She heads down to the hospital area since that seemed to be what they were trying to keep her from going to, but had they just been casual and said ‘Jamie was sent to go lay down because he didn’t want to sleep on those uncomfy cots, and he decided to try and find you instead of going straight to bed’, Wanderer never would have even thought to go to the hospital area because she hates it.  I thought of that excuse as I typed this.  They had the entire walk from when the boys arrived, taking Jamie to see Doc, and then walking back to the common area, which as far as I can tell is a significant walk.  And they could not come up with a lie they could tell without hesitating on how to word it.  Totally believable.


She describes the people she passes in the halls like she does EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN TIME SHE GOES FOR A WALK because apparently we’re supposed to know who these people are and give a shit about them or their reaction to her.  I will just point you to what I said earlier about Wes and Lily for how I feel about that.

The chapter ends with Wanderer and Melanie walking down the tunnel being mortified thinking someone’s dying again.  There’s an actual low level of tension here in the writing that I can detect, but I do not feel any personally.  Mostly because as I mentioned earlier, they could kill the kid and I wouldn’t care.  Jared could be in the hospital dying and I wouldn’t care.  Ian could be dying and I would shout for joy.  There is nothing this book can do at this point to make me care.

I didn’t talk much about the part of the chapter where something plot driving actually happens.  That’s because it was nothing but people going ‘ummm… obvious lie?  Yeah!  Obvious lie!’ over and over again.  There was nothing to discuss.

I feel nothing

Next time there will be more to discuss!  With probably more capslock fun on my part!

Till then!  Check out The Llama’s review of this chapter!

The Host Review: Touched (Ch 38)

Fair warning, this chapters title isn’t about feeling emotionally touched.  It’s about Ian physically touching Wanderer in increasingly unwelcome and disturbing ways.  If my previous rants about Ian coming off rapey made you uncomfortable, you may want to skip this one.  Because that’s the entire chapter.  It’s just Ian being rapetastic.  As Wanderer tells him that Melanie wants him to fuck off and she (Wanderer) feels uncomfortable.  The whooooole chapter.  This is supposed to be romantic people.  Kill me now.  Please?

Please please please

The chapter starts literally at the same place the last one left off.  She actually restates the question that was the very last line of the last chapter.  ‘What do you think?’  She’s clearly absorbed absolutely nothing of Melanie’s information because she has no idea what he means by that, unsure what part of the conversation he’s talking about. It’s obvious to everyone that’s not an idiot that he wants to know what she thinks about him having a horrible creepy crush on her and hoping he won points with her over the whole ‘you have more of a right to exist than the human who’s body you stole’ part of the conversation.

He knew what I was. He knew I was just a tiny creature fused into the back of Melanie’s brain. A worm, as Kyle had said. Yet even Kyle thought Ian had a “crush” on me. On me? That wasn’t possible.

You know, I kind of thought this line of thinking was depressing in the last chapter, but he admitted it, Kyle pointed it out, Melanie pointed it out, and she’s still going on and on about how it’s not possible.  I actually think it gets pretty insulting by this point that she still refuses to accept it.  It’s not just low self-esteem, it’s also telling someone else how they’re supposed to feel.  If she were just going on about why it makes no sense that would be fine, but she’s saying everyone else, including Ian, is wrong about how Ian feels.  Apparently because she doesn’t understand it that means it can’t happen.

She goes on for multiple paragraphs about what Ian’s question could possibly be referring to and it doesn’t matter at all because we JUST read the conversation the chapter before.  We don’t need to be reminded of what happened in it, because she doesn’t actually say what she thinks of anything, just goes over what parts of the conversation she could possibly have a thought about.  In the end she just says she doesn’t know what she thinks, without actually figuring out what part he was talking about, so he thinks she’s saying she doesn’t know how she feels about him, when she’s just saying she’s confused, period.

“I really don’t know,” I said.

He nodded. “That’s understandable.”

“Only because you are very understanding.”

Forehead smack

They go back and forth for a full page about how weird it is. And I mean they literally just say ‘I know it’s weird’ ‘yeah, it’s weird to me too’ ‘it’s so weird it’s impossible’ ‘I’m just as surprised as you are!’.  Literally.  A full page.  And then Ian gets creepy.

“Tell me something,” Ian said after a moment.

“If I know the answer.”

“It’s not a hard question.”

He didn’t ask it right away. Instead, he reached across the narrow space and picked up my hand. He held it in both of his for a moment, and then he trailed the fingers of his left hand slowly up my arm, from my wrist to my shoulder. Just as slowly, he pulled them back again. He looked at the skin of my arm rather than my face, watching the goose bumps that formed along the path of his fingers.

“Does that feel good or bad to you?” he asked.

For anyone that doesn’t know, that is an incredibly suggestive, fairly sexual gesture.  It’s a build up to foreplay.  This is not a tender, sweet moment, or a merely slightly intimate one, it is a very intimate gesture and considering they just talked at length about how confused Wanderer is by all of this, a pretty fucking horrible one for him to do.  The entire purpose of that gesture is to try and get you in the mood for sex.

Bad, Melanie insisted.

But it doesn’t hurt, I protested.

That’s not what he’s asking. When he says good… Oh, it’s like talking to a child!

I’m not even a year old, you know. Or am I now? I was sidetracked, trying to figure out the date.


Melanie was not distracted. Good, to him, means the way it feels when Jared touches us. The memory she provided was not one from the caves. It was in the magic canyon, at sunset. Jared stood behind her and let his hands follow the shape of her arms, from her shoulders to her wrists. I shivered at the pleasure of the simple touch. Like that.



“Melanie says bad,” I whispered.

First of all, Melanie should not have to provide that memory.  Wanderer has access to all her fucking memories for fucks sake!  God this pisses me off.  Second, you now understand Wanderer.  Why are you saying only MELANIE’S side of this?!  Why can’t you tell him that it doesn’t make you feel what you KNOW he WANTS you to feel, since it CLEARLY doesn’t!  Is it because that might hurt his feelings so you’re instead going to put it on Melanie so it’s not your fault?  At least that would be consistent with your character…


“What do you say?”

“I say… I don’t know.”

When I could meet his eyes, they were warmer than I expected. “I can’t even imagine how confusing this all must be to you.”

THEN WHY ARE YOU DOING IT TO HER?!  If you KNOW you’re just confusing her why the FUCK did you think it would be a good idea?!?  YOU JUST YELLED AT JARED FOR DOING THE SAME FUCKING THING YOU SELFISH PRICK!

It was comforting that he understood. “Yes. I’m confused.”

He doesn’t understand Wanderer.  Or at least if he does, he doesn’t care.  How do I know that?  Well, HE’S STILL FUCKING DOING IT!

His hand traced up and down my arm again. “Would you like me to stop?”


I hesitated. “Yes,” I decided. “That… what you’re doing… makes it hard for me to think. And Melanie is… angry at me. That also makes it hard to think.”

I’m not angry at you. Tell him to leave.

Ian is my friend. I don’t want him to leave.

Wow Wanderer doesn’t understand what’s happening here AT ALL.  She can literally read Melanie’s thoughts and Melanie CLEARLY understands what’s happening here, yet Wanderer, apparently willfully so thanks to the aforementioned ABILITY TO READ MELANIE’S THOUGHTS, remains completely ignorant.  But she HAS at least told Ian to stop because she can’t think with him doing that and Melanie being pissed at him.  It’s too difficult for her to distinguish her own genuine emotions from the physical distraction of Ian’s rapey caress and Melanie’s anger.  If he were a decent human being that would be the end of that.  But he’s not.

Sad Reality

He leaned away, folding his arms across his chest.

“I don’t suppose she’d give us a minute alone?”

Instead of accepting that Wanderer said she found his actions distracting and SHE wanted him to stop, he puts all the blame on Melanie so he can continue to claim that Wanderer wants his affection, Melanie is just a selfish bitch for not wanting him to RAPE HER.

I keep using that word, and I know he hasn’t actually tried to do that (yet), but he sure as hell has made his intentions known.  He very clearly wants to sleep with her, and he is blatantly ignoring her statement that she specifically said SHE would like him to stop, not just that MELANIE would like him to stop which in and of itself should be enough since it’s Melanie’s goddamn body.  He touched her in a sexual, suggestive way, she wanted him to stop, and he doesn’t want to.

