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Maria

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May 15, 2009, 12:07:54 PM5/15/09
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Maria

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May 15, 2009, 12:15:47 PM5/15/09
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tabergen

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May 15, 2009, 1:27:37 PM5/15/09
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Why do you think Stephenie Meyer referred to the "aliens" as "souls"?
Do you feel she was suggesting that our souls as we know it in the
biblical sense were actually "aliens" that invades a "host" such as
humans?

I think maybe that's the part that the aliens replaced when they took
the host body, not that humans souls were alien entities in the first
place. And 'soul' is a catchier name than 'non-corporeal life-form.'


Stephenie Meyer, in both the Twilight Series and the Host, created
female characters with inherent weaknesses but yet possessed strengths
that helped them overcome adversities. If you've read the Twilight
books, do you see any similarities between Bella and Wanderer or
Melanie? If you haven't read the Twilight books, what strengths and
weaknesses did you see in Wanderer and Melanie?
I think I mentioned this when I was answering one of the Twilight
questions, but a few chapters in, I was struck by the similarities
between Bella/Wanderer. Both of them are constantly trembling,
gasping, fearful. As their characters develop, though, they exhibit
strength and bravery in spite of the fears they feel so deeply. The
fact that they stand by their convictions in the face of this fear and
that they are willing to sacrifice themselves for the ones they love
is what redeems them for me. Without those principles, they would just
seem like simpering, weak females to me.
Melanie is different...more confident, capable, outwardly strong. Her
weakness is her immaturity and tendency to pettiness and rashness at
times. She grows out of a lot of that in the course of the novel.

Maria

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May 15, 2009, 1:32:10 PM5/15/09
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Hi everyone!!

Question #1: Why do you think Stephenie Meyer referred to the
"aliens" as "souls"? Do you feel she was suggesting that our souls as
we know it in the biblical sense were actually "aliens" that invades a
"host" such as humans?

I believe Stephenie Meyer was suggesting that perhaps our souls were
an alien life form that acquired our memories. Although the human's
previous memories are intact, the human's thoughts, feelings, and
actions are replaced by the soul that invades the host.

I've often wondered myself, if we actually have souls and where they
come from. The "alien" or "body snatcher" concept is an interesting
explanation as to what "souls" are and their origin. Rather than an
inherent entity that each person acquires at birth, Stephenie suggest
that "kind and compassionate" humans are a result of the souls
invasion and humans without souls are evil and violent creatures.

I feel Stephenie Meyer has a fascination for alternate life forms such
as vampires and aliens to explain some of the differences in human
behavior. I don't know what Stephenie Meyer's religious beliefs
are . . I have to see if there is anything written about it. It would
be interesting to know what her beliefs are.

Question #2: Stephenie Meyer, in both the Twilight Series and the
Host, created female characters with inherent weaknesses but yet
possessed strengths that helped them overcome adversities. If you've
read the Twilight books, do you see any similarities between Bella and
Wanderer or Melanie? If you haven't read the Twilight books, what
strengths and weaknesses did you see in Wanderer and Melanie?

I do similarities between Bella and (Melanie/Wanderer). Bella was
very introspective. She was mature for her age and had the insights
about others that kids her age did not possess. She also was very
insecure about who she was as a person and didn't recognize the
strengths that she had. Like Bella, Wanderer saw herself as an
independent thinker, someone who made up her own mind, and wasn't
easily swayed by others, yet she was compassionate and understanding
toward others that were different. This compassion and understanding
for others can become a weakness when it overcomes logic and
sensibility.

Melanie possessed the guts and determination that Bella had and was
willing to "die" or "sacrifice" herself for a cause she believed in.
Wanderer was similar in character as well.

Bella and Melanie's weaknesses were similar in that their love for
someone (Jared/Edward) sometimes clouded their judgement which on
occasion had a detrimental impact on their actions and decisions.

Maria

On May 15, 9:07 am, Maria <CardInspi...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Click onhttp://groups.google.com/group/the-cafe-corner-book-club/web/mays-boo...

Maria

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May 15, 2009, 2:32:12 PM5/15/09
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Interesting view on the first question Theresa.

