Monday, March 18, 2013

REVIEW: "Warm Bodies" by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1)
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

For Ages 15+
Young Adult -- Dystopian/Paranormal
Atria -- April 2011
Ebook, 258 pages
Received from Netgalley

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. Just 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 burst of vibrant color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that R lives in. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.

I am dead, but it's not so bad.

I should probably start this review by admitting that I am not a huge zombie fan.  I don't have a real reason for this preference, but they just aren't creatures I usually seek out like I do demons, vampires, or weres.  But, that being said, I had been wanting to read this book for a long time because of all the hype about how unique it was.  Plus the movie was recently released and I fell in love with trailer so I knew I had to read this soon.  And I am glad I did because Warm Bodies was such an entertaining story full of great characters, a highly original love story, and some intriguing supernatural worldbuilding.

The first thing that grabbed my attention about this book was the originality of the narrator.  For those of you who aren't aware, Warm Bodies is told from the point of view of a zombie named "R" who lives with a group of other zombies in an abandoned airport.  R is a pure delight with his unique perspective of his world and his snarky sense of humor.  He definitely seems different from the other zombies, but its hard to get a handle on why at the beginning.  The development of his character was really well-written and I enjoyed seeing all the different facets of his personality.

The other characters in the book are also enjoyable though R is still my favorite.  I liked R's love interest, Julie, much more than I thought I would.  She is definitely not a whiny, screaming heroine which I definitely appreciated.  Her courage and willingness to go with the flow is a necessity for this type of story and I liked that the author recognized that.  I also enjoyed R's "best friend" M who went through his own mini-journey over the course of the book.  Another character I have to mention is Perry, Julie's boyfriend, who is eaten by R at the very beginning yet still retains enough of a personality to be a driving force for the book.

There are two main storylines in Warm Bodies: the first being the romance between R and Julie and the other involving the zombie plague.  As I mentioned earlier, I found the love story to be very unusual and entertaining.  It was a nice combination of humor, sweetness, and drama that really captured my imagination from beginning to end.  The secondary plot with the Dead and the skeletal Boneys just helped push the zombie thing to another level.  The whole mystery about the origins of the zombies was suspenseful and dramatic while still retaining the dry humor that permeates the entire book.

Overall, I found Warm Bodies to be an entertaining and unique reading experience.  I am definitely excited to watch the movie now and hopefully read the rumored sequel!

You should always be taking pictures, if not with a camera then with your mind. Memories you capture on purpose are always more vivid than the ones you pick up by accident.


1 comment:

  1. I loved both the movie and the book. But then, I love zombies, too. :) I got some really good laughs out of this paranormal romance satire though. :)


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