Hungry? #27 – Again…

Life tends to get away from me.  I haven’t blogged in three months or more.  Any thing that isn’t required of me falls at the wayside.  I am now beginning my last year before obtaining my bachelors degree in Accounting and a minor in English – fingers crossed every thing works out as it should.  First thing to go are eating habits, exercise, money cause I am eating it, patience and any kind of understanding for myself.  These things I know that logically I should hold on to.

I said it once and I am about to start back up once again.  I am about to take a trip to SE Asia with friends and perhaps now isn’t the best time to start focusing on weight loss and my eating habits, but I have to start some where and some time.  I believe that I have a real problem with bingeing, emotional eating, and being addiction to fast food and certain items.  All of them are in my mind linked.  I start eating because of stress or feeling like I can’t handle life then I can’t stop eating, and most time what I am eating are fast food in gross proportions and sugary diets.  Many people out there in the greater world probably have similar problems, but I think my lack of control has a lot to do with escape through food.

I say I eat to escape, but really I am trapping myself in a body that can’t handle how heavy I am getting.  A body I am not comfortable in.  A body already developing health problems that I don’t want to deal with now let alone what else will pop up in the future.  It makes no sense I am well aware of it my weight.  I don’t smoke, do drugs, or drink alcohol regularly.  I know that they aren’t healthy and I have no penchant about giving up alcohol because I have a problem stopping once I have started.  It seems I must put food into that same category.

So it begins again with a fresh mindset and a more fluid and flexible plan.

Be Blessed,

<3 illusyon

The Host: Chapter 14 – 20

Hey All,

Sucks to be me recently although other are better able to manage their lives I seem to be lost in all that I have going on.  Sorry I can’t post any for a bit longer.  Hopefully I will get my life straight and manage my time better and I’ll be back.  

Be Blessed,

illusyon

Delay in Posting for The Host

Hey All,

Just wanted to drop a few words in and let the entire world know that life has run away with me, and I have not been able to post for the book discussions for The 3L’s Book Chit Chat for the last two weeks (guesstimation on my part).  I will try to at the very least put up my discussion questions for all the chapters that I missed for The Host by this Sunday, March 03, 2013.

Where does the time go?  I have no clue, but it sure does fly by even when you aren’t necessarily having fun.  I hope everyone out there in the great wide world has better time management skills then I am working with right now.  Have a great week.

<3 illusyon

Hungry? #26 – See Saw Effect and then a kick in the ass!

Hey All,

I have been doing really crappy at getting healthy up until last week Wednesday, February 6, 2013 after seeing my psychiatrist.  At that point I was not even trying to fool myself into thinking that I was doing even the bare minimum.  It is like a fucked up roller coaster ride that I say I want to get off of, but I never get my ass up and out of the seat.  I just continue to sit in that chair and go round and round.

For roughly four weeks before last Wednesday I was back and forth between 319 and 322 pounds.  I haven’t really been trying I just got swept up in to school, work, sleep, extra projects, and family.  For a woman who wants to lose weight what I eat and any exercise I do are the first things to fall at the wayside when life gets busy.

What happened last week Wednesday that got me thinking and moving towards eating healthier if nothing else.  I was at my check in appointment with my psychiatrist and we were going over how I had been doing on my medication.  Every thing had been going fine except for panic attacks in the morning and the fact that I was explaining how exhausted I feel all the time.  He sat back in his desk chair looked me in the eye and the conversation went like this as he looked me straight in the face,

“How many extra pound are you carrying around, Hillary?  About a hundred? More?”

I gave him a straight answer “Roughly One hundred and fifty if I wanna be 175 pounds”

“No wonder your exhausted. If I was carrying around that much extra weight…I would be exhausted too”

Many people – friends and family – are shocked that he would say such as thing, but I wasn’t.  My psychiatrist and psychologist are the two people I expect to tell it like it is.  I used to work in that same office, so they have known me for roughly 8 years off and on.  He knew upon our first session when I started seeing him again this past year that I had gain weight or as he put it “there was more of me” so no I am not shocked or hurt that he said it.

I was kind of his word, but even more then that.  I don’t like being this tired.  I hate wanting to sleep for 12+ hours on the weekend when I have so much to do with school and everything else in my life.  I can’t afford to be sleeping that long if I want to get great grades and have time to read for fun.

From that day on I felt a renewed energy to conquer my weight.  He reminded me of all the struggles that I have gone up against and that I was moving forward in all aspects of my life other then my weight.  He told me that losing a pound a week is an awesome accomplishment and that I shouldn’t allow my mind to take away how awesome even a small loss is in the long run.  He also said that my “go big or go home” attitude was just a way to get out of having to exercise or loose weight.  Logically I knew all this, but getting it reinforced by him was the kick in the ass that helped me get back at it.

No this journey isn’t easy – and I always say this, but I feel like I truly understand it on a deeper level, and I am proud that I am even still trying, but one pound a week looks great and that is what I am going for.  1 pound a week, one step at a time, one meal at a time because slow and steady is the pace I need.  Even if I can’t go big all the time these small steps are what I am going to need to keep moving.

Nope I'm not.  Begone and stay gone!

Nope I’m not. Begone and stay gone!

So I am back to moving forward.  I hope that my back stepping is a thing of the past, but I know that I may have fumbles here and there, but I am going to rely on my Psychiatrist and Psychologist appoints month as a check in to reality.  The reality is that I want to be healthy, and the only person standing in my way is me.

Weight on February 03, 2013 ~ 326.2
Weight on February 10, 2013 ~ 316.8

Loss of 9.4 pounds

Be Blessed,

<3 illusyon

The Host: Chapter 14 – 20

Hey All,

Reader Beware: If you are not familiar with The 3L’s Book Chit Chat you can click here for more information. 