Wanderer laughs and says she doubts it, which Ian apparently thinks is Melanie speaking directly.  He really does seem to be pushing the idea that it’s only MELANIE that doesn’t feel that way about him and she’s just being a cockblocker.  But no, that was all Wanderer.

“Melanie Stryder?” he asked, addressing her.

We both started at the name.

Ian went on. “I’d like the chance to speak with Wanda privately, if you don’t mind. Is there any way that could be arranged?”

Why would he ask MELANIE that?!  As though Melanie is the one in control!  Again, he is BLAMING MELANIE for the fact that Wanderer doesn’t want him to touch her and thinks that if he can just get her to fuck off, Wanderer will be all over him.  Or maybe he just thinks that if Melanie isn’t getting mad Wanderer will just not protest.  When, for the millionth time, WANDERER SAID *SHE PERSONALLY* WANTED HIM TO STOP!



I know there are some guys that are actually really sensitive and don’t think about sex that often or even at all, but to be completely honest when talking to a girl he’s attracted to, just about every guy in existence at least has sex in the back of his mind somewhere.  The good ones just don’t let it be the ONLY thing on their minds.  So, yes, I feel pretty goddamn confident every time I say Ian is after Wanderer for sex more than companionship, because he already gets companionship from her and there is only one reason to do what he did already, and it gets so much worse…

Of all the nerve! You tell him I said no chance in hell! I do not like this man.

My nose wrinkled up.

“What did she say?”

Again he is attributing her response to a reaction to Melanie.  She couldn’t possibly find it distasteful that he would try and banish her host body’s consciousness, the only reason she’s there at all.

“She said no.” I tried to say the words as gently as they could be said. “And that she doesn’t… like you.”

Ian laughed. “I can respect that. I can respect her. Well, it was worth a try.” He sighed. “Kind of puts a damper on things, having an audience.”

Someone please, PLEASE tell me a way to interpret that that ISN’T Ian saying it’ll be creepy to sleep with her while someone’s watching.  I have tried, I have asked other people, I CANNOT see that as anything OTHER than REALLY FUCKING CREEPY!  Not to mention the fact that he’s saying he respects Melanie, while also saying in the next breath that he’s going to ignore her wishes and do whatever the fuck he wants to her body, it’s just going to be weird having her watch.  IN WHAT UNIVERSE DOES THAT QUALIFY AS RESPECT?!


What things? Mel growled.

I grimaced. I didn’t like feeling her anger. It was so much more vicious than mine.

Get used to it.

Even Melanie understands that Ian is not going to fuck off no matter what either one of them do. THIS BOOK KNOWS HE’S A CREEP AND IT’S SAYING HE’S THE LOVE INTEREST ANYWAY!

Ian put his hand on my face. “I’ll let you think about things, okay? So you can decide how you feel.”

She specifically wanted you to stop touching her so she could do that.  This is you doing the exact opposite of that.  GO FUCK YOURSELF.

I tried to be objective about that hand. It was soft against my face. It felt… nice. Not like when Jared touched me. But also different from the way it felt when Jamie hugged me. Other.

Basically, it’s not motherly love or romantic love.  There’s a third option.  It’s called PLATONIC LOVE.

I realized, when he smiled then, that I wanted him to like me. The rest–the hand on my face, the fingers on my arm–I still wasn’t sure at all about those. But I wanted him to like me, and to think kind things about me. Which is why it was hard to tell him the truth.

And this is the part where I switch from wanting to stab Ian in the crotch to wanting to stab Wanderer in the face.  That is a MASSIVELY horrible thing to do.  She WANTS TO CULTIVATE HIS CRUSH ON HER DESPITE NOT RETURNING IT BECAUSE SHE LIKES THAT HE WANTS HER!  Basically she wants to lead him on so he’ll keep being so nice to her thinking he has a chance with her.  Wanderer is a horrible person.


For the record though, that still doesn’t justify what Ian does to her.

“You don’t really feel that way about me, you know,” I whispered. “It’s this body.… She’s pretty, isn’t she?”

He nodded. “She is. Melanie is a very pretty girl. Even beautiful.” His hand moved to touch my bad cheek, to stroke the rough, scarring skin with gentle fingers. “In spite of what I’ve done to her face.”

They’re BOTH being manipulative douchebags here.  This is literally the first thing Wanderer says to him after thinking that quote above.  She’s trying to get him to say nice things about her personality.  Trying to get him to think about what he likes about her to reinforce the feeling.  And Ian is trying to get her to feel bad for him for feeling guilty.  Since he wasn’t the one to damage her face, he just wants Wanderer to think he’s gentle and kind and guilt ridden and she should pity him.

Normally, I would have denied that automatically. Reminded him that the wounds on my face weren’t his fault. But I was so confused that my head was spinning and I couldn’t form a coherent sentence.

Why should it bother me that he thought Melanie was beautiful?

I’m sure people that LIKE this book probably think the answer to that is that she likes Ian so the idea that he’s attracted to Melanie, not her, is upsetting.  I have a different interpretation given the context and that’s that she specifically stated she wants him to think good things about her.  She wants him to talk about how good SHE is.  She wants to cultivate his attraction to her so he will be loyal to HER, not Melanie.

“But, pretty as she is, she’s a stranger to me. She’s not the one I… care about.”

That made me feel better. Which was even more confusing.


“Ian, you don’t… Nobody here separates us the way they should. Not you, not Jamie, not Jeb.” The truth came out in a rush, more heated than I’d meant it to be. “You couldn’t care about me. If you could hold me in your hand, me, you would be disgusted. You would throw me to the ground and grind me under your foot.”

His pale forehead creased as his black brows pulled together. “I… not if I knew it was you.”

I laughed without humor. “How would you know? You couldn’t tell us apart.”

Oh don’t get so high and mighty.  You couldn’t tell people apart at first either.  Said we all looked too similar.  How the hell are you claiming a moral high ground here?!  And yeah, he probably WOULDN’T be attracted to her in bug form, but to be fair he couldn’t communicate with her in that form either.  So it’s not just that he wouldn’t want/be able to have sex with her.  I don’t really think that’s a terribly fair accusation on her part.

not fair

“That’s not true at all,” he disagreed. “It’s not the face, but the expressions on it. It’s not the voice, but what you say. It’s not how you look in that body, but the things you do with it. You are beautiful.”

He moved forward as he spoke, kneeling beside the bed where I lay and taking my hand again in both of his.

Yes, because physical affection is DEFINITELY how you tell someone that you love them for their personality, not their appearance.

She goes on to ask if he’d feel the same if she’d come there in the body of an old woman or a man, and Ian says SHE is a woman, I think to question why she would ever take a man’s body, but it’s not terribly clear since he’s definitely NOT saying he would switch teams for her.  Wanderer says that he’s right, she does consider herself female and makes a point of always taking a female host.  But she says she could be in a male body and it wouldn’t make a difference.  Again though, I don’t think this is an entirely fair statement on her part.  While some people are able to fall in love with just anyone, there IS a physical component to the emotion for 99.5% of people.  Specifically because the emotion’s biological origin is about finding a mate, not just someone to hang out with.  But it’s not purely physical either.  While he may not be attracted to Wanderer in a man’s body, he may not be attracted to Melanie in HER OWN body either.  So it IS just as much about Wanderer as it is her host body.

“I wouldn’t want it without you.”

“You wouldn’t want me without it.

This is harder to retort, but I would still like to say that that’s only a half truth.  He could still have fallen for her in the body of a less attractive female.

He touched my cheek again and left his hand there, his thumb under my jaw. “But this body is part of you, too. It’s part of who you are. And, unless you change your mind and turn us all in, it’s who you will always be.”

Again with the touching… But again, also only partially true.  She could just as easily decide to simply let herself die and give Melanie back her life.  Or take over the body of someone else.

Ah, the finality of it. Yes, I would die in this body. The final death.

And I will never live in it again, Melanie whispered.

It’s not how either of us planned our future, is it?

No. Neither of us planned to have no future.

This is actually a relatively effective conversation.  But I would still like to point out that Wanderer could just have her ‘final death’ and let Melanie have her life.  The options here are that Wanderer never has a normal life anywhere ever again and dies in this body, and Melanie dies never regaining control over her body, or Wanderer gives up her host body and Melanie gets to live her life as herself.  Wanderer has no future either way, so personally it’s kind of selfish of her to not even consider that, whether she has the guts to actually DO it or not is one thing, but to not even think about it?  Again, apparently Wanderer’s existence is more important than Melanie’s.  This book is pretty mean to Melanie.

