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YMMV: The Host

The Stephenie Meyer book:

  • Fandom Rivalry: With Animorphs.
  • Growing the Beard: On the author's part. While it may not be extraordinary, the book was much better received, and overall is much better than Meyer's other works, and is perhaps an indication that she can indeed write things other than novels about sparkly vampires.
  • It Gets Better: Several reviewers have commented that the beginning is weaker than the rest of the novel.
  • Purity Sue: Wanderer; granted, she's not as egregious an example as Bella, but still. She's honest, sweet-natured, and gentle to a fault, and toward the end she has quite a circle of admirers amongst the human clan. Those who do not admire her either don't know her, or, like Maggie and Sharon, are described as shrewish and hateful. At the end, she even looks the part, and Doc comes dangerously close to pronouncing her Too Good for This Sinful Earth.
    • To be fair, though, the story is written from a first-person perspective. Don't we all perceive people who are nice to us as better and more worthy of attention than people who aren't, regardless of circumstances?
    • Which is why Melanie's perspective, for most of the story, is painfully overlooked. Maggie and Sharon are Melanie's aunt and cousin - maybe not as close family-wise as her brother, and definitely weird in some ways, but still family nonetheless. She knows much better than Wanda about their lives and personalities, and why they are bitter and hateful toward Souls. At the very least, she could have spoken up for them when Wanda made biased judgments about them. But Melanie hardly ever speaks up at all - and only when Jared is somehow involved. When somebody doesn't stick up for their own family in favor of the main character's point of view, there's a bit more than first-person bias going on.
  • Sci-Fi Ghetto: As seen here.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: Mentioning this book in Animorphs or Stargate fan circles is generally a bad idea.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The book has a lot of room to be really, really good, what with benevolent aliens taking over the world, the divide between what's ruled by your body and what's determined by your mind, the difference between Wanda's love for Ian (purely mind, since she doesn't have a body) and Melanie's love for Jared (more body, since her mind is overpowered by Wanda's), the morality of Utopia Justifies the Means... it could have been really awesome if it hadn't been eaten by the weak beginning and worse ending.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Okay, so The Seeker's host is like Melanie. She's resisted the influence of her parasite for who knows how long. This took strength and moral character, yes, but also quite a bit of meanness - her body's been invaded, after all, and there's no place for playing nice when you are fighting for your life. When they get the Soul out of her, however, she's vilified for being a Jerkass simply because she isn't so "nice" as Melanie. They even pity the Soul who had to live with her, even though that little worm had taken over her mind and completely ruined her life, to say nothing of the fact that it essentially wanted to leave her brain-dead so that it could keep her body. Who is the bigger Jerkass here, guys?
    • To be fair, the others are mostly just annoyed by Lacey but other than that fully accept her with open arms. The only person who feels sorry for the Seeker is Wanda, who is very biased.
    • Also to be fair, Lacey is a bit of a Jerkass in her own right. Upon being freed from the control of the soul and invited to join the struggling human commune, her reaction is to complain about the living condition and the requirement that she has to contribute to the work-load. It's not really any wonder the community wasn't wild about taking in a would-be complainer and shirker, when the conditions were hard enough already.
    • The author goes to pains to avoid Unfortunate Implications in other parts of her novel, however. When Melanie and Jared first hook up, they address the lack of birth control, the age difference, the potential feelings of obligation for Melanie to Jared, etc.
    • However, there is one significant issue at the end that she neglected. When Wanda and Melanie are sharing a body, both Jared and Ian kiss them, and the reaction each kiss causes is different. Jared's is fierce and physical (since it is mainly Melanie reacting to him) and Ian's is slow-burning and mental (since Wanda is the one kissing back). That would be fine, really, except that it's implied that Ian produces a less intense reaction because Melanie's mind is rebelling against him in favor of Jared. So why, when Wanda is transplanted into a different host, does Ian produce the exact same reaction? Sure, the host's personality is supposedly dead, but Melanie seemed to die at one point and was brought back - and another Soul promised to keep looking for her host's personality and try to bring her back too. So what's to say that Wanda's new host is not still alive, and subconsciously resisting Wanda's influence? The fact that Wanda lies about her new host's age so that Ian will have a sexual relationship with her does not help matters in the slightest. So, is it okay for Wanda to usurp the body of an underage, brain-dead girl and use it to get it on with her boyfriend, without that host's consent or her boyfriend's full knowledge of the situation? The Bride from Kill Bill would certainly deem that as sexual assault.

The 2013 film based on the Stephenie Meyer book:

  • Critical Backlash. The movie has been near-universally panned by critics and currently holds a score of 9% on Rotten Tomatoes. Moviegoers' reactions have been rather more mixed.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons in the trailer.
  • Narm: Turns out having your main character be a prisoner in her own body, who spends most of the story impotently screaming at the person controlling it, is rather silly to see on film.
  • Unfortunate Implications: As noted in her review, The Nostalgia Chick points out that the movie "was marketed... in their exact words... as Science Fiction for people who hate Science Fiction... (Beat)... So Science Fiction for women is what we're getting at." The implications being that women aren't supposed to like Science Fiction.
    Nostalgia Chick: "Stephanie Meyer is making me question the worth of the human race."
    • Melanie's relationship with Jared.

Tropes applying to the Korean film:

  • Narm: The scene where the Park family mourns for Hyun-seo (who is still missing by the way) in the shelter. It's jarring that they ended up rolling on the floor while crying which makes the viewers wonder if they should find this scene sad or funny.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Weta were involved. Bonus points for having a lower budget than District 9 (roughly 10 million in American Dollars).
  • The Woobie: Gang-du. Loses his daughter, blamed by his siblings, and targeted for carrying an imaginary virus...even his victory over the creature costs him something big.

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