I am taking my discussions a little differently once again.  I am just realizing that I I can’t manage all my life has going on and keep up with chapter synopsis posts, so I am going to do my best to find an alternative that I am happy with.  My “Be Brief With It” is gonna have to suffice as the synopsis.  I give kudos for you folks out there in the world that can manage all life has to give and still blog each day.

This is not a book review per se, but rather a discussion about the different aspects of the book and all it encompasses.  If you aren’t reading it along with us please be aware that we will be discussing things happening, so if you hate spoilers and such please don’t read the discussions of the book, but wait for my book wrap up post which will have much less spoiler aspects then the discussion pieces.  I hope you are reading along with us, and that you get involved by discussing your views on your own blog or through my comments section.  

 As you may know…if you read my announcement of The Host…I have read this book, so I am realizing that the feelings that I had regarding the book are drastically different and the way that I am experiencing it was well.  I find this quite strange, so bare with me.  For reference I am reading the actual physical hard cover book that was originally released.

Sincerely Yours,

illusyon from The 3L’s Book Chit Chat!

Chapters 14: Disputed, Chapter 15: Guarded, Chapter 16: Assigned, Chapter 17: Visited, Chapter 18: Bored, Chapter 19: Abandoned & Chapter 20: Freed - 

Wanderer finally sees Jared and the first thing Melanie wants to do is approach him.  Unfortunately what is gets is a back hand to the face.  All the ruckus around her and the toll of being dehydrated and hit are too much for her and as she passes out she gets out the question regarding Jamie and Jeb tells her that he is fine and that Jared brought him.

After passing out Wanderer wakes up in a dark hole and is being guarded by none other then Jared.  Melanie and Wanderer have some frank discussions about the feelings that Wanderer is developing for Jamie and Jared.  Melanie is disturbed to discover that Wanderer has real feelings for Jared and not just that she is feeling residuals from what Melanie feels.  Unfortunately even after Jared and Jeb putting the kibosh on killing or vivisecting Wanderer some of the guys still show up wanting to end “its” life.  As Wanderer listens to the violence about to happen she can’t allow Jared to be hurt because of her and she rushes out of the hole to protect Jared.

Trying to protect Jared puts Wanderer in the hands of one of the guys out to kill her named Ian.  As Ian tightens his hands around Wanderer’s throat Jared struggle to help her, but it is Uncle Jeb with his shot gun that does it.  Jeb then hands over the responsibility of Wanderer to Jared. Essentially issuing a rule that who ever the body belonged to had the last say in what happened to the body.  Jared isn’t so sure that he wants the right, but it is his none the less.  After that Jeb takes over her guard.

After Jeb takes Wanderer through the caves for a restroom break they return to her hole to discover Jamie sitting beside it.  Jamie is there to speak with Wanderer, and Jeb allows it as Jamie is adamant that he wants to talk to Wanderer.  What Jamie want to know the most was how Melanie got caught.  Wanderer explains that it wasn’t her like she chose Melanie that she was in hibernation when his sister was healed for the insertion.  Jared shows up pissed off about Jamie being around Wanderer.  Jamie is upset that even though Wanderer has possession of Melanie’s body that people are hurting and bruising Melanie’s body.  Jared finally get Jamie to leave, but Jamie pretty much make it clear that he won’t stay away.

How many days go by readers don’t quite know.  Jared and Jeb guard Wanderer day in and day out.  Jeb continues to treat Wanderer as just another human, but Jared wants to keep a distinct distance between them and he takes every chance to remind himself that Wanderer isn’t Melanie though they share the same body.  Wanderer and Melanie begin to contemplate if they will go insane in this uncomfortable hole in the ground with barely any one to speak to.  Ian comes with with news about the fact that the Seekers who had been searching have finally given up, but that there was one who was upset.  Which freaks Wanderer out and alerts Jared and Ian to the fact that she know that Seeker.  Jared advances on Wanderer and questions her.

Wanderer admits to the fact that the Seeker is her personal Seeker assigned to her.  Wanderer admits to the fact that the Seeker was to follow her in the hopes that she was able to find out how Melanie had survived for so long.  She unwittingly admits to the fact that she was and still isn’t privy to all of Melanie’s memories and thus didn’t give her everything.  She admits that even after she discovered certain memories that at that point she didn’t want the Seeker to know.  Jared and Ian are interested in the fact the Wanderer though she lied to cover pretty much admits that her possession of Melanie isn’t typical.   In the end Jared leaves her guarding to Jeb as he must go out on a raid to gather items for the community.  With Jared gone and only Jeb to guard them Wanderer and Melanie resign themselves to the fact that they may be killed before he gets back.

WIth Jeb now her prison guard things begin to shift and Jeb drags Wanderer out and about in the community.  He takes her on a tour of the compound though other are around and they still have an aversion to Wanderer.  He even gives her a room in one of the wings.  Wanderer isn’t quite sure of what is going on with Jeb.  Jeb even takes it as far as taking her into the kitchen with everyone.  They are less then welcoming.  Jamie, Ian, and Doc also join the tour Jeb is giving promising to behave themselves.

  1. Were you surprised by the reaction of Jared?
  2. Do you think that Uncle Jeb genuinely cares about Wanderer?
  3. Had you been in Wanderer place how would you have reacted thus far through her journey?

I am learning to pay attention this time around to Wanderer’s feelings and emotions more then I did the first time through reading this book.  The first time I was Rah! Rah! Humans and didn’t really try to understand Wanderer or the Souls.