“Another internal conversation?” Ian guessed.

“We’re thinking of our mortality.”

“You could live forever if you left us.”

“Yes, I could.” I sighed. “You know, humans have the shortest life span of any species I’ve ever been, except the Spiders. You have so little time.”

“Don’t you think, then…” Ian paused and leaned closer to me so that I couldn’t seem to see anything around his face, just snow and sapphire and ink. “That maybe you should make the most of what time you have? That you should live while you’re alive?”

AGAIN, Ian is stating here that she should let him fuck her since time is fleeting.  This is jackass pick up artist levels of awful right here.  He’s also presuming, again, that Wanderer wants to be with him and only isn’t because of Jared and Melanie, which is not even close to anything she has actually stated at any point.  AND he’s saying that living means fucking.



It wasn’t like kissing Jared. With Jared, there was no thought, only desire. No control. A spark to gasoline–inevitable. With Ian, I didn’t even know what I felt. Everything was muddled and confused.

And what she’s saying here is that she doesn’t feel like she wants to respond to the kiss.  She doesn’t like it.  It doesn’t make her feel desire or loving like kissing Jared did, it only makes her feel weird and uncomfortable.  Probably in part because Ian is constantly ignoring her wishes and taking advantage of the fact that she won’t make him back off.

His lips were soft and warm. He pressed them only lightly to mine, and then brushed them back and forth across my mouth.

…What the hell kind of kiss is that?  Fucking eskimo kiss only to her lips instead of her nose?  Is that supposed to be romantic?

“Good or bad?” he whispered against my lips.

Bad! Bad, bad!

“I–I can’t think.” When I moved my mouth to speak, he moved his with it.

“That sounds… good.”

His mouth pressed down with more force now. He caught my lower lip between his and pulled on it gently.


Melanie wanted to hit him–so much more than she’d wanted to punch Jared. She wanted to shove him away and then kick his face. The image was horrible. It conflicted jarringly with the sensation of Ian’s kiss.

“Please,” I whispered.


“Please stop. I can’t think. Please.”

This section just makes me feel depressed.

He sat back at once, clasping his hands in front of him. “Okay,” he said, his tone cautious.

I pressed my hands against my face, wishing I could push out Melanie’s anger.

“Well, at least nobody punched me.” Ian grinned.

She just literally begged him to stop kissing her and he’s acting fucking PROUD of himself!  MY GOD this guy is a douchebag!

She explains that Melanie was certainly angry enough to do more than punch him, and that she was so angry it was hurting Wanderer’s head.  But that since she wasn’t overwhelmed Melanie couldn’t take control.  Awful convenient, these rules.


Calm down, I begged her. He’s not touching me.

Has he forgotten that I’m here? Doesn’t he care? This is me, it’s me!

No Melanie, he does not care.  He basically said so earlier in the chapter.

Melanie is so deeply upset by this violation that she tries to remind Wanderer that she has a crush on Jared to get her to tell Ian to fuck off.  She’s trying to remind Wanderer that Wanderer is in love with her boyfriend because she would rather deal with jealousy towards Wanderer’s crush than have Ian keep trying to have sex with her.  That is how violated she feels right now.

“She’s talking to you.”

“Yelling at me,” I corrected.

“I can tell now. I can see you concentrate on the conversation. I never noticed before today.”

“She’s not always this vocal.”

“I am sorry, Melanie,” he said. “I know this must be impossible for you.”

Remember, Ian was mad at Jared because his kissing Melanie might fuck up Wanderer.  He apparently does not think that he shouldn’t be allowed to kiss Wanderer based on what it does to Melanie.  This is a massive double standard based solely on his desire to be with Wanderer and his jealousy towards Jared.  It’s terrible, and he is a horrible man.  He is a horrible love interest.  He is a horrible human being in general.

Tell him I don’t want his apologies.

I winced.

Ian half smiled, half grimaced. “She doesn’t accept.”


Ian asks about Melanie taking over, she says it’s harder and harder and that she tried to let Melanie take over against Kyle but failed.  That ‘the door seems to be locked’ unless she’s completely emotionally overwhelmed.  Ian asks if all Jared did was kiss her and Wanderer confirms.  This makes him flinch and I admit I take joy from his pain at this point.

“What?” I asked. “What’s wrong?”

“When Jared kisses you, you are… overwhelmed by emotion.”

I stared at him, worried by the expression on his face. Melanie enjoyed it. That’s right!

He sighed. “And when I kiss you… you aren’t sure if you like it. You are not… overwhelmed.”

“Oh.” Ian was jealous. How very strange this world was. “I’m sorry.”

Apparently Melanie does too.

“Don’t be. I told you I’d give you time, and I don’t mind waiting for you to think things through. I don’t mind that at all.”

If that was true you wouldn’t have kissed her you fucking prick!

He wants to know how much of her love for Jared is her and how much is Melanie.  Wanderer doesn’t know why it matters, and frankly neither do I because it doesn’t change the fact.  He’s the one that said the body is a part of who she is, so what she feels because of the body is too.  But again, this is him trying to justify his shitty behaviour.  He holds her hand again because he doesn’t seem to take ‘please stop’ very seriously.

It was very quiet for a minute. Even Melanie was still. That was nice.

Then, as though a switch had been flipped, Ian was his normal self again. He laughed.

“Time is on my side,” he said, grinning. “We’ve got the rest of our lives in here. One day you’ll wonder what you ever saw in Jared.”

I cannot adequately express how deeply, deeply terrible this is.  He’s telling her that eventually Stockholm syndrome will kick in and she’ll be his.  He’s not accepting that she has feelings for someone else and he should move on like a FUCKING adult, he’s saying she’ll eventually cave because she’s fucking STUCK WITH HIM.  It’s CREEPY, it’s HORRIBLE, and it makes me hate this book more than I already did which I didn’t think was even POSSIBLE!

I hate you phone

Jamie interrupts thankfully so there can be no more creepiness.  He asks if she’s hungry and she says she’s fine and asks about school and blah blah stuff that doesn’t matter at all.  Until he gets to the part about Jared.  And I find myself so happy about what comes next I kind of wonder if that wasn’t the point to this whole chapter and Meyer actually pulled this off effectively.  But I won’t get my hopes up too high that we were actually SUPPOSED to find Ian creepy.  Though I would give props if that’s where it ended up.

“Guess what? Jared was saying at lunch that he didn’t think it was fair for you to have to move out of the room you were used to. He said we weren’t being good hosts. He said you should move back in with me! Isn’t that great? I asked him if I could tell you right away, and he said that was a good idea. He said you would be in here.”

“I’ll bet he did,” Ian murmured.

“So what do you think, Wanda? We get to be roomies again!”

“But Jamie, where will Jared stay?”

“Wait–let me guess,” Ian interrupted. “I bet he said the room was big enough for three. Am I right?”

“Yeah. How did you know?”

“Lucky guess.”

Oh don’t be such a sore loser Ian.  You WERE just kissing his girlfriend.  And you’re not even dating the other occupant of the body, so it really was completely fair of Jared to pull this stunt.  You were being a douchebag, he retaliated in kind.  And I find myself liking Jared again in this moment.

The implication that Jamie wants MELANIE there, not Wanderer, comes across, but unintentionally so on Jamie’s part.  Simply so Wanderer could feel lonely and ‘woe is me’ again.  Jamie apologizes and corrects that he wants the FOUR of them to be together as a family.  All the while coming off as a naïve 6 year old.

Jamie crawled up the mattress, worming his way around Ian, to put his arms around my neck.

He’s a teenager.  This doesn’t feel like something a teenager would do.

“Sorry. Don’t be sad.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“You know I love you, too.”

So sharp, so piercing, the emotions of this planet. Jamie had never said those words to me before. My whole body suddenly felt a few degrees warmer.


“Will you come back?” Jamie begged against my shoulder.

I couldn’t answer right away.

“What does Mel want?” he asked.

“She wants to live with you,” I whispered. I didn’t have to check to know that.

“And what do you want?”

“Do you want me to live with you?”

“You know I do, Wanda. Please.”

