Book Seven of My Top 20 is The Host
Hosts. They have obliterated all illness and sickness, everyone is polite and shares their belongings. Wanderer is one such Soul, but something has gone horribly wrong, she has moved from several worlds over centuries but her host body here is rebelling, her host's consciousness is still present and cognisant and she will not give up without a fight.
Melanie is protecting her loved ones and her tenacity is making it hard for Wanderer to fight Melanie's thoughts and more importantly her feelings.
As a result, Wanderer is in love with a human man she has never met so she and Melanie . both go on the run from a tenacious Seekers a kind of kill squad to find human rebels and convert them.
Why I am recommending this book?
This book is not a teen romance, and so if you have been avoiding it because of the connection to the Twilight novels, please don't, whilst most of the human characters are in their early twenties, it must be remembered that Wanderer is actually centuries old and wise beyond even her years.
Yes there is a romance that gradually and beautifully forms, but in reality there are many more versions of love at play that are much more nuanced and cleverly crafted here.
The love of family, commitment to community spirit, the ability to change a hard set opinion about someone who is perceived as an enemy, the safety of others and sacrifice to save those you love.
All this good stuff is wrapped up in a cat and mouse chase between a morally ambiguous Seeker and some wonderful science fiction elements that just fit the narrative like a glove and elevates what might have been that feared teeny,trite story and makes it into a saga to savour and enjoy whatever your age or for that matter, your gender. The parallels with the current refugee debate are also quite stark, here Wander integrates with the human rebels but also enriches their existence by bringing elements of her culture into their lives, no better way to see how those who are different can be accepted and become valuable members of any society.
This is in my top twenty because when a YA book that is not about a young girl dying of cancer and the young beau she leaves behind; has me a weeping and muscus ridden mess and I immediately palm the book off onto my Mother and Grandmother despite neither of them ever showing the slightest interest in sparkly granite skinned blood sucking teens, and then read it again as soon as it is returned? Well then it has to be a keeper!