I hope you are enjoying the book thus far and I am disappointed in the fact that I just can’t see to keep up.  Forgive any typos and or grammatical error…I’ll get better.

Until our next literary adventure,

<3 illusyon

The Host: Chapters 7 – 13

Hey All,

Reader Beware: If you are not familiar with The 3L’s Book Chit Chat you can click here for more information. 

I am taking my discussions a little differently this time around.  I will break it down chapter by chapter doing my best to keep it short where possible unless I feel like a lot of pertinent information happened in the chapter.  For those who don’t wanna go through my chapter by chapter break down you can skip to the bottom and check out the section “Be Brief With It”

This is not a book review per se, but rather a discussion about the different aspects of the book and all it encompasses.  If you aren’t reading it along with us please be aware that we will be discussing things happening, so if you hate spoilers and such please don’t read the discussions of the book, but wait for my book wrap up post which will have much less spoiler aspects then the discussion pieces.  I hope you are reading along with us, and that you get involved by discussing your views on your own blog or through my comments section.  

 As you may know…if you read my announcement of The Host…I have read this book, so I am realizing that the feelings that I had regarding the book are drastically different and the way that I am experiencing it was well.  I find this quite strange, so bare with me.  For reference I am reading the actual physical hard cover book that was originally released.

Sincerely Yours,

illusyon from The 3L’s Book Chit Chat!

Chapter 7: Confronted - 

In this chapter readers are given a real glimpse of the other plants that were in habited by the Souls.  The Seeker continues to follow poor Wanderer around even to her job at the University.  Wanderer struggle to come to terms with her emotions and the emotions that Melanie evokes in her.  Readers are given a glimpse in to the minds of the Souls with the discussion surrounding a planet where one species consumes the others many of the Souls are shocked and appalled at the concept.  It is in this chapter that the Seeker drops that bomb shell that she has been granted permission to be implanted in to Melanie’s body should Wanderer decide to move to a more pliable host.  This thought is repugnant to Melanie for obvious reason, but surprising Wanderer also feel violated by the thought of the Seeker being implanted.  The Seekers final words to Wanderer,

“Don’t lose yourself, Wanderer!”  she called after me.  “Time is running out for you!”  She paused, then shouted more loudly.  “Inform me when I’m to start calling you Melanie!”

At the end of this chapter Wanderer has a hard decision to make of whether to become a skipper or to remain in a body that is inhabited.

Chapter 8: Loved - 

This chapter opens with Wanderer heading out to see her first healer Fords Deep Water in Arizona where he was transferred after Chicago.  Wanderer knows that her body gets motion sick and has decided to drive the distance.  Wanderer is happy to put distance between her and the Seeker, as the Seeker will be taking a direct flight to Tucson, Arizona.  It is through this decision to leave to seek information that Wanderer notices how empty her life is as she leave her apartment not knowing if she will be returning.   On the drive to Arizona Melanie begins to look back at happy times and Wanderer taps in and thus we are privy to how Melanie and Jared fell in love and how little time they had together when they thought they had so much more, and of the promise that Melanie made to Jamie to return to him not matter what.  Through reliving these memories Wanderer loses her grasp on trying to separate herself from what she believe are Melanie’s feeling.  Wanderer’s last thought in this chapter are,

The tears I was crying belonged to both of us.

Chapter 9: Discovered - 

As Wanderer drives she believes that she has mad the decision to become a skipper, but as she passes a piece of landscape she thinks she has seen it before, and suddenly Melanie is plunging her in to memories of Jared the night before she would go out to find her cousin Sharon.  As Melanie begs him to keep Jamie safe, and Jared assures her that she’ll make it with the line,

“Don’t be afraid.  You’ll be fine.  You’re strong, you’re fast, and you’re smart”

Even Melanie knew he was trying to convince himself as well.  Then Melanie plunges in to the memory of getting caught and the contents of the letter she wrote upon realizing she wasn’t going to make it away,

Not fast enough. Love you love Jamie.  Don’t go home

Melanie one fear is that she will lead the Seeker to her loved ones, as the Soul who inhabited her fathers body had done to Melanie and Jamie.  Wanderer’s reaction is acute to being bombarded with images of Jared and Jamie and the love.  Her struggle to keep a distance is revealed with the lines,

“Enough.”  I said out loud, cringing away from the whiplash of pain.  “Enough!  You’ve made you point!  I can’t live without them either now.  Does that make you happy?  Because it doesn’t leave me many choices, does it?  Just – one to get rid of you.  Do you want the Seeker inside you?  Ugh!”  I recoiled from the thought as if I would be the one to house her.

Melanies next thoughts set things in motion,

There is another choice, Melanie thought softly.

Melanie show Wanderer what she believes are the clues to a hidden place her Uncle Jeb had and that Jared and Jaime may have ended up there.  Wanderer feels disloyal and feels she has a duty to her species, but she also feels a strong pull to Jared and Jamie.  In the end of this chapter readers don’t know what choice she has made, but I know that I was rooting for her going after Jared and Jamie.

Chapter 10: Turned - 

It is was apparent to me from the beginning of this chapter the Wanderer had made the decision to go in search of the hidden enclave in the hopes that Jared had figured out the clues from the picture of the Stryder Ranch and the map the Uncle Jeb drew.  Melanie is instructing Wanderer on what to acquire for their journey into the desert.  Wanderer feels like a criminal, which I found a little funny in a world where criminal don’t really exist.  Much and this chapter is about Wanderer choice and provides glimpses of how Souls interact with one another.  They don’t pay for items and they are always willing to help each other out.  As they begin their journey through the desert Wanderer is in control, but Melanie is the voice of experience about how to handle their journey.  Unfortunately Wanderer doesn’t always listen to her wisdom concerning their rations.