Jamie, like Jared in the last chapter, makes a point of actually asking what both women want.  Rather than Ian simply trying to force what HE wants on both women.  I just like making comparisons at this point so you all understand without a doubt that Ian is a massive douchebag.

When Wanderer concedes, Jamie shouts his excitement and bounces around.  He says he’ll go get her something to eat and wants to know if Ian wants anything as well.  Ian tells him to tell Jared he’s shameless.  Hypocrite.

Ian rolls his eyes and Wanderer feels the pang that she’s not the one wanted again because she can’t accept that Jamie now sees her as part of his family.  Because then she couldn’t feel depressed and garner pity.  She wants Ian to keep liking her because he’s the only one that likes JUST her.  He doesn’t give a SHIT about Melanie.  Jamie loves them BOTH and that’s not good enough.

This chapter made me feel like I was at a party watching a guy feel up a drunk chick only without the ability to go over and punch him in the face and call her a cab.

You know what sucks

Till next time.  Check out The Llama’s review of this chapter!

Q&A: Sympathy

What would you most like more sympathy for?

Hmmm…  Reading The Host!

In all seriousness I hate it when people have sympathy for me.  Empathy or nothing!  I don’t want to be pitied, I just want people to understand why whatever is bothering me is bothering me if I decide to talk to let them know something is bothering me.  Or for them to just leave me to stew in my unhappiness.  Either works for me.  I’m a lot less angry/depressed than I once was so I don’t even have as many things going on in my life that people could be sympathetic towards, nor do I feel like people don’t understand when I am feeling down.

Not anymore anyway.  I don’t feel like getting in depth about my issues when I was a dumbass teenager, but back then I certainly wanted a little more sympathy.  It would have been nice for my parents to acknowledge that taking advanced English, advanced Biology, physics, chemistry, calculus and sociology all in the same year was kiiind of stressful.  But to be fair I don’t think they actually knew what I was taking.  We weren’t really on speaking terms for most of my high school years.

So yeah, no, life’s pretty decent for me at the moment, so I don’t want anyone’s sympathy.  I’m good.

Check out The Llama’s answer to this question and feel free to post your own in the comments!

The Host Review: Wanted (Ch 37) GO FUND THIS!  Seriously, only a few days left, do it.  Send human beings to MARS.  Actual human beings not just robots.  DO IT!  I’ve been following this company for a while, they’ve been falling short on most of their fundraising goals, so they’re starting to get creative and they’re really pushing to actually pull this off, so you should totally support them.  Now onto the chapter!


Wow this one starts off boring.  She talks about how Jared always wins until Ian and Kyle team up against him and kick everyone’s asses.  And it’s just so goddamn pointless.  Oh Jared is soooo awesome (remember, he’s magic), but then Ian is super cool too!  The only reason this is here is so we can directly compare Jared and Ian.

For some reason Ian and Kyle are able to move ‘as one’.  Because that makes complete and utter sense right?  All brothers are just well oiled machines who can read each other’s thoughts?  And they can work together seamlessly even after one of them wanted the other to die just a few minutes before?  Not to mention the fact that if they spent years on the run from the aliens before the invasion when would they have had the time to play soccer before coming to Jeb’s hole in the ground to develop this miraculous skill?  Oh but we can’t have Ian completely out shined by Jared, that would make him look bad in comparison!  Because him being able to be that strongly connected with a sociopath the day after that sociopath tried to kill the woman he loves is totally preferable to him getting his ass handed to him in soccer.

Somehow they play like, 5 games of this before they all get tired and Jeb informs them there’s still work to do.  The average game of Soccer is over an hour, so they played 5-6 hours without getting exhausted?  They got up, got emotionally worked up with the trial, played a game before breakfast, then 4-5 more after that (or more, Meyer is incredibly vague about it, only stating that the losing team would then yank the best players from the other team to try and win the next one instead of just coming up with a strategy to win with the players they had) and only now are they getting tired.  And they still have to get their work done for the day.  And EVERYONE is in on this game, all 40ish people living in this stupid cave.  This book is stupid.

There were a few halfhearted protests and a few moans, but more laughter. No one seemed too upset to have the fun end. From the way a few people sat down right where they were and put their heads between their knees to breathe, it was clear Jeb wasn’t the only one who was tired out.

They were SO TIRED they couldn’t even walk out of the room, but they kept playing anyway.  No wonder they couldn’t beat Ian and Kyle!

It had to be past time for lunch though it was hard to mark the hour in this black hole.

And it’s lunch.  I suppose if the trial was less than an hour and the sun comes up at around 4 or 5am, that’s reasonable, but stills suggests they were playing sports for at least 6 or 7 hours.  What the hell is wrong with these people?


When the game was called, Kyle had raised his hand for a high five, but Ian had stalked past him without acknowledging the gesture. Then Kyle caught his brother’s shoulder and spun him around. Ian knocked Kyle’s hand away. I tensed for a fight–and it seemed like one at first. Kyle threw a punch toward Ian’s stomach. Ian dodged it easily, though, and I saw that there was no force behind it. Kyle laughed and used his superior reach to rub his fist into Ian’s scalp. Ian smacked that hand away, but this time he halfway smiled.

Again with her miraculous ability to see every detail in the dark.  Also, seriously, Ian must not really care for Wanderer all that much if he can relatively go back to normal just because they played a fun game.  If my brother ever tried to kill the woman I had a crush on I’d never be able to even be in the same ROOM as him again without tearing him to shreds either physically or at the very least verbally.  At least not for a long time, certainly not the same day he was in trial for it and said he didn’t regret it!  And that’s not because I’m a jackass, it’s because I’m a fucking human being who doesn’t like it when people try and fucking kill someone I love!  This does not make him a good person, it means he values his homicidal brother more than he values Wanderer AND his own morals.

“Good game, bro,” I heard Kyle say. “You’ve still got it.”

“You’re such an idiot, Kyle,” Ian answered.

“You got the brains; I got the looks. Seems fair.”

Kyle threw another half-strength punch. This time, Ian caught it and twisted his brother into a headlock. Now he was really smiling, and Kyle was cussing and laughing at the same time.

‘Cussing’.  God this book is childish.  Seriously, how are they this okay with each other right now?!  I discussed how Ian’s reaction seems unreasonable, but what about Kyle’s?  His brother has a crush on a member of the alien species that took over their planet.  Something he thought was so strong a threat he was willing to kill it despite being warned that doing so could be his death as well.  And he’s completely fine with this.  He has no moral qualms with his brother dating an alien body snatcher he wants dead.  Yup, this is all COMPLETELY how real people would act.  And you can’t even say they got caught up in the moment and forgot, they CLEARLY didn’t.  Ian was still mad at him at the start of the last quote and Kyle knew that and why.  It is on both of their minds, and they’re just trying to move past it because a whole 5 hours has passed it’s time to move on.  YUP, I’M COMPLETELY OKAY WITH THAT.

Replace suicidal with homicidal and yeah, pretty much.

Replace suicidal with homicidal and yeah, pretty much.

Yes, they’re playing, Melanie confirmed. The bonds of brotherhood go deep.

As they should. This is right. If Kyle really doesn’t kill us, this will be a good thing.

If, Melanie repeated morosely.

No one talks like this.  Ever.  Anywhere.  And please note that she’s saying it was a good thing that Kyle tried to kill them and destroyed half of a very important room.  Because it brought Kyle and Ian closer together somehow.  Except what Melanie was saying was that they were already that close anyway, and thus that never needed to happen.  And why the fuck isn’t Melanie pointing out that Ian being buddy buddy with Kyle gives Kyle time and ability to try and turn Ian against her?  Remind Ian of why they hate the aliens so much?  No?  No objections at all?  Whatever.

Jared comes over and asks if they’re hungry.  Wanderer’s heart goes all aflutter and she has to compose herself before she can tell him she’s just tired, not hungry, and Melanie gets all snippy because Wanderer is getting all shook up when Jared helps her up.  Wanderer takes his hand and holds it in a romantic way rather than as the physical support to help her walk that it was meant as.  Because that’s going to make Melanie less jealous, right?

And then Ian comes over and plants himself firmly beside her to support her weight.  Or to stake his claim like a wild animal pissing all over its territory, take your pick as to which is his biggest priority.  Considering what happens next, I’d say it’s definitely about territory, not genuine concern, but I really fucking hate Ian, so I may be slightly biased.