I actually felt that Stephenie Meyer was implying that the word or
name "soul" was synonymous with "compassion and kindness" which the
aliens were . . .the word "soul" was more of a label than an actually
enitity. Without the alien invasion, a human had no "soul". Towards
the end of the book, Wanderer came to the realization that humans did
possess a "soul". . .the qualities that souls (aliens) possessed
(compassion and kindness) and I think that realization was the
catalyst to Wanderer's decision to leave Melanie's body. Wanderer
also realized that their invasion of human bodies were in opposition
to the concepts of kind and benevolent behavior; therefore, lacking a
"soul".

Furthermore, I think Stephenie was inferring towards the end of the
book, that humans were different from other beings from other planets
such as the "fire eaters and that human had "souls" which
distinguished us from other life forms such as plants, insects, etc.

Maria

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May 15, 2009, 2:48:15 PM5/15/09
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I agree, Theresa. Melanie had a tendency for pettiness and
rashness. . . lesser "evolved" character traits, one of immaturity.
I think she learned to be a better person through Wanderer and evolved
into a more mature individual towards the end of the book.

I think I just came up with my next question!! Thanks
Theresa. . .your input to the questions are thought provoking!!


On May 15, 10:27 am, tabergen <taber...@embarqmail.com> wrote:

Theresa Bergen

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May 15, 2009, 3:20:27 PM5/15/09
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This is actually a common theme in sci-fi invasion tales: that humans are somehow more sentient than other alien races and we are the first to throw a monkey-wrench in world domination plans because the invaders weren't expecting it.
It wouldn't be very compelling if we painted ourselves as dumb herd animals compared to the rest of the brilliant intergalactic community, LOL. We need to see ourselves as unique and special to make up for the peaceful and benevolent qualities that we sometimes lack, yet the 'Souls' possess.

Maria

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May 15, 2009, 4:04:49 PM5/15/09
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Honestly, I'm not a sci-fi fan. I think this is the first "sci-fi"
themed book that I read in a very, very long time. I quoted "sci-fi"
because although it was about alien invasion, the underpinning of the
story line was less about aliens but more so about humans. I'm not
sure I would have enjoyed the book as much as I did if it was purely
science fiction like the movie "Predator" or "Aliens".

I think initially in the Host. . .humans were likened to dumb herd
animals but towards the end, we turned out to be actually "human" per
se. LOL! I think it wouldn't sit well with readers if SM ended the
book with humans being actual dumb herd animals!!
> distinguished us from other life forms such as plants, insects, etc.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

amber...@gmail.com

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May 15, 2009, 5:54:48 PM5/15/09
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Question #1

In my opinion, Stephenie was referring to our basic understanding of a
soul. At its most basic level a “soul” is our consciousness. It is
what makes each of us “us”. In Host, when a Soul inhabited a human
they essentially erased the “soul” or personality and replaced it with
a new being. This being didn’t change the physical aspects of the
body but did alter the human’s “soul”. They were no longer the people
we loved and cared about but were a different person entirely. At
first the Souls would replicate the ‘hosts” perfectly but eventually
the human populace began to notice. The first things they would have
noticed would have been how they felt about the person. With their
personality changed so completely it would be hard for them to imitate
the person exactly. Small things would begin to slip through. The
Souls would not get argumentative or violent. Once they humans
realized they were being invaded they would have needed to come up
with a name for them. They were replacing the “souls” of people they
cared about so it almost seems natural that they would have chosen
that name. Stephanie explains this in a round about way when she
discusses the nicknames for the other planets inhabitants.
“Dolphins”, “Spiders” and “Bears” are all perfect examples. They are
not the animals they are named after but they have been given names
that translate easily into the new language. “Souls” is a great
comparison. They are essentially a new personality and are made of a
bright shimmering light. The qualities we associate with souls.

amber...@gmail.com

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May 15, 2009, 5:55:19 PM5/15/09
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Question #2

