My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I don't think I've ever been so conflicted about a book.
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.Here's the gist of it:
As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.
The first and last hundred pages were amazing. I thought I'd hate everything about it, but to my surprise, Stephenie Meyer, is (in my opinion) a terrific writer. I even took out a pen and hightlighted some quotes! Here's one of my favorites. It's said by Ian, of course. Not Jared.
“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.” (Page 390)The 400 pages in the middle, however, were terrible. Mostly because of (you guessed it!) the love interest, Jared. Except for him, everything else was awesome. The worldbuilding was interesting enough that I don't mind how nothing happened in those 400 pages.
If Stephenie Meyer wrote a book without a romance in it, I'd probably love it. She's a great writer--just not if you're looking for healthy relationships.
FYI: I'll probably use "Melanie" and "Wanderer" interchangeably, but sometimes I won't. Melanie is the human that Wanderer is inside. Melanie is super tough and won't let anyone take over her life, including Wanderer. Oh, but Jared is the exception, of course. She and Wanderer are both obsessed with him, but Wanderer is a smidge for rational about what's going on.
Now for a game! I found a website with the examples of how Twilight meets all 15 warning signs of an abusive relationship by the Nation Domestic Violence hotline. If your relationship meets one or two of these, you're supposed to be concerned. Let's see how many Melanie/Wanderer and Jared meet. I'm estimating 13 (don't worry, I last read this list a few weeks ago--I'm not making an "estimate" as I type these out).
Warning #1: Does your partner look
Yep. After the humans find Melanie/Wanderer, Jared gets to be her guard when they break her back to the caves. Whenever anyone else gets near her, he gets angry.
Warning #3: Does your partner m
Of course. He nearly does, in fact, because Jeb, the guy in charge of the caves and Melanie's uncle, decides her fate should lie in Jared's hands. One day Jared decides to do it, but Jeb conveniently doesn't have his gun with him. If he did though, Melanie would have died, because Jeb "is a man of his word".
Warning #7: Does your partner t
"After hitting her once and a week later having the next blow blocked by someone else, Jared says, "I'm ready to go for three". Melanie, why aren't you feeling angry or betrayed? Are you a total idiot?"
Warning #10: Has your partner ever a
No, they have to leave from their first home before Melanie got Wanderer because they had to find Jeb and the caves. Not Jared's fault, so he's good here too.
Warning #13: Does your partner p
"Yes, if my ex boyfriend told my uncle to take away my sleeping bag so that I would have to sleep in a bare rock cave, I, too, would be entirely understanding. NOT."
46%: "Jared raised his voice, so that anyone between here and the main plaza would hear. 'Come out, come out, wherever you are,' he called, his voice hard and mocking."
77%: "Yes, Jared, Ian is right. If your hotel room has two beds and there's two guys and one girl, you can't ask her who she'd rather sleep with. You just give her the other bed whether she's asked for it yet or not. You'll survive."
Also, this conversation between Melanie and Wanderer:
"I can't believe he hit me," Melanie mused, her thoughts incredulous rather than resentful. She was not over the surprise of it yet. I hadn't been surprised in the first place. Of course he had hit me.
I wondered where you were," I answered. It would be poor manners to get me into this mess and then abandon me.
She ignored my sour tone. I wouldn't have thought he'd be able to do it, no matter what. I don't think I could hit him.
Sure you could. If he'd come at your with reflective eyes [all souls have eyes like that, FIY] you'd have done the same. You're naturally violent....
Melanie tried to consider it impartially. I don't think so. Not Jared...and Jamie [her brother], there's no way I could hurt Jamie, even if he was.... She trailed off, hating that line of thought.
I considered this and found it true. Even if the child had become something or someone else, neither she not I could ever raise a hand to him.That's different. You're like...a mother. Mothers are irrational here. Too many emotions involved.
Motherhood is always irrational--even for you souls.
I didn't answer that. (Pages 140-141)And there you have it. It's a shame the middle of the book was so bad (and so long) because the beginning and end were epic. I'm writing this within an hour or two of finishing the book, so I still kind of have the hangover from that ending.
Sexual Content: A or B
Violence: B or C