Publish Date: January 1, 2010
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, 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 strangely 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.
What’s that you say? That’s not a good review? You can’t even tell whether I loved it or hated it from that sentence? Oh fine.
I really don’t know where to start, so I guess I’ll just go with the zombies. Marion’s zombies are (okay, it’s one in the morning as I write this and for the life of me all I can think of is “the shizz, man” but I really don’t want to say that so bare with me) really interesting. I appreciated that he didn’t try to tackle the unique factor by making his zombies move at lightning speed or fly or something similar. They shuffled, they grunted, and they ate brains. These are what zombies are (not that other zombies aren’t acceptable). But. (Of course there’s a but, how could there not be?!) These zombies treat brains almost as a drug. It allows them to see memories of the person’s [who belonged to the brain] life and feel just a little less Dead. Plus, Marion’s zombies can kind of talk and think which was really cool.
The story and the writing. Honestly, this is the only book I can think of that has ever hooked me from the front page. Though the writing isn’t always beautiful per say, it is still wonderful. R has a very unique voice that I couldn’t really get enough of. His thoughts were somewhere between simple and profound and, honestly, made me feel a bit silly about the things I make important in my life. I mean, here R is being a zombie and he’s thinking about the meaning of life while I sit on the couch for twenty minutes pondering whether taking my dog out or letting her pee on the rug is the better idea (I don’t actually let her pee on the rug, just so we’re clear).
I know I’m always going around saying “this isn’t your average zombie book” and “even zombie haters will like this” but I think that’s pretty much due to the fact that everyone has a stereotype stuck in their head when it comes to zombie books and well-written ones very rarely live up to that stereotype. I’m not going to lie, there’s gore and death and brain eating, but I still believe zombie haters will like Warm Bodies. It has a much, much deeper meaning and story than just “eat brains; kill zombies.”
The Nutshell: Marion is a genius. Seriously. This book hooked me from page one and didn’t let me go until the end, though, there was some breathing time. Don’t write this book off because you think you hate zombies. It’s about so much more than zombies and the fight between the remaining humans and them. My words could never possibly fully convey my love for this book, but I promise I’ll make you read it somehow to make up for that fact ;]
Rating: 5 stars