Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1)
by Isaac MarionSummary: 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.
Source: I purchased a copy of this book for Kindle.
Despite my reservations about this story, I really enjoyed Warm Bodies. It was a lot better than what I was expecting and I found it to be both amusing and deep at the same time. The movie previews led me to the believe the story would be hilarious and the book reviews led me to believe the story would be sappy and full of teenage angst and I’m happy to say that it was much closer to being hilarious than full of angst.
Let me start off by saying I’m a traditional zombie lover. Stories like The Walking Dead and World War Z are right up my alley. I’m totally fine with the idea of shooting zombies in the head and I don’t think zombies have any thoughts 99% of the time. So when I first heard about Warm Bodies and heard the basic plot that a zombie fell in love with a human, I was one of those eye-rolling people that said “No way, zombies aren’t supposed to be romanticized.” When the Warm Bodies movie previews started playing, I thought the story might have something to it. It looked funny and kind of intriguing. So I decided if I was going to see the movie, perhaps I should read the book. And I’m glad I did.
As much as I love my "real" zombies, it was really interesting to read R’s point of view as an intelligent zombie. We could argue all day about zombies being intelligent and if that’s “against the rules” or wrong, but R is an intelligent zombie from the first sentence, so if you can wrap your head around it and "get over it" it becomes a really good story. R is amusing. I highlighted so many passages that made me laugh out loud and even appealed to my zombie loving. I mean, these were undead corpses that couldn’t do much more than stand around groaning on a regular basis and the author doesn’t ignore that even when he made R intelligent.
First sentence: “I AM DEAD, but it’s not so bad. I’ve learned to live with it. I’m sorry I can’t properly introduce myself, but I don’t have a name anymore.”
“My friend ‘M’ says the irony of being a zombie is that everything is funny, but you can’t smile, because your lips have rotted off.”As the story progressed, the turning point was really R’s will to live. And although it was brought on by meeting Julie, I wouldn’t call the story a romance. At least not in the sense that most people probably assume. To me, Warm Bodies had more similarities to a dystopia than any paranormal romance. Things are unquestioningly a certain way. R begins questioning the way he lives and wondering if it’s possible to change and be something more, much like heroes and heroines of dystopias. And Julie is struggling with the same question from her side. When they meet and begin their adventure, their unwillingness to do what everyone else would and do what everyone’s always done is what separates them from the rest of the world. R and Julie challenge their way of living and that’s what makes this story so great. It’s not so much about R being a zombie and Julie being a human and them falling in love. It’s about their will to change the way of things and I respected that. The story even goes far enough to ask questions about how the world got the way it did and what it means to hold onto their humanity and how to rebuild and various other questions that add depth to the story.
“I notice a female on the opposite conveyor. She doesn’t lurch or groan like most of us; her head just lolls from side to side. I like that about her, that she doesn’t lurch or groan.”
“There is no ideal world for you to wait around for. The world is always just what it is now, and it’s up to you how you respond to it.”Warm Bodies was fun, thought provoking, amusing, and adventurous. I loved R’s character and his way of looking at the world. Though his narration wasn’t as funny as the movie previews led me to believe, it was still humorous and quite enjoyable. I was blown away by how unique and original the entire concept of the novel was. If traditional zombie lovers can set aside their stubbornness and look outside of the box, I think they’d enjoy the story. And if people who dislike traditional zombies can handle a little bit of gross stuff and a little decomposition, they’d enjoy it, too.
“We cast our votes and raised our leaders, charming men and women with white teeth and silver tongues, and we shoved our many hopes and fears into their hands, believing those hands were strong because they had firm handshakes. They failed us, always. There was no way they could not fail us—they were human, and more importantly, so were we.”
I’m not really sure where the rumor about this being a “zombie Twilight” came from, but it’s entirely wrong, despite how the first movie poster looks. If that’s why you aren’t reading this book, I assure you it’s an entirely different concept.
I definitely recommend the book and I’m looking forward to seeing the movie.