Chapter 11: Dehydrated - 

As the chapter is title this chapter finds Wanderer with Melanie in tow traversing the desert in search of certain scenic landscapes that look like the clues Uncle Jeb one drew.  Wanderer is adamant about not leaving the car, but that situation is taken out of her hands when the vehicle runs out of gas and ends up in a ditch.  As they travel on foot Wanderer and Melanie converse with each other about ow they ended up in this situation.  The two characters are coming to trust one another and rely on the knowledge base that they both posses.  When Melanie admits that trusting Wanderer was a risk, but one she may have taken even if they hadn’t ended up so close, and Melanie begs,

please don’t use this to hurt them.  Please

And Wanderers answer is another clue of how far Wanderer has come in caring for Jamie and Jared is when she admits,

“I don’t want to…I don’t know if I can hurt them. I’d rather…”

What? Die myself?  Than give a few stray humans up to the Seekers?

When they stumble upon a empty shack an argument ensues about whether to go in or not.  At this point they are running low on water and have not foods.  Melanie’s suggestion that perhaps they could locate a weapon and Wanderer’s decision that she won’t wield a weapon lead to one of the reasons why the Souls overtook the human population.  Melanie questions Wanderer with the line,

Ugh.  How did such spineless creatures beat us? 

Wanderer answers her truthfully with,

Stealth and superior numbers.  Any one of you, even your young, is a hundred times as dangerous as one of us.  But you’re like one termite in an anthill.  There are millions of us, all working together in perfect harmony towards our goal. 

This insight in this passage is another piece added to the puzzle of why mankind is in the struggle to survive.  The Souls have a unity that human society just doesn’t posses.

This chapter is full of shocking tidbits about the Souls and human beings. Below is a rather long passage the I loved for what it revealed about our worlds.  Wanderer has locate a news paper where 80% of the articles are about one human being killing another or some sort of violence.  Melanie points out,

Those were the exceptions, not the norm.

Wanderer’s response,

Can you see how we thought we might be able to do better, though?  How we could have supposed that maybe you didn’t deserve all the excellent things of this world?

Melanie isn’t happy with this response from Wanderer,

If you wanted to cleanse the planet, you could have blown it up.

Wanderer jokingly replies,

Despite what your science fiction writers dream, we simply don’t have the technology.

Besides, I added, that would have been such a waste.  It’s a lovely planet.  This unspeakable desert excepted, of course.

Melanie admits how the humans realized that something wasn’t right,

That’s how we realized you were here, you know, she said, thinking of the sicking news headlines again.  When the evening news was nothing but inspiring human-interest stories, when pedophiles and junkies were lining up at the hospitals to turn themselves in, when everything morphed into Mayberry, that’s when you tipped your hand.

How strange this conversation is to be having between these two characters.  The fact that the Souls believed they were doing something worthwhile and saving people, but not realizing that depth of the human beings.

Chapter 12: Failed - 

Upon finding the the final land mark of the journey only to realize that there is no food or water, and the last leg of the journey is farther then they had travelled in the last four days.  This is a moment of profound companionship between Melanie and Wanderer as they contemplate the fact that they are going to die out in the desert never having reached their goal of locating the supposed hideout and perchance seeing  Jamie and Jared again.  Here are bits of pieces of the conversation between Melanie and Wanderer.

“We are going to die” I said

Yes. She was calm, too.

“That doesn’t bother you?”

At least I died trying.  And I won.  I never gave them away.  I never hurt them.  I did my best to find them.  I tried to keep my promise…I die for them.

“Then what am I dying for?  “I guess it’s because I lose, then, right?  Is that why?

No, she thought slowly.  It doesn’t feel that way to me.  I think…Well, I think that maybe…you’re dying to be human.  After all the planets and all the hosts you’ve left behind, you’ve finally found the place and the body you’d die for.  I think you’ve found your home, Wanderer.

This scene gave me chills as I read through it.  That they are both willing to die for what they believe in even though it isn’t tangible for either of them, but just the thought of reaching Jamie and Jared was enough to both of these women to defy what is logical and go with their gut instinct.  Readers are also privy to other information for as Wanderer and Melanie struggle to keep walking towards a goal they don’t think they will reach they talk about the afterlife.  It seems that Souls don’t believe in an after since they live so many lives.  As their body gives out and they collapse under a bush to hide from the sun and heat they take solace in the fact that they aren’t dying alone.  As they lay there going in and out of consciousness they begin to experience sound, but are too out of it to check on what it is.  After having a flashlight shined in their eye’s their next words are the culmination of all they had hoped for,

“Uncle Jeb,” we croaked in surprise.  “You found us.”

Chapter 13 - Sentenced - 

Upon waking the first thing that Wanderer and Melanie ask are if Jamie and Jared make it to Uncle Jeb, and Uncle Jeb response is a no.  After Uncle Jeb leaves them they fall back asleep and believe  that they may have dreamed it only to see a canteen with water.  After a bit it seems that Uncle Jeb has returned, but not alone he seems to have brought a party of human with them and they all have murder in their eyes.

After much debate and some really close calls with a machete it is decided by Uncle Jeb that he is taking the body of his niece with them. Uncle Jeb leads a blind folded Wanderer through the desert and then to what seems like a humid cave.  Wanderer seems disorient not just with being blind folded, but also with Uncle Jeb and his unexpected kindness and protection.

Upon being led through many turn and ups and downs the blind fold is finally removed and both Melanie and Wanderer are surprised at the number of humans that are in the compound.  Some 27+ people have formed a community for those who are evading the Souls.  As the crowd quiets a man steps forward from the crowd and as Wanderer’s eyes adjust she realizes this man is familiar and raises her eyes to his face with hope.

