Personally I found the Twilight series (or at least what I read of it; I stopped at book 2 or 3) entertaining, but Bella's character was too deeply flawed for me to continue through to the end. I also thought it set a dangerous example of "romance" for younger audiences. However, for adults who know better? Have at it. Meyer definitely knows how to spin a suspenseful tale.
So now that you know my feelings on Twilight, let's talk about The Host.
Fortunately the dual heroine in The Host is stronger than Bella, and the romance is a little more secondary to the story. In a nutshell, an alien parasite has merged with a human, and this is the story of their relationship: how they first war with each other for control, and then ultimately try to work together to reunite with the human's lost love and family. And most interestingly, everything is told from the alien's perspective.
Considering how much internal dialogue a story like that HAS to have, The Host really zips along with plenty of suspense and action (sometimes in flashbacks). It's a beautiful, character-driven story that managed to have me a bit weepy by the end.
As for negatives, it occasionally bothered me that the heroine gets beat up so much - and always by men. The alien is an extreme pacifist, and so refuses to defend herself. At least the story has this explanation built in, though, and over time you come to see her refusal to fight as a strength of its own. And if I personally couldn't identify with such selflessness, well, that's kind of the point: the contrast between human brutality and the aliens' dedication to nonviolence.
And here's something I never thought I'd say: I actually hope Meyer writes a sequel some day. I'd love to see what happens.
So if you're looking for something really unique in your science fiction, and if Meyer's writing doesn't turn you off TOO much, then definitely give The Host a try.
Oh, and about that movie...
Right after writing this review I discovered the movie on Netflix, and... Wow. So bad. Stay away if you haven't seen it, and if you have, then the book might be a lost cause for you, what with the spoilers and bad acting and all. If you're still interested, though, then I'd give the book a try.
And hey, at least the movie's depiction of the alien souls was pretty:
If you're looking for more book recommendations, head over to my review page for the complete list! I've starred my top picks for easy browsing.
And as always, please share your own YA recommendations in the comments; I keep a list of everything you guys suggest, and I'm slowly working my way through it!