Rather than saying anything to Wanderer, he speaks to JARED, informing JARED he will take her to where she needs to go.  Not where she WANTS to go, mind you.  Jared gives him a look and then says that he was just discussing with her where that should be.  Because Jared actually wanted her input where Ian is just demanding she go where he wants her.  Note the difference.

“I’ve got a better place for her,” Ian said. “Those cots aren’t much softer than rock, and she’s got a lot of sore spots.”

Jared still held my hand. Did he realize how tightly he was gripping it? The pressure was starting to get uncomfortable, but he didn’t seem aware. And I certainly wasn’t going to complain.

Ugh.  Just ugh.

Ugh ugh and ugh

“Why don’t you get lunch?” Jared suggested to Ian. “You look hungry. I’ll take her wherever you had planned… ?”

Ian chuckled, a low, dark sound. “I’m fine. And honestly, Jared, Wanda needs a bit more help than a hand. I don’t know if you’re… comfortable enough with the situation to give her that. You see –”

Ian paused to lean down and pull me quickly up into his arms. I gasped as the movement tugged at my side. Jared didn’t free my hand. My fingertips were turning red.

“–she’s actually had enough exercise for one day, I think. You go on ahead to the kitchen.”

They stared at each other while my fingertips turned purple

And Jared joins in on the dick waving contest.  Wonderful.  Now they’re both not thinking about what she wants, who’s help she wants, where she wants to go or whether or not she wanted to be picked up.  NOPE!  Everything is about these two and their childish territorial jealousy!  Fuck I hate this book.  I hate these characters.  I hate love triangles.  I hate people that act like this in real life why would I want to read about it being glorified?!

I do get jealous, but to solve this dispute I would have gone ‘well why don’t we ask what SHE wants?’ and then got smug if I won.  And sulk but concede if I didn’t.

“I can carry her,” Jared finally said in a low voice.

“Can you?” Ian challenged. He held me out, away from his body.

An offer.

Jared stared at my face for a long minute. Then he sighed and dropped my hand.

Seriously.  I hate this scene.  I would rather read about the cow-spiders than read this scene.

I hate you

Ow, that hurts! Melanie complained. She was referring to the sudden lance of pain that shot through my chest, not the return of blood to my fingers.

Sorry. What do you want me to do about it?

He’s not yours.

Yes. I know that.



I do not understand this exchange.  Why is Melanie saying ow as though she were physically hurt?  You don’t say ‘ow’ to a painful emotion.  At least not more than once.  And why is Wanderer getting snippy back?  Melanie just said that that exchange was painful, not that she blamed Wanderer, but then after Wanderer gets snippy Melanie blames her for the pain?  Oh god this makes no fucking sense to me at all.  WHY DOES SHE SAY OW THE SECOND TIME?!  SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THAT TO ME!

On the walk to Ian’s room (it’s not stated that’s where they’re going, but since that’s where Ian took her last night and then creepily watched her while she was unconscious, it’s pretty clear that’s what’s happening) Ian and Jared do more dick waving about which one will protect her harder.  I’ve read children’s books more mature than this.  Reminder once again, these guys are near/in their 30’s, not their teens.  They’re not kids.  They’re adults who have had to man up even more, facing the threat of death on a regular basis.  They are not living in our society where adolescence can easily get extended thanks to the luxury of not having to grow up.  They have instead reverted to dogs fighting over the alpha female for mating rights.  And I wish that was hyperbolic, but that’s actually something they fucking discuss later in this chapter.  Again, ALL WITHOUT EVEN ASKING HER A GODDAMN THING.  They even blatantly ignore her when she tries to talk during their little show off battle.  It’s pathetic.


No one spoke again until Ian paused at the red and gray doors that leaned over the entrance to his cave.

“Would you mind getting that?” Ian said to Jared, nodding toward the doors.

Jared didn’t move. Ian turned around so we could both see him; his face was careful again.

Your room? This is your better place?” Jared’s voice was full of skepticism.

“It’s her room now.”

While I hate Jared less than I hate Ian, I would still like to point out that he was so caught up in his puffery with Ian that he never once asked where Ian was taking her.  It did not even occur to him.

“Where’s Kyle staying?”

“With Wes, for now.”

“And you?”

“I’m not exactly sure.”

They stared at each other with appraising eyes.

You just know Ian is planning to share the room with her.  He knows she won’t say no.

Wanderer tries to speak up to object but Ian CUTS HER OFF and says how tired she must be.  How inconsiderate they’ve been to keep her from getting her rest!  He asks Jared if he would be a dear and get the door so Wanderer can rest.  Oh yes, he’s so concerned!  That exchange was purely just about Wanderer and her needs!  FUCK YOU IAN.  Guys like this give men a bad name.

Ian doesn’t even let her get comfortable on her own.

Ian set me carefully down on the right mattress, arranging my leg and straightening the pillow under my head. Jared stood in the doorway, facing the passageway.

SHE’S NOT PARALYZED DICKHEAD.  SHE CAN DO THAT HERSELF.  Fuck I hate this character.  And the longer this goes on the more I picture him staring over her while she was unconscious, breathing like a creeper as thoughts of touching her in ways Melanie would never let him touch her entered his mind.

Watching you sleep

“I’ll bring you food later–don’t worry about anything.”

“Thank you. Ian?”


“This is your room,” I mumbled. “You’ll sleep here, of course.”

“You don’t mind?”

“Why would I?”

He knew this whole time that she would say that.  That’s why he specifically avoided finding himself an alternative.  He’s a manipulative douchebag who is attempting to use her naiveté against her for his own selfish, horny desires.  He’s a date rapist in the making.  This is emotional manipulation.  He KNOWS she would feel too guilty to kick him out of his room.  He KNOWS she doesn’t understand his advances.  He KNOWS she won’t tell him to go fuck himself.

“It’s probably a good idea–best way to keep an eye on you. Get some sleep.”


And then he makes it sound like he never even considered it and it’s purely for her safety.  And then later it would be ‘oh, I’m a heavy sleeper, we should push the mattresses together so if Kyle comes in in the middle of the night I’ll notice.’  This is what predators DO.  This is how they use innocent people.  Meyer was trying to write romance and instead she wrote date rape.  What the fuck does that tell you?

I spent a large portion of my life hearing my dad talk about the absolute worst humanity had to offer and you know what I took from it?  That that was only a small percentage of people.  That most people are not trying to hurt you.  But that the ones who are, are insidious, and horrible, and they prey primarily on the people who they think can’t defend themselves and take advantage of them and they should all be hit by a goddamn bus so the rest of us can live in peace.  Ian needs to be hit by a bus.


What do you think you’re doing? Melanie demanded.

What? What did I do now?

Wanda, you’re… mostly human. You must realize what Ian will think of your invitation.

Invitation? I could see the direction of her thoughts now. It’s not like that. This is his room. There are two beds here. There aren’t enough sleeping areas for me to have my own space. Of course we should share. Ian knows that.

Does he? Wanda, open your eyes. He’s starting to… How do I explain it so that you’ll understand right? To feel about you… the way you feel about Jared. Can’t you see that?

I couldn’t answer for two heartbeats.

That’s impossible, I finally said.

See?  Wanderer is incapable of understanding what she just invited Ian to do, and Ian KNOWS THAT.  HE knows she’s just being practical.  She doesn’t think it’s actually POSSIBLE for Ian to like her.  That’s… actually kind of depressing.  But not the point.  She doesn’t understand that he’s manipulated her into getting into her bed while she’s most vulnerable, putting himself beside her as her bold protector and spending every goddamn minute of every goddamn day with her until she finally lets him fuck her.  Or he tricks her into it, which seems more likely.

Ian and Jared talking outside interrupts Melanie from explaining that Wanderer is a sucker.  Apparently Aaron and Brandt are cowards who were hoping Kyle would do their dirty work for them, but now that he probably isn’t going to finish her off they may try.  So Jared and Ian must protect poor helpless Wanderer.  Or, you know, the cave, since that was the only actual casualty in that fight.

Jared finally decides to point out to Ian that the body in the room beside them is HIS girlfriend’s body, not Wanderer’s, and Ian should back the fuck off.

back off

“Wanda seems to be, more or less, cooperating with Melanie. It sounds like they’re almost… on friendly terms. But obviously Wanda’s making the decisions. What if it were you? How would you feel if you were Melanie? What if you were the one… invaded that way? What if you were trapped, and someone else was telling your body what to do? If you couldn’t speak for yourself? Wouldn’t you want your wishes–as much as they could be known–respected? At the very least by other humans?”