“Be Brief With It”

In this section we have many developments.  The Seeker getting permission to be implanted in Melanie should Wanderer decide to skip.  Wanderer need to see her original healer.  The journey to Arizona where Melanie finally lets Wanderer in on the secret that her crazy Uncle Jeb may have  compound hidden out in the very desert they are driving past.  The decision by Wanderer to seek out this settlement in the hopes that Jamie and Jared are there.  The struggle to stay alive and the communion of two being struggling for control of the same body, and yet through the love of a brother and lover they find common ground on which to walk.  Only to fail in making it to the end.  Fortunately for Wanderer and Melanie old Uncle Jeb finds them only to being a squad of angry humans who want “it” dead.  In the end it is Jeb’s call and he decides to take his nieces body home where Wanderer and Melanie are shocked at the number of humans present and doubly shock to by a man who steps out of the crowd.

Discussion

  1. These chapters provide many glimpses of the reasoning behind why the Souls decided to inhabit earth.  Does there reasoning soften you towards them and their plight?  If so how and why?
  2. This questions may come up more then once through these discussions, but do you feel Melanie and Wanderer are seeking Jamie or Jared or both of them equally?

Sorry for this being so late.  Better late then never.  Sorry if you found any typos or grammar mistakes…I did not proof read cause I wanted it out.  I hope you all are reading along and please feel free not just to answer my questions, but to pose some of your own.

Until our next literary adventure,

<3 illusyon

Yikes! I’m Late!

Hey All,

The 3L’s Book Chit Chat discussion of The Host is going to be late for both Jen and I.  Life has taken up most of our time this past week.  We are sorry that we have fallen behind, but we will catch up as soon as we can.  I hope to have my post out by the middle of the week at the very latest…I say this now, but I have no idea what next week holds for me, so I take that back and promise that I will do my best to get it out and keep on task to what we scheduled.  

I will do my very best to get my Chapter 7 – 13 by mid week and then try to keep on task with getting Chapter 14 – 20 done and posted by Sunday, February 10, 2013 as we scheduled.  I hope you are all loving the literary adventure with the Host and the 3L’s Book Chit Chat discussions.  

Until next time,

<3 illusyon

The Host from Prologue – Chapter 6

Hey All,

Reader Beware: If you are not familiar with The 3L’s Book Chit Chat you can click here for more information. 

I am taking my discussions a little differently this time around.  I will break it down chapter by chapter doing my best to keep it short where possible unless I feel like a lot of pertinent information happened in the chapter.  For those who don’t wanna go through my chapter by chapter break down you can skip to the bottom and check out the section “Be Brief With It”

This is not a book review per se, but rather a discussion about the different aspects of the book and all it encompasses.  If you aren’t reading it along with us please be aware that we will be discussing things happening, so if you hate spoilers and such please don’t read the discussions of the book, but wait for my book wrap up post which will have much less spoiler aspects then the discussion pieces.  I hope you are reading along with us, and that you get involved by discussing your views on your own blog or through my comments section.  

 As you may know…if you read my announcement of The Host…I have read this book, so I am realizing that the feelings that I had regarding the book are drastically different and the way that I am experiencing it was well.  I find this quite strange, so bare with me.  For reference I am reading the actual physical hard cover book that was originally released, so I am sorry if my page numbers are off from yours.  

Sincerely Yours,

illusyon from The 3L’s Book Chit Chat!

Prologue: Inserted - 

We begin our journey in the operating room of a Healing facility with the healer Fords Deep Water and the healing students as a Soul is being implanted into a body that took damage from an accident.  The healing students in the room are excited to see the insertion as the only ones they witness are the insertions into youth, and it is out of the norm to have am insertion in to a full grown adult.

Through this chapter we are given a glimpse into how the Souls are inserted and that this isn’t the first world they have inhabited.  They discuss the life and worlds that the Soul they are about to implant has lived.  She is a being of notoriety among her people for never living out more then one life cycle in one place.   That trait is why Fords Deep Water gives her the name of Wanderer.

This entire chapter for how short it is is full of first impressions for the readers.  Reading initially I was all against the alien species, but this time around I am having mixed feeling.  A Soul is implanted into the insertion point on the back of the neck at the base of our skulls.  Since adult host are hard to come by all I keep seeing is my nephews and other children being marked for the insertion surgery and having their entire personality and body taken over.  I am gonna say that most of us would have problems with that.  Unfortunately these aliens aren’t like those from the the scary movies like Aliens, Mars Attacks, MIB, and Battle Ship.  This chapter has one of the best descriptions of what a Soul looks like,

The soul shone in the brilliant lights of the operating room, brighter then the reflective silver instrument in his hand.  Like a living ribbon, she twisted and rippled, stretching, happy to be free of the cryotank.  Her thin, feathery attachments, nearly a thousand of them, billowed softly like pale silver hair.  Though they were all lovely, this one seemed particularly graceful to Fords Deep Waters.

I can see why fighting an invasion of beings who aren’t their own entity, but that of our neighbors and family members would be difficult.  By the time we realized it there were probably so many insertions before we even realized what had begun.

Fords Deep Water shows many emotions that he isn’t as familiar with as he does the insertion and in the end the reader is left wondering why he is so conflicted as you would think that he would be happy to have a body to insert Wanderer into, but he shows he worry with his closing line to Wanderer though he isn’t sure she can hear him,

Good luck, little wanderer, good luck.  How I wish you didn’t need it.”

