I finished this book awhile ago, but I've been avoiding writing my review. The only reason I can think of is that I really don't want my first read glow to go away. You know that time after you read a really spectacular book when you're just sitting around, thinking about how wonderful it was and going over passages you loved? I think I've been doing that for two weeks now. Every time I think about Warm Bodies, I wonder at how good it was.
Warm Bodies follows R, a zombie unlike those we normally read about. R thinks, deeply, about things, speaks five syllables in a row, and has real dreams. He can't remember his life, but has a fascination with life; longing to know who he was and what he did. When R eats the brain of a teenage boy, he experiences flashbacks into the boy's life, mostly featuring his first love, Julie. R becomes enthralled with Julie and they begin a tenuous relationship unlike any in this barren world before. As Julie and R become closer, both experience impossible changes; changes that could possibly affect the entire world.
Words cannot explain how much I loved R and his voice. From the first page, I knew his narration was different. Because he can't speak but a word or two at a time, most of his narration comes straight from his thoughts. There are pages filled with R simply talking about what he does all day, and it's riveting stuff. My favorite descriptions come when he talks about groaning:
"Focused thought is a rare occurrence here...Otherwise we'd just be standing around and groaning all day. We do a lot of standing around and groaning. Years pass this way."R is also genuine and eager. Perhaps this is because he's dead, and things can't really get much worse? Whatever reason, it makes him endearing and utterly likeable, despite being a zombie. It's hard to believe I would ever feel anything but disgust for a zombie, but it happened with this book.
I also liked Julie. A lot. She's a kick-butt kind of girl, the kind we don't get to read about much in books where the protagonist is male. The girl can take care of herself. She's also got a sense of humor, something that many authors would be tempted to eliminate when writing a serious zombie novel.
Can I also point out that I love that it's a standalone book? Don't get me wrong, I'm a major series lover. But I also love to see a book written towards young adults that isn't a series. I like the way it ended; it was open in a way the reader can interpret for themselves, but in a slightly leading way.
Isaac Marion is taking a different approach to the zombie novel, one that could have been disastrous. Warm Bodies is anything but. It is well-written, poignant, funny, and memorable. Easily my favorite read this year.
Risk a paper cut? ANY INJURY INFLICTED DURING THE READING OF THIS BOOK IS ABSOLUTELY AND UTTERLY WORTH IT. Do not let the idea of a book narrated by a zombie fool you; this book is excellent.
To buy: Amazon
Barnes & Noble