Book Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Synopsis: 'R' is a zombie. He has no name, no memories, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows - warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can't understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.
This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won't be changed without a fight...

Number of pages: 240

Rating: 10/10

Overall Impression: A very satisfying love story with an apocalyptic backdrop. Romantic, thrilling and heartwarming. Zombies will never look the same again.
Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1)

I decided to buy this because I had heard a lot of good things about it, and I like to read a book before I see it's filmic adaption. And I am really glad that I did!

All I had heard was that it was a zombie love story and that it was not what you would expect on that front. And I think I can agree that WB is trying for something that on paper sounds a bit funky, but it totally works.

I really loved this book. R is the thinking (wo)man's zombie. On the surface he is the quintessential zombie. He lives the 'normal' zombie life of shuffling around, groaning and moaning, and hunting the Living. He has no idea how he became a zombie, how long he has been one or even anything about his life pre-zombification. But he is not happy with his current state of non-living. But on the other hand, R isn't a normal zombie. He thinks for himself, he dreams. And not just in zombie ellipsis-filled sentences, but complex coherent sentences. At times his frustration at not being able to vocalise his thoughts is tangible.

R also has a wicked dry sense of humour that cracked me up on more than one occasion. That, and his honest view of the world sets the tone of his narrative that welcomes you into this apocalyptic world.
She is Living and I'm Dead, but I'd like to believe we're both human. Call me an idealist.
But mostly, R is lovely. He doesn't seem to hold to the zombie way of life, but wants something more. He is fascinated with Life, and what it means to be Living versus Dead. R is desperately holding onto a shred of humanity, that grows through the story. Near the climax of the story it made me think of it like a muscle. As R acted more and more like the Living, the more like the Living he became.

His shred of humanity is what brings Julie into the story when he decides not to eat her. Julie is a breath of fresh air to R. She waxes philosophical about this, that and the other. She is sarcastic but accepting and compassionate, which is helpful considering... I really liked Julie, and was practically shipping them from the moment they met.

This love story between Julie and R just works, despite everything that seems to work against it. Namely, the whole R being a zombie. When it finally happens, it is hugely satisfying.

WB definitely lived up to expectations and makes you view zombies in a whole new light. Less horror movie monsters, more misunderstood romantic leads.

2 comments on "Book Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion"

  1. Have you seen the movie yet?? I really need to read this book before I see the movie.

  2. I haven't! I really want to see it as I've heard it's really good. But I wanted to read the book before I saw it.