Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion #Review

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion #ReviewWarm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Series: #1 Warm Bodies
Genres: Horror Romance
Published by Atria Books on April 26, 2011
Pages: 270
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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I stepped well out of my comfort zone to pick this one up and read it.  I know for zombie purists this one is a softball, but for me, it was a test of my fortitude.  And gladly, I can report that it was a successful attempt.  I loved what the author brought together here with a thought-provoking blend of horror, romance, humor, philosophy and just a poignant story at the end of the world.

I am dead, but it’s not so bad.  I’ve learned to live with it.

First line from Warm Bodies

The story is told from the zombie, R’s perspective.  He is existing like the other undead in a post-apocalyptic world where disaster and plague have reduced the human race to a few outposts in a world returning to its natural wild state.  R is a bit of something different even amongst the zombie crowd.  He has independent thought and intent of action.  He has some words even if his speech is blocked up inside him.  He analyzes and understands beyond instinct.  He has a friend, M, and a life such as it is.  He notices things like the strange ‘boney’ undead that seem to be the controlling elders of their people and he notices a beautiful girl on one of their hunger hunts.

R gains the memories of a boy when he eats his brains and that boy is the friend and lover of Julie.  This sets into motion something magical and hopeful.  R saves Julie from being on the menu and slowly Julie helps bring him to life.  Julie is hostile and terrified, but an understanding forms.  They work together, but the worlds of the living and the undead are far apart and they must fight if they want to change it all to save both their worlds.

The story is one where things don’t make sense much of the time, yet still hooks in the reader with its unique zombie lore, engaging characters, and intriguing plot.  I got the feeling that there is so much more going on beyond the limited scope of R and Julie and the rest of those around them.  There is no real explanation of how this world got into such a state, there is inconsistency over how R’s abilities and non-abilities work, and there is a partial and intriguing explanation about the plague.  Throughout the story, R sharing memories with the other young guy was something of a curiosity for me whether their conversations were all R’s imaginings or if Perry existed inside R for real.  Somehow, it all works and kept me flipping pages to the dramatic end.

I am not a blood and guts person and I get whoosy over horror books and films, but I was so taken with this story that I was able to enjoy it even while being somewhat squeamish over the flesh eating and macabre references. The humor was the fun and redemptive part.  I loved R’s voice throughout this story.  He comes alive and grows and his wry monologue and dialogue make it even better.  Julie is a blend of sweet and hopeful with petulant though her character makes sense in a world gone crazy.  It turns out that the zombies aren’t necessarily the true monsters in the story.

All in all, this was a nice start to my fall spooky reads and I would recommend it to zombie book lovers who don’t mind a bit of romance and something different.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #302 YA
New to Me #123 author/series
Mt. TBR #100
Books N Tunes #40 Jonathan Thulin’s Dead Come to Life

 

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I was curious about this one because well zombies… I tried the movie but I couldn’t manage to be interesting so I never tried the novel but maybe I should.

    • I haven’t seen the movie so I can’t give a comparison to the book, but I thought this one was good. Yep, it was definitely one for the zombie lovers. 🙂

  • I watched this movie (I even have the DVD) and then had no idea that it was originally a novel (I should have paid more attention to the opening credits, but WHATEVS. PFFT. I LOVE the story and how R developed throughout the story and how the friendship and budding romance changed him in the end. It was such a unique storyline that grabbed you! I’m talking about the movie version and not the book version (because we all know they change up so much in the movie adaptations!) You should def watch the movie now that you’ve read the book! 🙂

    • Hey, lady! Good to hear from you.

      Oh neat! I’m glad you like the movie. I’m planning to watch it and hopefully it will compare well. I saw the previews and recognized all the scenes I saw so that’s good. Hope you get a chance at the book when you have some time. I thought it was pretty good stuff.

  • I’ve always been curious about this novel because I did enjoy the movie.

    • I watched the movie previews after I read the book and I was happy to see that I recognized all the scenes so I think there is at least a close parallel between the two which is good.

  • Horror romance? Yay! Sounds exciting. Haven’t watched the movie though, but I think I’ll go with the book first 😉

    • Oh yes! This one is properly creepy and just a little scary. I still have to watch the movie, too, Vanessa!

  • While I haven’t read the book I did see the movie. My daughter wanted to see it so I watched it with her. I didn’t think I was going to like it but I really did.

    • Haha, and that’s how I felt about the book- ‘didn’t think I’d like it, but I did’. 🙂

  • the blood, gut, gore, is the reason I have not read this yet >.<

    • Yep and its mostly at the beginning before it’s not there, but there are a couple times where I was ready to wave the white flag. 🙂

  • I really liked this too. I’m glad we’re getting another book that will explain the world more.

    • Yes, I want to go back for the new prequel and the sequel that are out. I think they’ll really help.