Hey, remember last week in The Host where there was Wanderer’s secret badass story about her encounter with a Claw Beast? Well, I didn’t have room on Bad Books, Good Times to fully go into why I hated it so much (hint: because of science), so I wrote up a detailed explanation of why I hated it on my other blog. Go forth.
Speaking of going forth, don’t forget that next week we FINISH THE HOST!
Chapter 57: Completed
But we’re not done yet! First Wanderer and Melanie’s fates must be decided by the novel’s main characters: Ian, Jared, Doc, Jeb, and Jeb’s gun. Ariel says: And their penises.
It was a small tribunal this time […] Jeb had even brought his gun – as if it were a gavel and would make this more official.
They quickly bring us up to speed on other minor matters, AKA literally every other subplot in this book that doesn’t directly concern Wanderer: the soul Sunny was removed from Kyle’s ladyfriend Jodi and they’re waiting for her to come back, and the human they took the Healer soul out of doesn’t remember who she is yet but she’s eating food and stuff. Whew! That’s all the subplots. Good thing Meyer wrote a book where nothing happens!
They start debating the pros and cons of keeping Wanderer in Melanie’s body (effectively killing Melanie) or taking Wanderer out of Melanie’s body (effectively killing Wanderer). Now, regardless of how it was clearly ethically wrong getting into this situation… honestly, getting out of it is a ethically difficult question with no easy answers.
Jared spoke through his teeth. “So we get her another body. Obviously.” […]
“Why not, Wanda?” Jeb asked. “Don’t sound like a half-bad idea to me.”
Okay, well, um, at least the debate itself is still an ethically challenging one that can’t be reduced to young adult fiction love triangle bickering.
“You don’t care about the rest of anybody! You just want to keep Wanda at Melanie’s expense – nothing else matters to you!”
“And you want to have Melanie at Wanda’s expense – nothing else matters to you!”
… Okay. Well. At least the people involved recognize that this is an ethically challenging debate that no one person – especially not someone who is not Melanie or Wanderer – has ultimate authority over.
I stared into Jared’s eyes […] with the same desperate, half-crazed hunger I’d felt since the first time I’d seen him here. This body barely belonged to me or to Melanie – it belonged to him.
Ariel says: I had to read this line like twenty times to convince myself it was real. You’d think I’d be used to this by now, but no. I can’t believe Meyer has the balls to blatantly be so misogynistic. I’d say she must just know what women really want, but she couldn’t possibly because she’s a woman, and they don’t know anything! Not like the men with their penises do.
However, Wanderer refuses to take another human body because she has an – actually convincing! – existential crisis.
I am tired of being a parasite. Can you understand that? Do you think I want to go into another body and have this start all over again? Do I have to feel guilty forever for taking someone’s life away from them? Do I have to have someone else hate me? I’m barely a soul anymore
Of course, no one but Doc knows about her plan to be buried and die on Earth, so they very logically go, “uh, so… how does going to another planet solve this problem, exactly?” and Wanderer comes up with a lie on the spot which is very conveniently created by Stephenie Meyer not being satisfied with making a world of boring characters, but making an entire universe of boring characters.
It’s different on other planets […] They aren’t as individualized as humans, their emotions are so much milder. It doesn’t feel like stealing a life. Not like it feels here.
She then tricks them into sleeping on the issue (by which time SHE’LL BE DEAD), and then eats some food (by which time SHE’LL NOT BE HUNGRY), and then pretends to go to sleep (by which time SHE’LL PRETEND TO NOT BE SLEEPY). Oh, also she sat with Kyle and Ian while they waited to see if Jodi would wake up and Kyle apologized for trying to kill Wanderer, officially making Wanderer the most loved person of every person who has ever lived ever in all of people and everything ever ever.
Ariel says: Matt has graciously spared you from the end of the chapter where Ian and Wanderer spoon (I guess Melanie is the littlest spoon) and say really gross mushy things that I still think came out of nowhere.
Chapter 58: Finished
Ha, I wish. There’s still another chapter and an epilogue. Ariel says: And maybe more spooning.
Wanderer sneaks out in the middle of the night to go to Doc to be taken out of Mel. Jared shows up and there’s a dialogue exchange that, out of context, I honestly would have just assumed came from Twilight.
“What are you doing here?” I demanded, still breathless.
“Following you. I’ve been following you all night.”
Jared has entirely seen through Wanderer’s plan to sacrifice herself. Somehow. Because Wanderer’s super predictable, I guess. Except Jared, as you might remember since this is the entire plot of this goddamn book, is on Team “Let’s Bring Back Melanie!”, so he wants to let Wanderer go. He offers to go with her, to be with her in her final moments, but she refuses. He wants to give her something, like a memory, so Wanderer wants him to lie to her that he wants her to stay, and he does. It’s… actually kind of sad? A little stupid, but sad all the same. Ariel says: I could have bought this if at this point she hadn’t spent so much time explaining how Ian had broken through to her body or whatever. I could have even bought that she wanted Jared to tell her this as a friend.
“Thank you,” I whispered […]
His arms tightened. “I’m not done.”
And then Wanderer and Jared kiss and it’s like “gasoline and an open flame”, because I guess even Wanderer isn’t buying that she’s suddenly in love with Ian. Ariel says: Yeah, what the fuck? Did the spooning mean nothing? Also Melanie is right there but Wanderer tells us, “It was my name that he gasped when he held this body— and he thought of it as my body, thought of it as me. I could feel the difference . For one moment, it was just us, just Wanderer and Jared, both of us burning.” Wanderer mentions that before this happens, Melanie tries to kind of hide from whatever is going to happen. But if I were here I’d be like, “Hey remember that time you cheated on me with Wanderer, kind of, while she was in my body and I was in the body and she was supposed to be only in love with Ian? I was mad when I started that sentence, but now I’m just really confused and want to take a nap.”
“I just want one more thing. Let me do this alone. Please?”
“If… if you’re sure that’s what you want… […] I love you, Wanda.”
I sighed. “Thanks, Jared. You know how much I love you. With my whole heart.”
Okay, who the fuck loves whom in this story anymore? I don’t get it anymore.
Wanderer finally gets to Doc, who’s very emotional about what he’s been asked to do. She asks him what his real name is, and he tells her it’s Eustace. So now we know that.
“You are the noblest, purest creature I’ve ever met. The universe will be a darker place without you,” he whispered. […]
Thank you, Wanda. My sister. I will never forget you.
Be happy, Mel. Enjoy it all. Appreciate it for me.
I will, she promised.
Bye, we thought together.
Doc’s hand pressed the cloth gently over my face. […] I drifted into the black, and it got brighter and brighter. It wasn’t black at all – it was blue. Warm, vibrant, brilliant blue… I floated into it with no fear at all.
Ariel says: We only had to read 598 pages of this book for me to feel something besides boredom, annoyance, and outright anger. I was genuinely touched here, guys!
Be sure to join us next week for more wacky adventures in The Host!