Saturday, February 18, 2012

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.
Publisher: Aria.
Pages: 241.
Release Date: April 26th, 2011.
Source: BBC.
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.

To be honest, I originally had no intention of reading this. It was handed to me at BBC last year and I didn't really realize that I had it until I was unpacking my BEA boxes at home. But after I heard it was being made into a movie starring Nicholas Hoult, and I'd spend $10 to see a movie where that boy spends two hours sitting on different couches, it immediately jumped to the top of my list.

This plot sounds insanely dumb. I will admit that right away. And when the trailer premieres and this book/movie becomes more known, it is going to be mocked almost as hardcore as Twilight is. However, this book is a prime example of how wrong it is to judge a book by it's cover (and ... synopsis, I guess ...) because I actually really loved this novel.

I was a bit weirded out at first. R is pretty eloquent for a zombie and I guess I was expecting this moaning, groaning, thoughtless corpse. But I appreciated his character and lifestyle, if that makes sense. We normally read books/see the movies from the living's perspective, but now we get a glimpse into the zombie's heads and I loved that they actually have personalities beyond their hunger for flesh. I also LOVED the idea of gaining human memories from eating the brain. That was an awesome idea and it definitely added a dose of creativity to the book. Another thing I enjoyed was the steady, progressive change to R with every chapter. I won't say what happens for avoidance of spoilers, but it definitely made me go "Wow!" when I closed the book.

And although I pretty much fell in love with R and his charming sense of humor, Julie was the bright spot for me. She's crass and impulsive and outspoken and hilarious and I want her to be real very badly so she can be my best friend.

Overall, Warm Bodies was a surprising hit with me. Though it's dark and demented and gory, there's a subtle sweetness to these zombies and this story that absolutely enraptured me. If you're like me, and you're thinking "A zombie love story? GROSS," do yourself a favor and at least give it a shot. It's not nearly as wrong as you'd think.

Other reviews for Warm Bodies:
The Book Smugglers.
Demons Read Too.
So I Read This Book.
Fiction Addict.

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