The Twilight Series and Host paralleled in many ways. One of the main
comparisons would have to be Bella and Wanderer/Melanie. Both
characters were loners at the beginning of their stories, they all had
epic loves and each share martyr type personalities. At the start of
Twilight Bella was a social outcast before moving away from Phoenix.
She tended to shy away from human interaction preferring to read and
stay in the background. Wanderer was a social outcast as well, never
truly making a connection with any of the previous planets. Jamie and
Melanie were forced into a solitary lifestyle until she met Jared.
Once each of these characters were accepted by their group they became
essential to the groups survival. Bella being Edwards’s life and
Wanderer/Melanie possessing the ability to get more supplies with
fewer risks. The three characters shared epic loves as well. Bella
had Edward, Wanda had Ian and Melanie had Jared. These epic loves
were not confined to lovers either. Bella would have done anything,
including being a martyr, for anyone she loved; her Mom, Friends and
Dad. Wanderer/Melanie felt the same way. They would have and did do
anything to protect Jamie and later the group as a whole. With so
many similarities it is almost as if Stephanie simply took Bella and
split her personality into two. Wanderer being the shy, loving Bella
and Melanie being the fierce, violent Bella. The same could be said
for Edward, Jared and Ian.

Theresa Bergen

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May 15, 2009, 5:55:53 PM5/15/09
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In an interview I read, Stephanie Meyer called this book 'Science fiction
for people who don't like science fiction,' so it seems like you may be the
intended audience, Maria.
She quoted Orson Scott Card as one of her inspirations/favorite authors...he
wrote the 'Ender's Game' series, which I really enjoyed. It's sci-fi lite as
well. My Dad is a hard core sci-fi fan and I never could get into the more
intense novels he liked. Ender was one we agree on.

Theresa Bergen,
Check out my Blog: http://goingscrapbooky.blogspot.com/
Moderator:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HudsonValleyNYScrappers/

amber...@gmail.com

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May 15, 2009, 5:58:19 PM5/15/09
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I didn't even think about how the two characters reacted physically.
Now tht you mention it I would have to agree wholeheartedly. If they
didn't stand up for themselves or there loved ones in spite of their
fear I would not have been able to read about such weak females. The
fact that they do overcomne their fear is amazing and one of the
reasons we love them.

amber...@gmail.com

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May 15, 2009, 6:15:46 PM5/15/09
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You brought up a good point. The beings that Wanderer's kind tended
to take over were beings who either had very little emotions and
welcomed them(the Spiders) were originally overtaken by the "Vultures"
or were "simple" (the see weeds) However, Wanderer and even Burns,
began to see that not all beings benefitted from the invasions. I am
interested to see if they start to have issues with thier previous
invasions. The See Weeds did not want to be possessed, as evident
with the lost of an entire forest. Something to look forward to in
future books.

amber...@gmail.com

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May 15, 2009, 6:19:50 PM5/15/09
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I think I may have been confusing with my last to posts. The post
below refers to tabergen's answer to Question #2

amber...@gmail.com

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May 15, 2009, 6:21:02 PM5/15/09
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The post below refers to Maria's answer

Maria

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May 15, 2009, 8:17:12 PM5/15/09
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Hi Amber,

In reference to this statement you made. . .

In my opinion, Stephenie was referring to our basic understanding of a
soul. At its most basic level a “soul” is our consciousness. It is
what makes each of us “us”.



Hi Amber,

Do you recall if Stephenie refer to the "souls" as anything but
"souls" or did they have another name? I cannot recall if she did.

Maria

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May 15, 2009, 8:29:22 PM5/15/09
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Hi Amber,

With humans, the aliens preferred young children because they were
less likely to resist, easily molded and less complicated. I guess
similar to what you referred to in your feedback quoted below.

You said: "You brought up a good point. The beings that Wanderer's
Love your feedback. . .you are well versed with the book. Heck, I
can't remember half of what I read! LOL! I'm terrible that way. I
tend to read a book really quickly. . .unfortunately, I can't retain
much of the information.


On May 15, 3:15 pm, ambersta...@gmail.com wrote:

Heather

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May 15, 2009, 9:13:24 PM5/15/09
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This was my first Stephenie Meyer book and probably the first piece of
"sci fi" I have read since high school. I don't think Meyer was
referring to souls in the traditional religious sense. I saw the
souls as a higher form of consciousness at the start of the book. The
Wanderer seemed to be an all knowing being, more intelligent than
humans. As the book continued, it twisted and the Wanderer realized
how barbaric her species was by taking over host bodies and how
compassionate hosts could be toward those who had wronged them.