Chapter 1: Remembered - 

Wanderer knew what we as readers didn’t that with each host before she begins she must see the end.  Her first realization is the last images of the host.  At her insertion she imbeds herself in to the nervous system of the body and thus takes it over.  The last memory of this body was of its death.  Though she knows it isn’t her memory Wanderer has a hard time separating the emotions and fear as she relives the memory of her host being chased through an abandoned building by Seekers trying to capture her.

As Wander relives this memory she is shocked by the anger and emotion that engulfs her and emits a sound she is unfamiliar with – it is her body that explains,

Screaming, my body explained. You’re Screaming.

It is through this little moment that Wanderer makes the surprising discovery with the line,

My body – she was thinking! Speaking to me!

With no way to escape her her host runs in to a dead end in the way of an empty elevator shaft.  Her host knows escape is futile and if caught what will be done to her, and her host would rather die then allow her body and mind to be taken over.  In a last ditch effort she sails in to the elevator shaft.  Only as her host lays there in pain does she realize that her plan failed and the distance to fall wasn’t enough to kill her.

The last image Wanderer glimpses is that of a face that means a lot to her host and though Wanderer doesn’t know much about our world she knows that the face of this man would be considered beautiful.  The image is lost as her host shoves up a wall.

Chapter 2: Overheard - 

Wanderer has woken and as the chapter is titled overhears a conversation between Fords Deep Water and the Seeker who chased down the body.  It is through this chapter that we learn why the Seekers fought so hard to get the body and why death was preferable to the being caught.  Wanderer listens to a conversation that makes it clear that the struggle to obtain Earth was a brutal one and that her host is proof that there are still pocket of Human Beings in seclusion still fighting the invasion though at this point there are thousands of invaders to one human.

It seems that wWanderer doesn’t just get to relive the last memory, but essentially has access to her host memories and past.  It is towards the end of the chapter that Wanderer begins her mission of trying to retrieving the information that the Seeker is waiting for.  Only to be shoved out by a black wall that hides the information from her.

Chapter 3: Resisted - 

Wanderer is welcomed by the Seeker and Fords Deep Water and she has further adjustments to make to the world around.  Wanderer wonders about the wall and wether she is attached properly.  According to the healer she is attached correctly and optimally.  All of these new experiences are a marvel to Wanderer as in her past lives no host had ever been so complicated with emotions, five senses, and requiring so many connections.

Through this chapter we are told of what happens when the host doesn’t give up residence after insertion.  We learn of Kevin which was the name of the host, but the Soul decided to keep it after insertions.  Kevin the host began to take back his body after some time and eventually tried to kill himself by removing the Soul.  There were many sign that the transition was not going as planned as the the Soul would have black outs and decided to stick closely to what Kevin the Host did in his daily life.  The Soul was removed and placed in a young boy that is fine now, and Kevin’s body was disposed of.  This is news to Wanderer, but she isn’t a quitter and will do her duty to her race.

Wanderer begins her duty of giving over the information about what Melanie Stryder was doing in Chicago.  She was looking for a cousin named Sharon that may still be human.  She left a note and believes that someone will be looking for her.  Through this Melanie is still present as she asks about whether they found her cousin or not.  Wanderer tries to pull as much information as possible and this is how we learn the name “Jared” as the face Wanderer had seen earlier as Melanie is worried for his safety.

Chapter 4: Dreamed - 

In my copy of the book dreams and memories are in a different font, so they are easily recognized.  This chapter for the most part is the dream of how Melanie met Jared.  Melanie had cased a house out to steal food as she was starving and so was Jaime her nine year old brother whom she had left in a cave, so that she could venture out and get food.  It is as she is leaving that she is accosted by a man she believes is a Seeker.

Melanie is confused by the man and the man seems to be just as confused.  For the reader is isn’t so confusing cause they are both acting out of character for how a Soul would act.  As the man checks her pupils for the trade mark silver iris of a body inhabited by a Soul he is shocked that she is still human and kisses Melanie.  Melanie kicks him and runs only to be caught by the man as he pretty much begs her to calm down and does the pupil test on himself.  Melanie wants to feel the back of his neck and he declines as he admits he gave himself a scar.

Wanderer wakes and gives the information to the Seeker via e-mail.  We are given another glimpse that even after months of inhabitation that Melanie still remains as she worries for her brother, and even Wanderer to a degree feels the need to take back the information that was just given, but she ignores that urge as she knows that it isn’t her own.

Chapter 5: Uncomforted - 

In this chapter Wanderer goes to what I would call a psychologist, but she calls a comforter appointment.  This chapter also gives the readers further glimpses of how the invasion happened and why we didn’t know until it was too late.  The comforter was on the front line and she and her partner who was implanted into the President of a University who had many contacts.  Their house was an insertion facility they would invite humans to dinner and Souls would leave.

Wanderer feels great shame that Melanie is still present and has been avoiding her Comforter Kathy.  Upon breaking down and admitting what has been going on Kathy suggests being reinserted into another host and having Melanie’s body disposed of as she isn’t suitable for further use.  Both Wanderer and Melanie are put off by this thought.  Wanderer because she doesn’t want to be a quitter or as they call it on Earth a skipper.

There are some eye opening paragraphs on page 47 that are thought provoking about the thought processes of the Souls and why they believe that their cause is a worthy one.  I won’t place them here cause they are so long, but they are thought provoking for me and I am sure for some of you.  After the eye opening paragraph about why the Souls believe they are in the right for taking over are a few lines between Melanie and Wanderer,

You murder an entire species and then pat yourselves on the back.
My hands balled up into fists.
I could have you disposed of, I remind her.
Go ahead.  Make my murder official.
I was bluffing, but so was Melanie.

