Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Vintage (Oct 2010)

Paperback, 230 pages
Zombie Romance

I was quite skeptical, as well as intrigued, when I was sent Warm Bodies to review. I would never have imagined putting “zombie” and “romance” in the same sentence. I assumed the putrid decomposition of flesh and the eating of brains would have been a bit of a turn off.

After reading the first page I didn’t know whether I would be able to take this book seriously: a zombie romance? And with quotes like these…

“My friend ‘M’ says the irony of being a zombie is that everything is funny, but you can’t smile, because your lips have rotted off. “

“None of us are particularly attractive, but death has been kinder to me than some. I’m still in the early stages of decay. …”

… my lips were twitching with suppressed laughter. But after only a few more pages I wasn’t laughing any more, other than from the brilliant intentional dry sense of humour which was scattered throughout the book.

Warm Bodies was a total surprise. I didn’t expect it to be so heart-warming or to love the hero as much as I did considering he’s a brain munching zombie. I knew going in that this was a book about zombie romance, but it’s not in the ‘paranormal romance’ style. It has a bittersweet edge – along side the sweet endearing thoughts of “R” there’s lots of wonderfully descriptive detail on zombies eating humans, which was completely disgusting but I loved it all the same. I was right there with “R”.

The reader stays inside the mind of “R”, the hero of the piece, and I say ‘hero’ because that’s exactly what he is. He does eat people, yes, and he shuffles along with only one thought and that’s to munch his way through humanity, but things begin to change for “R” when he meets Julie. Unfortunately their meeting comes at an unfortunate moment, after “R” bites down on the skull of Perry, her boyfriend.

Nobody knows what caused the dead to rise. But “R”, who remembers nothing of his former life before becoming one of the living dead, has glimpses of the lives he kills when eating their brains. Memories of his victims flicker by in his mind and he treasures them. But after meeting Julie, and eating Perry, things begin to change.

With each bite of cerebrum, Perry comes alive in “R’s” mind and “R” sees Perry’s life from childhood until the very moment he dies. He also sees Julie as part of Perry’s memories and for some reason when he comes back to reality and sees her crouching and shivering with fright against the wall, he doesn’t devour her but instead takes her hand and leads her back to his home.

“R” lives in an aeroplane at an abandoned disused airport with many other zombies, they call their gathering a ‘hive’. They are also organised by another creature called the ‘Boney’s’ – they are not nice! The zombies are also hunted by the few remaining humans, one of which is Julie’s father. Julie and a few thousand other humans live in a stadium and have done for many years. It’s a community where children are born with soldiers protecting the parameters. Not much of a life, but survival all the same.

There’s a surprising amount of action in “Warm Bodies” and the story moves at an exciting pace. And when Julie and “R” become friends something miraculous happens and everything starts to transform for zombies and humans alike. The story ends a little ambiguously for my taste, but there’s hope and the promise of new beginnings.

VERDICT:

I devoured this book and enjoyed it from beginning to end. It’s quite somber, but contains delicious bittersweet moments that we can identify with regarding our own humanity and mortality. This book wants to make you think about who we are, what we are and what a gift life is and how we shouldn’t take it for granted. As well as lots of brraaaaaaains – nom nom! ;)

RATING

ISAAC MARION ONLINE
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Carolyn

Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and coffee. Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!

15 Comments


titania86 October 8, 2010 at 7:36 am

This book sounds really awesome! I've never heard of it before this, but I will definitely be putting this on my TBR list. Thank you!

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Splendibird October 8, 2010 at 7:58 am

While I like a good zombie story, I would normally not have even considered this one as it just sounds a bit to…icky… However, your great review (not to mention the gorgeous cover) has made me think again and I've added it to my wishlist. Thanks!

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Dot October 8, 2010 at 9:41 am

I like the sound of this one, very eye catching cover too!

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Marco October 8, 2010 at 11:07 am

I still did not read any zombie book will this one be the first? it seems that way :)
thank you for your fantastic review

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Ally October 8, 2010 at 11:29 am

I absolutely loved this book!! The pacing, rises and falls of action were extraordinary. So glad that you enjoyed it as well

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Laura Summers October 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Wow, I'm struggling to get my head around the idea of zombies and romance, but at the same time this book does sound intriguing!

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Kate October 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I am sold on this book! The cover's awesome and zombies have long been a favorite of mine, even if I haven't thought to date one yet. ;)

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Cheshire-Cat October 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm

This sounds really awesome – adding it to my wishlist!

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Miss Page-Turner October 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I haven't read a zombie novel yet,because I am always afraid it's too scary or disgusting. But just as you describe it as a rombie( nice term for zombies+ romance, huh?:D)I could like this one. Maybe try it out someday. And I have to agree on the catching cover!

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Nikki-ann October 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Certainly sounds different!

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Book Chick City October 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Titania86 – It is a great books, glad you've added it to your TBR list! :)

Splendibird – That's what I thought – zombies & romance, but it's a very different book and was really good :)

Dot – I hope you read it as I think you would like this one :)

Marco – You're welcome – I hope you read it :)

Ally – I'm glad you liked it too – it's such a different book isn't it, very original. I was impressed! :)

Laura – I struggled with the 'zombie/romance' thing too, but this is a bittersweet journey for "R" and that's what it was about, it's his story and I really enjoyed it.

Kate – Yay! I hope you read it soon :)

Chashire-cat – I'm pleased you've added it to your wishlist, I hope you enjoy it when you get around to reading it :)

Mis Page-Turner – "Rombie" – love it! LOL It's such a great book, I hope you do try it someday and enjoy it as much as I did :)

Nikki-Ann – it is different, but that's what makes it such a good book. Very orignal ideas, I really liked it.

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Penelope October 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Great review! This is the first zombie book I want to read!

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Meghan October 10, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I was also totally surprised by how much I liked this – I didn't think anyone could pull it off but the author did. I hope Isaac Marion writes more books!

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Aleksandra October 17, 2010 at 8:38 am

Wow, this sounds really interesting! From the summary I never would have thought to read it, but now I'm adding it on my list! Great review!

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Gemma December 28, 2012 at 10:46 am

Having just watched the trailer for the movie adapation, I did a quick check and low and behold, the book has been reviewed. I am going to read this before going to see the film and your review makes me want to read it more. :)

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