Dec 10, 2012

Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Title: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Publisher: Atria
Publishing Date: October 28, 2010
Pages/Format: 241, Hardcover

R is a young man with an existential crisis--he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.

After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.

Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead and the blurry line in between.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: FANTASTIC

I hate zombies. They're a big fat no-no in my book--I avoid them like the plague, I don't watch the movies or read the books, nope, nope, nope. Then Warm Bodies came along. I'd heard about the book, but didn't read it, because, hey, zombies. Then I saw the movie trailer, and I was intrigued: a zombie that gets dezombified because he falls for a Living person? I'm a sucker for romance, and I couldn't really resist. So I read the book. And I loved it.

This book was brilliant, just brilliant. On several occasions I'd find myself smiling or grinning, and more than once I pumped my fist and said "this is so, so good!" Where do I begin? I could start with what I didn't like in the book, except that I can't really think of anything. Sometimes I was a little confused, and sometimes R was and sometimes he was 'R'--but I can't really think of any glaring issues. Was this book flawless? No--nothing is. But it was really good.

I feel like zombies are usually portrayed as terrifying, gory, unhuman creatures that you should stay the heck away from. And braaains. (Which do play a part in this book, but I'll let you learn that on your own.) Here the zombies are still bad, and people still fear them, but there's something...different about it. Maybe it's because it's being read from the point-of-view of a zombie who isn't 100% zombie. If this was a hardcore zombie novel complete with blood and gore and freaky stuff, I don't think I could've read it. I'd call this a low-key zombie book that zombie-haters could totally read, because it's awesome.

The characters were great, and all suffering and surviving in their own way through the new world. R, the main character, is a zombie that saves a Living girl and continues to keep her safe--in the process, he changes. (And I'm kind of in love with a zombie. Never thought I'd say that.) The girl he cares for is Julie Grigio, a tough girl with a soft side (and the mouth of a sailor). The main other zombie we hear anything about is M, R's friend, who realizes R is different. Other characters include Perry Kelvin (telling you who he is is a spoiler) and Julie's friend Nora. There are some other characters, and they all play major parts in how this book plays out, whether they're Living, Dead, or a Boney (nasty buggers).

I love the writing. While there were a few spots where I would've added or taken away punctuation, it was great. Isaac Marion's writing flows with detail, going from one scene to the next with eloquent words and strong symbolism. I haven't read a lot of books that are written how he writes, and I really liked it--it was pretty readable, and I didn't find many problems with it. It was nice to read something different.

This book did not make me a zombie fan, but I may be a bit more open to the zombie genre. This book was so much: a new world, love, death, hope, a fight for existence, a fight for life, a fight for survival. I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this book, and I can't wait for the sequel (which I know nothing about, except that there's going to be one; I need more info now) or the movie, which looks fantastic. Whether you want to kiss zombies or kill zombies, this is a book you most definitely want to put your nose in.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Yes.
Would I reread it? Pretty sure I would.
Would I purchase it? Yes, yes, yes!
Would I recommend it? Absolutely.

1 comment:

  1. A friend of mine read Warm Bodies last year and can't praise it enough. I really need to get my hands on this sometime!

    ReplyDelete

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