Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. Fiction. 256 pages. Image found on google.
R is having a no-life crisis—he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he is a little different from his fellow Dead. He may occasionally eat people, but he’d rather be riding abandoned airport escalators, listening to Sinatra in the cozy 747 he calls home, or collecting souvenirs from the ruins of civilization.
And then he meets a girl.
First as his captive, then his reluctant house guest, Julie is a blast of living color in R’s gray landscape, and something inside him begins to bloom. He doesn’t want to eat this girl—although she looks delicious—he wants to protect her. But their unlikely bond will cause ripples they can’t imagine, and their hopeless world won’t change without a fight.
Summary from the back of the book.
I never thought that I would fall for a zombie and R has captured my heart. I’ve only just recently become a fan of zombies. I mentioned in my review of World War Z that I watched The Walking Dead, all 3 seasons in 2 days, and as simple as that I was hooked. However I didn’t think I would care so passionately about R and the other zombies in this book. I would say that R is the zombie equivalent to Wall-E from the Pixar film. R is different from the other zombies inhabiting the abandon airport, he wants more out of life but he is the undead and unable to express himself other than grunts and moans. His inner monologues give us a unique insight into the life of a zombie and his worries and curiosities are so human. What I found so endearing was his collection of souvenirs that fill every space of his 747, which reminded me of Wall-E. I it found interesting how Marion gives new life to the contemporary myth. It is common knowledge that zombies eat brains but it’s never explained as to why that particular part of human anatomy is their prime target. R explains that when he consumes the brain of a human he gets all the memories of the person and it makes him feel alive, even if it’s only for a moment. Zombies also don’t smell humans the way that we smell each other, they smell the essence of life not sweat or blood and that the hunger hits them all over. The zombies also have created an imitation to the lives they use to have. The zombies have pushed the staircases that lead up to the planes into the shape of an amphitheater and call it a “church” where the Boneys “preach.” Needless to say that it’s nothing but groaning but they are trying to create a sort of semblance of the life they once lead. This is echoed by the living as they try to rebuild and create a sense of normalcy out of the apocalypse.
Julie is the human girl that R takes back to the airport after a hunting trip. She’s at first weary of R and keeps up her guard, she attempts to escape a few times but R rescues her each time. I love their relationship. It’s adorable. After Julie realizes that R isn’t going to hurt her, she starts to open up and relax around him. The humor in this book is genius. Teaching a zombie how to drive a car is hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing at the images floating through my head while reading. Julie also gets R drunk later and being a zombie certain bodily functions cease when turned, his inner monologue expresses his panic about not remembering how to go to the bathroom and among other things. He is a guy despite the fact of being a zombie and he likes Julie so of course he wonders if he could one day be intimate.
This book was a great read and I’m excited to hear about a possible sequel still in the works. I love this book and I’ve already lent my copy out to a friend after she heard me praising it. I do recommend this book for Teens and up. However do be aware of strong language and gore. R is a zombie and there are depictions of him eating humans and Julie and other humans swear throughout the book. If you are not a big zombie fan I urge you to give this book a chance, it’s a unique tale and it’s nothing what you expect.
I recently bought the movie and loved it (I’ve watched it at least 4 times this weekend). The movie follows the book pretty well, there are things omitted and changed, but I wasn’t upset with them. A very good movie adaptation and the actor playing R, Nicholas Hoult, did a fantastic job giving life to the character.
Review by Amanda S.
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