I may be in the minority here but I didn't think much of Melanie and
Wanda was a little better but neither was a particularly compelling
character for me. I was much more interested in more of the back
stories- how the community was formed and the stories of the members
that were there. Melanie was very young and immature and her
flashbacks weren't very insightful.

Maria

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May 15, 2009, 9:51:06 PM5/15/09
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Hi Heather,

I do agree, comparitively to strong women in other books, Melanie and
Wanderer weren't particularly compelling. I did feel Melanie strong
and determined in the context of the book and Wanderer, very
compassionate. I didn't feel Bella in the Twilight books a very
strong character either but again, she did possess strength and
insight given the situation she was in.

Do you think that Stephenie Meyer was providing an alternative
concept. . . that our souls are actually "aliens" rather that the
religious soul that we understand it to be? If a soul is a higher
level of consciousness, why is their a distinct difference between
Melanie's "soul" as a higher level of consciousness (non-tangible)
and Wanderer being a physical being?

What other characters in the book did you find more interesting than
Melanie and Wanderer?

Maria

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May 15, 2009, 9:59:50 PM5/15/09
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Hey Amber,

I like your analysis of Stephenie splitting Bella into two separate
characters in the Host (Melanie and Wanderer). I wonder if Stephenie
has the personality of the Wanderer in real life, and Melanie (strong
and determined) is a person she inspire to be. Many times authors
write their characters in a manner that reflects their own personal
view of themselves and sometimes their personal demons or aspirations.

mimi...@comcast.net

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May 16, 2009, 12:49:46 AM5/16/09
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Hi Ladies,

I was a bit confused by this book. I think that the souls were put
inside the bodies of humans is that correct? Or at least Melanies Soul
was used to put the wanderers body? I am not very good with sci-fi
books and I felt that this was more of a sci-fi book. I will read all
of the comments tomorrow night so that I can understand what I read
better. To be honest, it did not hold my interest until page 198. :(

Mary
> > work.- Hide quoted text -

Tracy

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May 16, 2009, 10:40:41 AM5/16/09
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Why do you think Stephenie Meyer referred to the "aliens" as "souls"?
Do you feel she was suggesting that our souls as we know it in the
biblical sense were actually "aliens" that invades a "host" such as
humans?


Very good question. And when you word it that way, then yes. I could
definitely come to that conclusion. A 'host' is just a body...the
'soul'...whether alien or human...is a being...a complete
package...loving, compasionate, hateful.


Stephenie Meyer, in both the Twilight Series and the Host, created
female characters with inherent weaknesses but yet possessed strengths
that helped them overcome adversities. If you've read the Twilight
books, do you see any similarities between Bella and Wanderer or
Melanie? If you haven't read the Twilight books, what strengths and
weaknesses did you see in Wanderer and Melanie?

Oh there were obvious similarities in these books and characters. For
me...Bella and Wanderer were both very emotional, introverted, caring,
loving(almost to a fault) individuals. Also Bella and Melanie were
very similar in that they would do anything to protect the ones they
love and stand up for what they believe to be right. Although, these
characters might not be the 'perfect' role models for some...I loved
all of these characters. And Stephanie's writting allows you to
totally emerse yourself into their world.

Tracy :0)

amberstar

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May 16, 2009, 12:57:13 PM5/16/09
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No I don't think she referred to souls as anything but souls.
Although, she gives a small explanation to why the Souls only refer to
themselves as such Chapter 2. Wanderer was just waking up when she
begins to understand the conversation she is overhearing "I
understand only now that I was the subject of the conversation. I was
the soul they spoke of. It was a new connotation to the word,a word
that had meant many other things to my host. On every planet we took a
different name. Soul. I suppose it was an apt description. The
unseen force that guides the body."

amberstar

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May 16, 2009, 1:13:57 PM5/16/09
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I have wondered that as well. I think that Stephanie, as you
mentioned, is probably a lot like Wanderer. She may believe (or wish)
that if the situation warranted it she could be like Melanie.
Thankfully, there are very few cases which necessitate the need to be
a warrior.

amberstar

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May 16, 2009, 1:16:23 PM5/16/09
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The begining of the book was hard for me to understand as well. I
think Stephanie wanted us to feel confused like Wanderer was. She had
to adapt and muddle through the change. The book begins to shift
later on and focuses more on the human interaction than it does on the
alien invasion.