“Okay, okay. Point taken. I’ll keep that in mind.”

“What do you mean, you’ll keep that in mind? ” Jared demanded.

“I mean that I’ll think about it.”

And Ian’s response is to be a MASSIVE douchebag about it.  You don’t say ‘I’ll think about it’ when being told ‘if you fuck her, you’re RAPING MY GIRLFRIEND’.  Even if Wanderer was okay with it, MELANIE WOULDN’T BE!  You don’t just ‘consider’ not being a rapist, you just don’t be a fucking rapist!  THIS IS NOT THAT FUCKING DIFFICULT!  Men are not fucking animals you know!  We can control our urges!  Anyone that tries to tell you otherwise is a jackass who should be avoided/stabbed in the face.

“There’s nothing to think about,” Jared retorted. I knew how he would look from the sound of his voice–teeth clenched, jaw strained. “The body and the person locked inside it belong to me.

“You’re sure that Melanie still feels the –”

“Melanie will always be mine. And I will always be hers.”




“But what if it were you?” Ian asked in little more than a whisper. “What if you were stuffed in a human body and let loose on this planet, only to find yourself lost among your own kind? What if you were such a good… person that you tried to save the life you’d taken, that you almost died trying to get her back to her family? What if you then found yourself surrounded by violent aliens who hated you and hurt you and tried to murder you, over and over again?” His voice faltered momentarily. “What if you just kept doing whatever you could to save and heal these people despite that? Wouldn’t you deserve a life, too? Wouldn’t you have earned that much?”

You know what?  NO.  No she hasn’t earned that!  That is supposed to be the nature of her ENTIRE species.  The species that TOOK OVER THE FUCKING PLANET.  Doing what comes natural to her should NOT mean she deserves Melanie’s body!  It does NOT mean that Melanie’s feelings can just be ignored!  She doesn’t get to live a full life while Melanie is trapped just because she’s nice!  Even if I DIDN’T know the crap Wanderer says behind people’s backs I STILL wouldn’t think that just because she’s done nice things for these people she should get to take over Melanie’s body completely!  JUST NO!  And I can’t believe I have to fucking explain this!

Also I would like to point out at this point that Ian has still not actually checked to see if WANDERER wants that either!

Of course Jared is not as able to think of a response to this because Meyer can’t have anyone reminded that allowing Wanderer a life literally steals Melanie’s in a very horrible way.  To be told that your feelings don’t matter because Wanderer is nicer than you.  To be told that you should just give up control, accept another man’s touch other than the one you love because you physically can’t say no.  To have people look at your face and see someone else, have them love someone else.  Have them not even acknowledge your presence, your desires.  Have no control over your life at all.  To have to watch your life get lived without you in it, without anyone even knowing your there.  All because the alien that invaded your body is nicer than you.

Ian gets smug that Jared can’t refute his response.  Jared wasn’t smug about pointing out that Ian can’t have a physical relationship with Wanderer, but Ian is being a dick about pointing out that Wanderer deserves to have a relationship with him.  As though he just won their dick measuring contest and Wanderer is the prize.  I fucking hate men like this.  In part because I have to constantly remind myself that the things I have in common with them don’t make me that kind of evil.  I am competitive, but I could never feel smug about explaining why someone’s right to exist should be outweighed by someone else’s.  I feel disgusting just by proxy.

Ian explains that it doesn’t really matter anyway though since Wanderer doesn’t respond to physical affection.  So I’ve been right that this whole time every time he’s been unreasonably handsy he’s been thinking about more than just holding her hand and hugging her.  This adds validity to my previous arguments.  But more importantly it gives Jared an opportunity to be a smug douchebag right back and laugh about how Wanderer responds just fine.  So she just doesn’t like Ian.  (It’s been a while, so for anyone who’s forgotten, Jared kissed Wanderer several chapters ago to test her reaction and got punched in the face by Melanie for cheating on her)

“Melanie… punched… you?”

“It sure wasn’t Wanda. You should have seen her face.… What? Hey, Ian, easy, man!”

“Did you think for one moment what that must have done to her?” Ian hissed.


“No, you fool, Wanda!”

“Done to Wanda? ” Jared asked, sounding bewildered by the idea.

“Oh, get out of here. Go eat something. Stay away from me for a few hours.”

‘No, you fool,’ Meyer watches way too many bad movies.

I personally don’t really give a shit what that might have done to Wanderer, but that’s because I know her and Melanie already hashed that out.  And in the end it’s the main reason Jared trusts them now, so Wanderer would do it again in a heartbeat despite the pain it caused her.  Plus I don’t think Ian’s concern has anything to do with Wanderer’s feelings aside from the whole ‘omg she’s gonna think Jared likes HER and then she won’t love me! Oh noes!’ selfish bullshit.

Ian goes to sulk in his room.  When he notices that Wanderer is still awake and was clearly listening in, he asks what she thinks and that’s how the chapter ends.

This chapter left me feeling angry, disgusting, and depressed.

I feel like shit

Buckle in for the next one, it’s going to be an rougher ride.

Till next time.  Check out The Llama’s review!

The Host Review: Believed (Ch 36)

I swear to god you guys I really am trying to get back on schedule!  I have just been so busy and we’re so backed up at work, by the time I get home at the end of the day the idea of reading more of Wanderer’s awful bitching is so abhorrent that I can’t bring myself to look at it.  But we’re slowly getting caught up at work so I’m feeling progressively less burnt out and can maybe finally get back on track… I hope.


This chapter opens with Jamie explaining why Jeb stupidly thought now would be a good time to play a game.  Even Meyer new it was dumb.  The reasoning is for everyone to de-stress, except for the fact that pitting people against each other in a competitive sport right after they were all against each other in the trial, you’re only going to reinforce the antagonism between the two groups.  At least that’s the way it would be in real life.  In Meyer-verse everything goes swimmingly, making this one of the most boring chapters in a while.

There’s some meaningless dialogue from all the people in Wanderer’s field of auditory perception reiterating what Jamie already established.  Then there’s a whole PAGE dedicated to who will captain the teams and who will be on those teams.  And it’s not even a thorough dialogue.  It’s just people’s names.  That’s it.

“I nominate Andy for captain,” someone shouted.

“I nominate Lily,” Wes called out, getting to his feet and stretching.

“Andy and Lily.”

“Yeah, Andy and Lily.”

“I want Kyle,” Andy said quickly.

“Then I get Ian,” Lily countered.



And so on.

Lily attempts to recruit Wanderer for her team.  Wanderer is currently bandaged and they JUST finished a trial about how much Kyle beat the shit out of her.  Because of course that’s something you just forget.  Melanie gives Wanderer crap for having been a lazy couch potato when they lived with the Soul’s implying that she’s out of shape.  Wanderer reminds her that that doesn’t really matter at the moment seeing as she’s too injured to STAND.  Everyone in this book is a moron.

Everybody's an idiot

Ian decides to sit out to keep Wanderer company, but everyone keeps pestering him and Wanderer says she’ll just keep score.  He genuinely doesn’t seem to want to play but he ends up doing so anyway because of peer pressure and plot convenience.  There is so much nothing in this chapter that that discussion takes up half a page.

Despite that Ian was just with her, and has only stood up and started stretching, not left, no one notices that Wanderer is sitting in the middle of the field, struggling and failing to get up to her feet and move out of everyone’s way.  Such considerate and observant people.

She literally starts trying to hop like a fucking bunny out of the way before Jared finally comes over and gives her a hand.  It’s terribly plot convenient that it was Jared, not Ian who should only be about 2 feet away.  But it’s definitely not just Jared because Meyer wants them to have a private conversation, no, it TOTALLY makes sense!

“You could have just asked for help,” he said conversationally.

“I –” I cleared my throat. “I should have. I didn’t want to…”

“Call attention to yourself?” He said the words as if he were truly curious. There was no accusation in them. He helped me hobble toward the cave entrance.

I shook my head once. “I didn’t want to… make anyone do anything, out of courtesy, that they didn’t want to do.” That didn’t explain it exactly right, but he seemed to understand my meaning.

