"Science fiction for people who don't like science fiction." (Source)
Several people recommended this book to me after it came out. Regardless of the fact that some of them were Twi-haters, I was very wary. Without getting into a Twilight debate, I'll just say that the saga was poorly written and poorly edited. Hence, I had very low expectations for The Host. And I don't even like science fiction! It just happened to be on sale at B0rders for club members, and I needed a book for the plane ride 2 weeks ago, so I bought it anyway.
Quick summary: There are aliens taking over the Earth, inserting themselves into human bodies and essentially taking over their minds. Most humans, after being taken over, simply give up their minds and go to sleep, forever. But when Melanie's body is taken over, she refuses to give up. She holds on to her mind, refusing to let the alien take complete control. As Melanie bombards the alien with memories and thoughts of her family, the alien starts to love them as her own family. 2 minds in 1 body can never work.
My age recommendation: 17+
From the first chapter, the first page, I was hooked. This book was so thrilling! It held my interest from start to finish; I never wanted to stop reading. As the author's website claims, this really IS "science fiction for people who don't like science fiction." (source) It was easy to understand, exciting, and even had a little love triangle thrown in. There were no mushy parts, the descriptions weren't droll, and the dialogue was intriguing. I loved the internal battle between Melanie and Wanderer, as well as Wanderer's motivation for her decisions. Sometimes, altruistic characters seem underdeveloped, or overdone, but she was consistent enough that she was just as relatable as Melanie, the main human character. Also, technically-speaking, SM's editor finally did her job. The story flowed without disruptions or disconnections, and there were no grammar errors (that I could find).