Chapter 6: Followed - 

As her appointment comes to a close the Comforter suggests that she interact with other people outside of her work at the University.  Kathy the Comforter even suggests that she try to have a intimate relationship with another to form bonds.  It seems that sex is a novel thing even to the Souls and as Wanderer thinks on it she hasn’t had any reaction of the sort to another being other then the dreams that she relives about Jared.

As Kathy mentions that the Seekers may find Jared and perform an insertion.  Wanderer is shocked at her thoughts.  Though she fights her instinct to believe they are hers the following thoughts feel like hers rather the Melanie’s,

That’s killing him!  That’s making him cease to be! I don’t want someone else.  I want Jared, not a stranger in his body!  The body means nothing without him. 

She runs out of the rooms and away from all the emotions that the session brought to the forefront of her mind.  Wanderer runs away and to her apartment where she throws up for the first time in a hedge across the street and is approached by the Seeker from Chicago.  After entering her apartment with the Seeker who is the most combative Soul Wanderer has ever met.  Wanderer and Melanie are on the same boat for the first time in their dislike for the Seeker.

Another great scene in this chapter is when the Seeker basically laughs at the fact that Wanderer is still struggling with a resistant host and that she expected more from Wanderer.  The Seeker fails to understand all that Wanderer has experienced.  Which leads to the discussion of the See Weed planet and how the South Pole forest was easy to assimilate, but that the North Pole would not surrender to the insertion and the entire forest withdrew from the nourishment of the sun and withered and died rather then be taken over.

Good for them, Melanie whispered.  There was no venom attached to the thought, only the approval as she saluted the tragedy in my memory.

It was such a waste. I let the agony of the knowledge, the feel of the dying thoughts that had racked us with our sister forest’s pain, wash through my head.

It was death either way.

This conversation between Melanie and Wanderer is from two different sides of the spectrum, but the sorrow over the death is one of the first things that they agree upon though for different reasons.  It is towards the end of this chapter that Wanderer comes to the conclusion that she doesn’t wish to help the Seeker any longer and will not give up any further information, but the Seeker isn’t so put off by her attitude and pretty much says that she has nothing better to do then wait to find the rest of the human resistance.

Be Brief With It

We got an invading species that have taken over the Earth.  Human bodies may be walking around, but they are just bodies for the invading species.  We experience the world and story through the body and mind of Melanie Stryder and the Soul inhabiting her body who goes by the name Wanderer.  We have Wanderer who is a Soul that has lived many lives, but never one so full of vivid emotions, thoughts, and senses.  Wanderer is trying to live her life, but Melanie isn’t going away with out a fight.

We have a Seeker – who I would think of as an agent from one of the government acronym entities like a FBI, CIA, DHS agent that ensures the safety of many by doing what ever necessary to stop the human resistance.  Wanderer is her key to finding Melanie’s loved ones and the resistance force that she may be apart of.

We are given many glimpses of why the Souls believe they are doing the Earth and human race a favor by coming in and taking over and even I have to agree with the second paragraph on page 47 about the world we live in.  I am not saying yes welcome the alien invaders, but rather that glimpsing the atrocities that we commit against each other through Wanderer’s eyes makes my heart heavy.

In the end Wanderer decides that she is done helping the Seeker try to find the resistance and that she just wants to move forward with her life, but the Seeker isn’t so easy to get rid of.

Discussion ?’s

  1. How do you feel at this point?  Are you on the WE DISLIKE THE SOULS! or are you in a wait and see attitude?
  2. Did you find any particular scene from this section particularly thought provoking?

I hope you are enjoying the book thus far.

Until out next literary adventure,

<3 illusyon

2nd Book Announcement by The 3L’s Book Chit Chat

Hey All,

The 3L’s Book Chit Chat has come to a decision on the second book that we will be chit chatting about…*DRUM ROLL*…

Pic from Author's Website: http://www.stepheniemeyer.com

Pic from Author’s Website: http://www.stepheniemeyer.com

Yes, my friends that is right we have chosen to read The Host. We just finished up Fifty Shades of Grey a Twilight-esque series and now we jump in to the actual world of Stephenie Meyers.  I am a huge fan of the Twilight series of books and a fan of the films, but what I am most grateful for is the catapult that Twilight the series gave me into the world of reading once again.  After that series I devoured novels like it was going out of style, but surprisingly I held back from reading this exact book because I felt like I was cheating on Twilight…don’t snicker…I know I’m slightly kookie crazy :)

Jen and I have a plan to finish this book before the movie hits theaters and then have the book fresh in our head, so we can compare.  I saw the trailer for it at the Breaking Dawn Part 2 film and it look way different then I thought it would be.  So we shall read, discuss, watch, and then discuss some more.  Join us.

First impressions:  Going back way back to May 26, 2008 when I finished The Host for the first time.  I was all hype to hate those damn invading aliens and be all Go Humans!!!  I was ready to dislike the shit – cause Hates a strong word – out of the main character alien who goes by the name Wanderer.  I wasn’t quite sure what this book would entail or even how it would be played.  I definitely wasn’t expecting vampires to jump out of the wood work, but other then that I was a little clueless other then Stephenie had written a sci-fi adult book where alien had come to earth and were invading the human bodies, and to be honest I read a lot of paranormal, but not too much sci-fi, so I was stumped.

If you would like further information about the author and her books you can check our her website at www.stepheniemeyer.com or you could just Google her and click the link that appears.

Please see my Books…Books…and MORE BOOKS! page on my home page for details about The 3L’s Book Chit Chat and regulations of the book club.