Dear Meyer: you do understand that comma’s indicate a pause in speech correct?  And that reading that the way the punctuation indicates makes it sound like Wanderer is out of breath?  You didn’t?  Then what the fuck is with the comma’s there?  Is she pausing to try and think of how to word it?  Because you don’t indicate that through the dialogue tags.  No, you just went with vague explanation that you say isn’t exactly right, but it actually sounds exactly right to me.  The only thing missing is the explanation of why.  But that’s not necessary for that sentence to still be accurate.

Jared examined my face. I realized I was smiling in affection.

“You care about the kid quite a bit,” he said.


He nodded. “And the man?”

“Ian is… Ian believes me. He watches over me. He can be so very kind… for a human.” Almost like a soul, I’d wanted to say. But that wouldn’t have sounded like the compliment it was to this audience.

Oh so many problems here…  Let’s go in order of how they appear shall we?  I understand why Jared is referring to Jamie as ‘the kid’.  I have a habit of referring to my niece and godson that way as well.  It’s meant as a term of endearment.  But I don’t understand why he says ‘And the man?’  I know Meyer used that phrasing because Jared just referred to Jamie as ‘the kid’, but they’re two entirely different contexts.  Ian and Jared don’t even seem to get along all that well, so it’s not an endearment.  It’s a denigration the way Wanderer refers to Seeker as Seeker instead of by a name.  It’s a disassociation.  He’s not ‘Ian’, he’s just some guy.  I don’t get the sense that Meyer meant it that way though.  So it’s just a poorly worded statement.

Really annoying

Next problem is that she said ‘for a human’.  It was literally the day before that she was saying that her species was wrong.  That humans were capable of love and compassion.  Yet here again she’s using ‘human’ as an insult.  She’s saying that humans suck.  Except that one, he’s like one of her species.  So her breakthrough a few chapters ago of finally realizing that her species isn’t as great as she thought meant absolutely nothing, her species is still superior and only a select few humans are worthwhile.

‘This audience’ is another terribly phrased line.  You are allowed to word things the way people actually think and talk Meyer!  You don’t have to try and fancy it up!  You just make it sound dumb!

Jared snorted. “For a human. A more important distinction than I’d realized.”

I genuinely have no idea what that’s meant to imply.


They talk about whether or not Jeb was right to do what he did with Kyle, Wanderer apologizes for hurting them with her presence, Jared admits Jamie is better off, Jared asks why she loves Jamie.  Jared shakily tries to admit that he’s finished being a dick to her and kind of feels bad about it, but can’t get the words to come out so he just assures her she can talk to him.  It’s actually decently conveyed and I’ll give props where they’re due, since they are so very rarely due.

Wanderer tells him that Melanie’s memories started it, but meeting him in person she couldn’t help but love him.  Personally I find him kind of obnoxious, but I’m not living in the body of his surrogate mother, so whatever.  Jared asks if Melanie talks to her, she tells him yes.  He asks if she’s talking now, Wanderer admits she’s not because Melanie is mad at her.

He barked out a surprised laugh. “She’s mad? Why?”

“Because of…” Was there such a thing as double jeopardy here? “Nothing.”

How many times has Wanderer not understood BASIC concepts in this book?  How many times has she been confused by human behaviour and customs?  By wordings, body language, how to do things?  But she knows what double jeopardy is?  Would Melanie even have been old enough to learn/understand that concept before she went on the road?  She was only 16 when she first ran into Jared and she’d already been on her own for a while by that point.  When the hell would she have learned what the fuck the concept of double jeopardy laws are?!  I know a lot of adults who have no idea what that is and Melanie certainly doesn’t seem to have much interest in the law so I can’t imagine she was going around finding out on her own.  And since souls don’t have rules or crime they certainly would have had no reason to learn these things after the fact.  I call bullshit!

calling bullshit

They get talking about violence, and that brings Wanderer to talking about the Seeker.  Wanderer admits she can’t blame Melanie for wanting to punch the woman in the face.  Even though I stand by my earlier assessment that the Seeker was no crueller to Wanderer than most of the humans here have been.  In fact she did seem to be genuinely concerned for her well-being at some points, and while she certainly didn’t seem like the nicest woman in the world, I fail to understand how Wanderer can think that the Seeker is worse than KYLE.  Seeker tried to SAVE her, not kill her!  She tried to kill MELANIE, and at the time, Wanderer’s only objection to that was not wanting to ‘skip’ or ‘jump’ or whatever the hell they called it.  Kyle would have gleefully killed them both, but Melanie is unreasonable for wanting bad things to happen to him, because… what’s the difference here?  …OH!  I get it.  Kyle’s human, so him being violent is expected, and thus forgivable, but another SOUL being a dick is unreasonable because they’re not violent by nature.  This is the soft racism of lowered expectations.  Awesome.  We can’t hold him up to the standard of being a decent human being, he’s only a human!  He can’t help it!


Jared seems to know Seeker’s every move and I have no idea how.  As far as I can tell they don’t have a scouting duty.  And even if they did, how the fuck would they know which alien was driving the car?  Must have some fucking spectacular binoculars/camo to be able to tell it’s her without her seeing them.  Yet another case of characters knowing things they can’t possibly know for the sake of plot convenience.

Wanderer gives Melanie the chance to talk to Jared and she’s apparently unsettled by this.  I am not entirely certain why.  But Melanie decides to ask why Jared believes them now instead of anything stupidly mushy about how hard she struggled to get back to him.  The answer is of course how fucking compassionate Wanderer is.  If only these characters knew the things she thought about them like we do, they probably wouldn’t find her so fucking sweet.  He does add that the fact that she’s such a shit liar didn’t hurt.  Then adds that for all he knows he could wake up tomorrow and not believe them again, but he doesn’t think he will.

“She hopes you won’t change your mind. She’s afraid you will.”

He closed his eyes. “Mel.”

My heart thudded faster in my chest. It was her joy that sped it, not mine. He must have guessed how I loved him. After his questions about Jamie, he must have seen that.

I’m not sure why she feels the need to wonder if he knows she loves him or not.  Is she trying to imply it’s insensitive of him to say Melanie’s name like that?  I could understand her thinking that it kind of hurt hearing the man she loves saying someone else’s name, but she seems to be implying that he’s at fault for something.  It sounds like she’s saying he must know he’s hurting her.  Personally I think that choice of thought process is rather selfish on her part.  It’s one thing to feel hurt over it, it’s something else to think that someone else has some impetus to protect her feelings when he’s having a conversation with the woman he’s loved for years for the first time in a VERY long time after thinking she was DEAD.  And all she’s thinking about is how it’s inconsiderate to her.  Or at least how he should know that he’s hurting her by doing that.

That’s not compassion.  That’s selfishness.  Compassion would be her thinking something along the lines of “Melanie’s joy caused our heart to thud faster and harder in our chest.  I felt a twinge as he spoke her name, not mine, but I could see the love for her in his smile, and could feel how strongly Melanie returned it.  Part of me wished I could run and hide, but I was happy to allow them this moment and wished there was more I could do for them.”  Compassion is understanding that the fact that something hurts you doesn’t necessarily matter.  Compassion is recognizing that other people’s feelings matter too.  It’s being happy for other people’s happiness even if it means you can’t get what you want.  It’s recognizing that Jared CAN’T return your feelings but that you should be happy that he has love in his life anyway.

IE: Not thinking only of yourself, and how much YOU'RE suffering.

IE: Not thinking only of yourself, and how much YOU’RE suffering.

I understand that that is difficult.  I understand that a lot of people can’t handle it, and that Wanderer is in a shitty situation here that would be understandably painful.  I also remember that only a few paragraphs ago Jared was saying how fucking compassionate she is, and she’s constantly going on about how much better she is than humans are because the fucking parasites are so much more selfless than we are.  Well BE selfless for once then!  Acknowledge that you’re HAPPY for them instead of JUST how you’re sad for yourself!

At no point in this conversation, including the parts I haven’t gotten to yet in this review, does Wanderer ever say she’s happy for them.  She never says she feels for Melanie, being trapped away from the man she loves even as he looks into her eyes that are no longer her own.  She never says she feels bad for Jared that he can’t be with his girlfriend, not fully.  Nope, everything is simply about HER and how the situation is for HER.

