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Sometimes, the film adaptation is better than the novel: The Host


As an avid reader, I rarely prefer the movie version of a written work. Mostly, I complain that many details are left out of the film, or certain facts are stretched or changed completely.

After watching a film adaptation, I am left sitting in a movie theater with a feeling of dissatisfaction, wondering why “Dumbledore’s funeral wasn’t included,” or realizing that “those giant dogs didn’t look anything like the fallen tributes.”

Visually, musically, and emotionally stunning, the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s “The Host” is much better than its novel counterpart.

I was pleasantly surprised that this film was nothing like its book, and I could watch it in one sitting without being mind-numbingly bored.

Meyer’s novel, while full of detail, begins slowly, weighing the reader down with facts and play-by-play.

I found myself wanting to quit reading, hopeless that the storyline would never progress past walking speed.

The film version also started a little slow, but it was not nearly as painstaking as the novel; I was immediately captured visually and the storyline kept a consistent, timely pace.

The novel and the film do have one thing in common: the best part is the end. While I felt relieved finishing the paper version of “The Host,” I was fulfilled by the end of the movie version.

Spoiler Alert: Wanda gets her own body, Melanie gets to keep her man, and The Seeker is banished. Everyone is happy, and the film ends with the song “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons.

The song captures the attitude of the film, and also carries a little bit of symbolism. The song and “The Host” are both about an apocalyptic world and humanity fighting against “the end.”

Even though the expert critics (mostly) prefer the novel version of “The Host,” I must disagree.

I was engrossed in the film from start to finish, even with the long conversations between characters and the novice group of actors chosen.

“The Host” as a novel was a chore and a bore, and I will not be reading it again.

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