Until our next literary adventure,

<3 illusyon

Fifty Shades of Grey Wrap Up

Hey All,

Reader Beware: My wrap ups will be similar to my general book reviews with a grade given as well as why this book received the particular grade.  This review is as spoiler free as I can make it.  If you are looking for more details about what happened during the book please check out our discussions: my chapter 1-13 discussion, my chapter 14 – 26 discussion, Jen’s chapter 1-13 discussion, and Jen’s chapter 14-26 discussion.  If you don’t agree with the grade I have given please comment and tell me the grade you think it should have received and why.  At the bottom before my sign off you will find an audio file wrap up that isn’t spoiler free, so if you don’t like spoilers don’t listen just read the review.  

Sincerely Yours,

<3 illusion

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

Purchased through amazon.com
Click here for the redirect to amazon.com’s kindle version

Reprinted Release Date: January 17, 2012
Read on illusyon’s purple boooook kave
Purchased on Amazon for $9.99 plus tax

Pic from Author Site: www.eljamesauthor.com

Pic from Author Site: http://www.eljamesauthor.com

Description:  

This book description is directly from the authors site http://www.eljamesauthor.com/books/fifty-shades-of-grey/

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

No one describes a book better then the author, and their descriptions are almost always spoiler free.

Personal Rating & Review:

I am giving Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James a C- for the following reasons: The pace was extremely slow and tedious at certain points, it is an average novel in my opinion.  It received a minus due to the fact that though I will most likely read the next two books at some point I have no inclination to re-reading this book at any point which makes it just slightly below average.

I rated it as average because though many people were shocked and enthralled by this novel and it’s sequel’s for me there wasn’t anything extraordinary about this book.  I liked the book and the main characters, but due to the pace it was very easy to put it down for a day and not read it.  I have a tendency to devour books in one or two sittings, but this book just didn’t suck me in quick enough.  Think slow build, but this book took the slow build and moved at what felt like a sloth like pace.  It wasn’t until the last chapters that readers are finally invested in the characters and the relationship.  I understand the importance of the world building in the first novel, so don’t think that I don’t realize that foundation building takes time, but this book just seemed to stall out at certain points where I was just pushing through hoping for more about the relationship rather then the chaos that was Ana’s mind surrounding whether to embark on a BDSM voyage or run screaming.

Many of us have heard this trilogy is similar to the Twilight Saga written by Stephenie Meyer.  Some would argue that there are similarities, but I would say that if so inclined one could find similarities between the Twilight Saga and many different romance novels on the market.  I am not so inclined, nor do I have the time to go through my many novels to locate similarities.  I am not saying that there isn’t some wording in Fifty Shades of Grey that sounded similar to something Bella or Edward had said or that the characters didn’t share certain character mannerisms because they did, but I would not call Fifty Shades of Grey a Twilight-esque novel.  From the authors own site www.eljamesauthor.com are some details as to why some link the two,

Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed were never self-published as these novels. An earlier version of this story began as Twilight fan fiction which was self published on the internet. The trilogy was picked up by an Australian publisher, The Writer’s Coffee Shop, who released them as e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks.

You can also find more information on the how the Fifty Shades Trilogy was linked to the Twilight Saga at Wikipedia Info on Fifty Shades of Grey,

The Fifty Shades trilogy was developed from a Twilightfan fiction originally titled Master of the Universe and published episodically on fan-fiction websites under the pen name “Snowqueen’s Icedragon”. The piece featured characters named after Stephenie Meyer’s characters in Twilight, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. After comments concerning the sexual nature of the material, James removed the story from the fan-fiction websites and published it on her own website, FiftyShades.com. Later she rewrote Master of the Universe as an original piece, with the principal characters renamed Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele and removed it from her website prior to publication.[6] Meyer commented on the series, saying “that’s really not my genre, not my thing… Good on her—she’s doing well. That’s great!”[7]

This reworked and extended version of Master of the Universe was split into three parts. The first, titled Fifty Shades of Grey, was released as an e-book and a print-on-demandpaperback in May 2011 by The Writers’ Coffee Shop, a virtual publisher based in Australia. The second volume, Fifty Shades Darker, was released in September 2011; and, the third,Fifty Shades Freed, followed in January 2012. The Writers’ Coffee Shop had a restricted marketing budget and relied largely on book blogs for early publicity, but sales of the novel were boosted by word-of-mouth recommendation.

So as I said there are similar mannerism, but just because you loved the Twilight Saga doesn’t mean that you will necessarily love the Fifty Shades Trilogy.

If you are extremely into BDSM or HOT & STEAMY! in your romance novels you will be disappointed with the scenes in this book.  Many  of my friends emphasized their shock at the graphic nature of the sex in this book, but it was rather tame in both the BDSM and the H & S! departments to me.  There weren’t too many drive by sex scene – which I would describe as reading through and characters are heavy petting and then they are waking up in each others arms as a great night of sex that we never read through.  EL James does a great job of giving the readers hot love scenes, but it wasn’t as shocking for me as for some people, since I devour romance novels that range from drive by sex on through erotica.

If you like romance novels you will most definitely be interested in this trilogy and like any trilogy it is best if you read it from the beginning, so thought I rated this book a C- it is a necessary read, so that as a reader you are invested in the relationship and story line.  Though this book was slow paced for 75% of it the last 25% is well worth dragging through the slow parts.  Don’t shy away from this novel like my cousin and I did for the longest time because of the hype it received.  If we had kept fighting our inclination to read it we would never have discovered another great love story.

Other books by EL James that you may want to read:

Fifty Shades Darker at amazon.com

Fifty Shades Freed at amazon.com

Audio Wrap up with Jen from www.jenkakio.com

Until our next literary adventure live, love & laugh…all while reading,

<3 illusyon

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