This would be fine if this book wasn’t constantly trying to shove the idea that Wanderer is a goddamn SAINT in our faces every other paragraph.  Fine, she’s a normal, flawed, selfish person.  That’s a genuine characteristic that’s believable and you could build a compelling story around it.  But no, Meyer genuinely wants you to think that Wanderer is somehow actually selfless and perfect and so much nicer than regular humans, while presenting us with a character who is absolutely incapable of empathizing with anyone, including the person whose emotions she can literally feel.

Empathy Loading404-no-file

ANYWAY, Jared asks how much of a connection they have, Wanderer states that Melanie can hear him, that Melanie hears what she hears.  He asks if Melanie feels what she feels, and Wanderer confirms that that is the case.  He puts his hand on her face and apologizes for what he did to them so many chapters ago I actually forgot what he was referring to.  She again goes on about how he’s talking to Melanie instead of her and that that hurts her, but she’s at least a little more understanding about it this time so I won’t rant about it again.

Kyle calls out to Jared and Wanderer soliloquizes about what that means, whether Kyle just lets things go like water off a ducks back or if he knew no one would punish him for his actions.  Personally I think it was that he knew no one would punish him.  She notices Jamie looking at her and Jared, smiling, and wonders if that’s a bad thing.  Melanie asks her what she means by that and once again she’s thinking of herself.

What do you mean?

What does he see when he looks at us? His family, put back together?

Isn’t it? Sort of?

With the one unwelcome addition.

But better than it was yesterday.

I guess…

She of course can’t just be happy that he’s happy, she can’t accept that things are improving, she can’t just be happy that they’re accepting her.  She can’t accept that maybe Jamie looks at her like a second sister and she is perhaps a welcome addition to the family, having brought his sister home to him.  No, she has to think about how unwanted she is and woe is fucking Wanderer.

Stop it now

And then Melanie goes ahead and gives me a new target.

I know, she admitted. I’m glad Jared knows I’m here… but I still don’t like him touching you.

As with before, I do understand that this is a complicated, shitty situation for everyone involved.  I also understand that Melanie is being an unreasonable bitch.  Jared isn’t touching Wanderer.  He’s touching his girlfriend.  Wanderer just happens to be there too.  He looks at her face and he sees Melanie.  He was speaking to Melanie.  He was thinking about Melanie.  Melanie feels his touch.  He was touching Melanie, not Wanderer.  Instead of thinking she wishes she could touch him back, or just that she doesn’t like Wanderer’s reaction to his touch, she makes it sound like Jared is cheating on her.  Jared is pretty much the only person that doesn’t see Wanderer when he looks at them!  Jamie sees both, Ian only sees Wanderer, Jeb mostly sees Wanderer, all the regular humans only see Wanderer, Jared mostly sees only Melanie.  And Melanie is only focused on her jealousy.

Wanderer apologizes for the fact that she likes Jared touching her, which is at least considerate on her part and actually honest, so I’ll give her that.  Melanie also admits that she understands that it’s not Wanderer’s fault and she’s attempting not to blame her for it even though it’s hard.  For once they’re both acting like adults, so, hurray for small victories.

She describes how everyone (who couldn’t see her when she was literally in the middle of them, but they can all see her now that she’s far away from them) is staring at her and Jared.  Sharon and Maggie are being massive bitches, Jeb is the same as Jamie, and Ian, oooh Ian.

Ian was worried. His eyes were tight, and he seemed on the verge of coming to protect me again. To make sure Jared wasn’t upsetting me. I smiled, to reassure him. He didn’t smile back, but he took a deep breath.

Sure Wanderer.  I’m sure that Ian is simply concerned for your safety.  Yup, he’s not at all wanting to get Jared away from you because he’s a jealous douchebag.  Ian is just much too nice and considerate for that!

Sarcasm detector

Anyway Jared finally gets up to go play the game.  She says she can’t see the ball or the players (which, again, how could not only everyone see her, but she see the looks on everyone’s faces if it’s that dark?) so she starts keeping score based on Jamie’s reactions.  Apparently Jamie is right on the ball 100% of the time, even though it’s so dark they can probably barely see each other and where the ball is at any given time.  This all makes just complete sense.  She also describes everyone’s skill at the sport with intricate detail, while also continuing to say how she can’t see anything.  I hate this book.

Every time Ian or Wes got off a shot…thunk! It landed in her hands.

I find this incredibly stupid.  I can’t articulate why, I just hate it.

After they play for a while and we have to read a painful number of paragraphs describing all the things I couldn’t possibly care less about, two of the characters with names that I couldn’t tell you anything about go off to bring back breakfast for everyone.  When they bring back the boxes of granola bars, Jamie goes to give one to Wanderer, followed by Ian and Jared all trying to bring her food.  She’s the popular girl at the dance that all the guys are trying to impress.  And I want to stab all of them because of how sickening it is to watch.  Remember, these aren’t hormonal teenagers.  Jared is in his mid-thirties and Ian’s age hasn’t been explained, but I would suspect he’s at least in his late twenties.  They should be past this stupidity.

“Where’s all the food?” Kyle demanded. He stood over an empty box, his head swiveling around the room, looking for the culprit.

“Catch,” Jared said, tossing granola bars one by one, hard, like knives.

Kyle plucked them out of the air with ease, then jogged over to see if Jared was holding out on him.

I have no idea where Wanderer gets the idea he’s coming over to see if Jared is holding out on him.  First of all, that’s a weird phrase coming from Wanderer.  Much too colloquial to match her general speech.  But more importantly, he never says that.  He doesn’t ask for more than what Jared threw to him.  She’s assuming facts that aren’t in evidence goddammit.  I’m sick of this book just stating things in the first person that the person has no goddamn way of knowing!  It’s irritating!


“Here,” Ian said, shoving half of his haul toward his brother without looking at him. “Now go.”

Kyle ignored him. For the first time today, he looked at me, staring down at me where I sat. His irises were black with the light behind him. I couldn’t read his expression.

You can’t see his expression because the light is behind him meaning his face is completely in shadow.  BUT YOU CAN SEE HIS IRISES.  YUP.  TOTALLY FUCKING LOGICAL.

Kyle steps closer, the guys again preen and puff up their chests to defend the fair maiden.  He tells her he’s not sorry for what he did, and Jared and Ian push him away as though he just attacked her again and tell him to piss off, but Kyle’s ‘not done yet’ so he keeps talking.  He says he’s not going to hurt her anymore because he figures a life for a life since she saved his he won’t try and take hers.  Fair enough.  But then it gets really dumb.

“You stupid jackass,” Ian said.

“Who’s got the crush on a worm, bro? You gonna call me stupid?”

This exchange comes off as incredibly high school to me.  Don’t think ‘oh, well they’re probably just high schoolers’ though, since remember, society collapsed years ago.  If they were just barely past high school age now, they wouldn’t talk like that because they never would have been gotten used to talking like that.  So the only way they could have slang like that is if they were in high school fairly recently before the world as we know it came to an end.  Putting them in their late twenties, early thirties as I stated earlier.  So, again, they should no longer be hormone riddled adolescence.  But also, they shouldn’t talk like they come from a poorly written movie about high schoolers.  Admittedly it’s been a lot of years since I was in high school, but I have never heard a real human being talk like that.  I have ONLY ever heard that in movies and books.

Also, Ian’s response doesn’t make sense in the context.  Kyle just said he wouldn’t try and kill her anymore, so Ian calls him stupid?  How does that make sense?  Oh and Ian’s response is to punch him.  Everyone here is just so mature!  I thought I had anger problems.


Wanderer says she didn’t let him die because she’s not like him.  It’s apparently supposed to be some massive burn, but it just came off as kind of a pathetic whine that you hear from angry teens trying to explain why they’re too cowardly to punch the person they wish would get hit by a bus.  That old excuse that the only reason you aren’t doing something isn’t because you can’t it’s just that you don’t want to!  I could totally have lifted that… I just didn’t feel like it!  And in Wanderer’s case it is only because she couldn’t handle the guilt, not because she genuinely wanted to save him.

Aaaaand she ends the chapter by insulting humans one last time.

I wasn’t sure I believed him. Not sure at all. Humans were good liars.

She’s tooootally growing as a character you guys!  She’s learning to trust and respect humans!  That we’re not all evil jackasses!  She’s not at all still labeling all people as exactly the same and in a very negative way!  Walter’s death totally changed her!  Ugh.

Till next time!  Check out The Llama’s review!