On May 15, 9:49 pm, "mimih...@comcast.net" <mimih...@comcast.net>
wrote:

Theresa Bergen

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May 16, 2009, 1:41:34 PM5/16/09
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I'm on Kindle, so I don't have page #s...what happened on page 198?

Theresa Bergen,
Check out my Blog: http://goingscrapbooky.blogspot.com/
Moderator:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HudsonValleyNYScrappers/

-----Original Message-----
From: the-cafe-cor...@googlegroups.com
[mailto:the-cafe-cor...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of
mimi...@comcast.net
Sent: Saturday, May 16, 2009 12:50 AM
To: The Cafe Corner Book Club

Heather

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May 16, 2009, 3:39:48 PM5/16/09
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This is a very interesting discussion

To answer your question Maria, I never even considered the concept of
the "souls" in a religious context. At first I thought of them
strictly as aliens and then I saw them as more of a moral compass for
the human characters. Things did get muddied a bit as Wanda began to
experience emotions through Melanie's body. Wanda turned more human
to me as she experienced all the confusion and drama involved with
relationships.

<What other characters in the book did you find more interesting than
<Melanie and Wanderer?

I have a theatre background so to me everyone has a back story. I
wanted to find out more about Jeb. At first I thought he was very
intelligent but hid it under his odd duck personality. Wouldn't the
respected leader of such a diverse group have to have some sort of
charisma to gain the respect of all of the members of the community?
I woudl have liked to have learned more about how Jeb got to be Jeb as
he was in the Caves.

My other big question: Was Kyle always the way that he was or was his
personality and behavior shaped by losing his beloved Jodi (before the
story began)? Of course that would give us more insight into his
brother Ian too.

Heather

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May 16, 2009, 3:46:22 PM5/16/09
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Mary,

You were not the only one confused and who had a hard time "getting
into" the book. I really struggled until downloaded the audio book
and listened to about page 50-125 as I painted our guest room. This
was not my type of story and I had a hard time relating to the
characters and situation. Like you, about 1/3 of the way through the
book it started making more sense.

Heather
On May 16, 12:49 am, "mimih...@comcast.net" <mimih...@comcast.net>
wrote:
> Hi Ladies,
>
> I was a bit confused by this book. I think that the souls were put

> Mary
>

Maria

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May 17, 2009, 1:30:53 AM5/17/09
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Hi Mary! LOL! I felt the same way in the beginning. Someone had
posted on my blog warning me of the first 200 pages and had told me to
continue on because it gets better.
I initially was not enjoying the book and was confused like you have
been. Did you finish the book? It does get better and less "sci-fi"
as you read on so if you haven't finished me, press on. . .you may
actually enjoy the book. It gets more adventurous towards the middle
of the book.

Melanie was the host and Wanderer was the "alien" or "soul" that was
inserted into Melanie. Melanie remained "conscious" through out the
whole book . . .and Melanie and Wanderer was able to communicate with
one another or "hear" one another's thoughts.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. The discussions
is not only for analysis or your opinion of the book but also to
clarify or clear up any confusion that you may have about the books
that we read each month!!


On May 15, 9:49 pm, "mimih...@comcast.net" <mimih...@comcast.net>
wrote:
> > - Show quoted text -- Hide quoted text -

Maria

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May 17, 2009, 1:33:18 AM5/17/09
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Hey Tracy

Just wondering. . .Did you like the fact that there were so many
similarities of the personalities between Bella and Melanie/Wanderer?
Do you think SM should have changed things up a bit?

Thanks for your discussion input! If you have any questions you'd
like to add, feel free to ask away!!

Maria

Maria

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May 17, 2009, 1:39:12 AM5/17/09
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Hey Amber

Now I see how they came up with the name "soul". Honestly, the
discussion between the souls were parts that confused me initially.
It was much easier to understand the souls when Wanderer explained
their history to the humans. It cleared up many of my questions.

Maria

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May 17, 2009, 1:47:02 AM5/17/09
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Hi Heather,

I think there was an explanation for Kyle's hostility and obnoxious
behavior somewhere in the book. He did have a major distrust of
Wanderer. I think he began to soften up to Wanderer when she saved
his life and saw that she was on their side.

