Author: Isaac Marion
Publisher: Atria Books (April 26th 2011)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.
R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.” GoodReads’ blurb
When I went into my zombie crazy, everyone told me I should read Warm Bodies. They said that R, the lead zombie, was adorable... So I caved and got the audiobook. Not only Warm Bodies had great recommendations, there also was an upcoming movie!
In general, the book lived up to its expectations, however high they were. R is, indeed, too cute for words. The whole time we’re in his head, and he’s actually a smart, sensitive, caring individual. The zombie plague acts as a filter between his brain and his mouth, though, so talking in complex patterns is beyond him, but that only serves to make the reader simpathize more with his plight.
Now, even though in the end I loved Warm Bodies, I spent more than half the book dreading the end. I could feel the tragedy in the air. It was coming my way, and it was going to be devastating... but my friends had liked it, and I was pretty sure they’d not have told me how lovable a corpse would be if he didn’t had a chance at a happy ending... right? Right?
That’s how I felt. R starts out as a pure zombie with an inquisitive mind, but after a certain incident he begins to reach out to others—to Julie, who is broken enough, and later on brave enough, to listen and to see that there’s more than a walking corpse in him. And R responds... little by little, excruciatingly slow, but he begins to question what it is to have the zombie plague, to ponder a future, to dream of changes. And as he grasps, I couldn’t help but fear that it’d not be enough, that happiness would flee his questing fingertips.
Now, I can’t say much more without spoiling the whole thing. Suffice it to say that R is touching, moving; that Julie is a lead female worthy of him, with a spark that might leave the reader wondering where theirs went and why, and that their tale was absolutely beautiful.
I’m not too sure I buy the whole reasoning behind the plague, behind the changes, behind the “bonies”, as they call the walking dead who have turned to full skeleton. The explanation is a bit convenient, a bit easy, a bit too emotional. But, honestly? I don’t care. It worked, it’s a symbol in a bleak world and I want an ending like that one in real life.
There’s a bit of gory violence at first, because this is a zombie book and remember that at first R is pretty normal for a zombie, but if you’re okay with your local friendly undead eating a brain or two you should definitely read Warm Bodies.
P.S. I had a funny annecdote while reading this one. I was talking to a friend and the dialogue went like this:
Him: What are you reading?
Me: Another zombie book, it’s called Warm Bodies.
Him: .... Are you possitive it’s a “zombie” book?