Title: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Genre/Audience: Zombies, paranormal, sci-fi, adult
Publication: Atria, 2011
Source: Own (BEA)
Summary: R is a zombie. He doesn’t remember when it happened, how it happened, or even his own first name (only his first initial). He knows he’s different inside though. While he shuffles around with the other zombies, groaning and speaking just a few short words and syllables at a time, he feels things inside, and has deep, philosophical thoughts. He wants to remember his past life, but he can’t. He can only theorize about the man he used to be. Things change for him though when he consumes the brain of a young man, Perry, who he’s just killed, and begins seeing Perry’s memories and life flash before him. He even starts to fall in love with Perry’s girlfriend, Julie, whom he captures and brings home with him. While terrified at first, Julie soon realizes that R is different from the other zombies she’s encountered, and she sees that he is changing more and more every day. While protecting Julie from the rest of the zombies, R and his new-found living friend just may change the world – and the zombies - around them.
My Thoughts: I picked this book up at BEA in 2011 (at the Book Blogger Conference) and then kind of forgot about it until I saw the trailer for the recently released movie. I was swept away by how awesome the movie looked and realized I needed to read the book immediately so that I could then see the movie. Everyone, I am SO happy I finally got around to reading this book! While there have been a ton of zombie books in recent years (which I am a big, huge fan of), this one never really got much attention or buzz until the movie was released, which is why I mostly forgot about it. Even still, a lot of people I’ve talked to didn’t even realize it was book! I am so sad it hasn’t gotten all that much attention because it is just plain AWESOME.
I loved R from the very first page. So wise and philosophical, he is nothing like any zombie I have ever read about or watched. This is a completely different kind of zombie story where you never feel scared of or threatened by the zombies. In fact, you feel for them and sympathize with them. For once, I was rooting for the zombies, NOT the humans, even when the zombies went into town to capture humans for dinner! Completely unexpectedly, I was cheering for the zombies because, dammit, they were hungry and R made them seem so human-like that you didn’t want them to suffer or starve! I know I sound completely ridiculous in saying that, but it’s true! Even though R was a zombie on the outside, on the inside, he was more human than many of the humans that did exist in this novel. He had a zombie best friend, M, and a zombie wife (who cheated on him – that zombie whore!), and zombie kids. I wasn’t even weirded out when he began to fall in love with Julie because he just seemed so human-like.
This was SUCH a unique and refreshing twist on the zombie tale. It is funny and full of heart! Yes! A zombie novel full of heart! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see the movie tonight!
My Rating: 4.5/5