Hey Amber. . .can you answer Heather's question? LOL! You seem to
have read the book thoroughly

Here's Heather's question:

My other big question: Was Kyle always the way that he was or was his
personality and behavior shaped by losing his beloved Jodi (before
the
story began)? Of course that would give us more insight into his
brother Ian too.

Can anybody answer Heather's question?

amberstar

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May 17, 2009, 7:19:32 PM5/17/09
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Hey Ladies,

I think that Kyle was originally a rough person. Very macho. He
seems to be one of those guys who excels at everything and is arrogant
in a charming way. His anger and violent tendencies (even murderous
inclinations) towards Wanda is probably his only means of controlling
the uncontrollable situation he finds himself in. He can't bring his
wife back or destroy those who destroyed his life but he can destroy
one of them. He can hurt her like he has been hurt. Later, when he
accepts Wanda and even becomes attached to Sunny (previously Jodi) we
can begin to see that he isn't really a villain. He is just a man who
lost his love and is lashing out in the only way he knows how. I
think we will begin to see Kyle in subsequent novels as the man he was
before (or as much of the man as he can be).

Theresa Bergen

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May 17, 2009, 7:36:51 PM5/17/09
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But Ian implies on a few occasions that Kyle was always a little bit of a
roughneck. It was nice to see Kyle feel bad about sending Sunny off-world
and grow up a little at the end, but I think the man who has it within
himself to throw a sentient being into boiling lava will never become
totally civilized.
Speaking of future books, has anyone else seen anything mentioned about
planned sequels? I just saw that one interview on MTV's website where SM
said she wanted to do 2 more in the series, but I haven't seen any
indication that she's working on them now on her website.

Theresa Bergen,
Check out my Blog: http://goingscrapbooky.blogspot.com/
Moderator:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HudsonValleyNYScrappers/

-----Original Message-----
From: the-cafe-cor...@googlegroups.com
[mailto:the-cafe-cor...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of amberstar
Sent: Sunday, May 17, 2009 7:20 PM
To: The Cafe Corner Book Club

mimi...@comcast.net

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May 18, 2009, 11:26:35 PM5/18/09
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I have only read the first Twilight book. But I have seen similarities
between Bella and Melanie. Both of them are 17 yrs. old. They are both
quite mature for thier age and they seem to know what what they want
and go for it. I'm not sure that I see much of Bella and the Wanderer
perhaps I missed it?

Mary

Wendy Gorton

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May 19, 2009, 9:52:06 AM5/19/09
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Don't worry Mary, I had a hard time connecting with the characters as
well until I was further into the book. Of course, I couldn't put it
down after that.

I'll be back to answer discussion questions later. Enjoying all your
comments as I work.

Wendy

On May 15, 9:49 pm, "mimih...@comcast.net" <mimih...@comcast.net>
wrote:
> > - Show quoted text -- Hide quoted text -

Theresa Bergen

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May 19, 2009, 10:06:26 AM5/19/09
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Throughout the section where everyone was being mean to Wanda, I was having
a difficult time empathizing with the humans. Their brutality disgusted me
and, at the same time, I was annoyed with Wanda for just taking the abuse
and cowering in a corner.
Once they let her out of the hole, though, they redeemed themselves for me.

Theresa Bergen,
Check out my Blog: http://goingscrapbooky.blogspot.com/
Moderator:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HudsonValleyNYScrappers/

-----Original Message-----
From: the-cafe-cor...@googlegroups.com
[mailto:the-cafe-cor...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Wendy
Gorton
Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 9:52 AM
To: The Cafe Corner Book Club
Subject: [ ] Re: View this page "Discussion #1 - May's Book of the Month -
The Host by Stephenie Meyer"


Maria

unread,
May 19, 2009, 5:53:59 PM5/19/09
to The Cafe Corner Book Club
Hi Wendy and Mary,

I felt the same way. The first 100 or so pages, I was feeling a bit
disappointed and really had difficulties getting into the book.
Luckily, someone posted on my blog to stick with it and forewarned me
of the slow pace in the beginning. It did get interesting after the
page 100 or so.

Did you finish the book, Mary? Or did you just give it up! LOL! It
does get better and less "sci-fi". The book I feel focuses on
humanity and human failings and triumphs more so than it being a sc-fi
book.

Maria

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