01 April 2012

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (4/5 Stars)

Title: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Publisher: Atria
Publication Date: April 26th 2011 (In the USA)

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, noidentity, 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 stragely 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.

(Description courtesy of Goodreads.)

To say that this book was a surprise is an understatement. Who ever would have believed that someone could actually make a zombie/human romance believable or (WONDER OF WONDERS), actually APPEALING?! Certainly not me!

But, there it is. I found myself not only tolerating R, but actually rooting for him. Now, I do spoiler-free reviews on here, but let me just say, R wasn't quite so pleasant when we first meet him. Not that he was EVIL, per se, just that he was your typical zombie. Well, ALMOST typical. But, he morphs into a completely likeable, uh, "guy". I'll be honest. I found myself liking him more than Julie. I know. Weird.

WARM BODIES is told from R's point of view, and I really think the book wouldn't have been as solid any other way. There's no way anyone could have understood R or what motivated him without this.

Marion's zombies are quite different than most. You get a taste of this when you first witness the interactions between the zombies when they're all together, doing their zombie "thing". They have actual relationships and bonds. Again, I think it's imperative to the story for us to see this. To see that there's a "glimmer" there, a bit of humanity--if you will, under the surface.

Read WARM BODIES. And while you're at it, see if you can pick up on the Romeo and Juliet parallels. Marion very craftily wove those in, in a way that I didn't even notice until about half-way through the book. But, that could be because I'm just slow. :)

My rating: 4/5 Stars

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