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.
Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead, and the blurry line in between.
Being that the movie for this book comes out in only a week or so, I knew I had to read this book before it came out. Vague memories of an appraising review by Maggie Stiefvater only encouraged me further to pick this book up. The idea sounded original and daring to me. It beckoned me. While this wasn't originally written for a teenage audience, I can certainly see where it can fit in, with its teenage main characters and attitudes, but it also has aspects that are meant for a mature crowd. But here is where I stand: If you're interested in reading this book, just read it! Don't let the Golden Hammer of Finality that had placed it in one genre hold you back! Find out for yourself if this book is or isn't meant for you, no matter your general preferences on books.
R is a zombie. However, he certainly doesn't think like one. I greatly enjoyed his narrative, with his sometimes philosophical and deep characteristics. He has to be the only character I've seen change so much in the matter of a short book. It came as such a surprise, where many of the characters I read about nowadays have the problem where they don't develop and grow throughout a book (or series). He deals metaphorical and literal awakening, fighting his inner demons, and has these overall profound thoughts that blew me away. R is a thoughtful zombie that changed my idea of what and who a zombie should be.
And where, pray tell, did Marion come up with the idea for this book? It was something so different and pivotal for the future of the zombie genre as we know it. Since when are zombies portrayed as the misunderstood, able to save-the-world-as-we-know-it kind? Never! Frankly, I've never been a fan of zombies. I think they're gross, mindless, and not very threatening. I never gave them a second thought. While I still think they're gross, I do not think of them as mindless or nonthreatening anymore.
Plot wise, Warm Bodies was evenly paced and kept my full attention. I've heard others say that only people with strong stomachs should read this book. Honestly, I didn't find it to be any more violent or explicit with gore than any other action-packed books I've read. I didn't even blink an eye. While this book is short in length, it wasn't lacking and was content with its size.
And don't think I didn't catch those Romeo and Juliet references!
Warm Bodies surprised me with its hard-to-not-love main character, R, and his story. It was heartfelt and resonated within me. R's story is unforgettable and Marion's originality and masterful writing made me fall in love with this book. Fans of the undead, action, and a dynamic main character will enjoy this book.