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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brains, Guts, and Love: A Review of Warm Bodies

Fiction for Readers


“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.”

Who is it for?

Warm Bodies is for those who like a witty, fresh, original story with some humor, action, and romance. If you have an open mind, you can enjoy this one. It’s a short novel that can appeal to both guys and girls, adults and teenagers, although it’s not a YA book.


Wow. When I picked up Warm Bodies, I knew I was in for a fun story. A zombie romance? Ridiculously funny, right? But I wasn’t expecting a story this good.

Marion pulled off a narrative that I think would be difficult for hundreds of other writers to do. He made me believe something could work that I didn’t think possible: a good zombie romance.

I wasn’t expecting Warm Bodies to actually have a significant theme with interesting insights on the human condition. The author hooks his readers with an entertaining concept and flashes of humor in the opening, but then escorts them through themes of hope and love, while asking the questions “What does it mean to be human?” and “What does it mean to be alive?”

R and Julie aren’t the type of characters I often see in romantic plots. Neither is fully “romantic.” R becomes more of a romantic, but as a zombie, he obviously lacks the physical aspect of the definition. In contrast, Julie has lost romance in her life, but has the physical appeal. She’s not dainty and girly, but she’s real and still loveable. And actually, I liked all of the characters in the novel. None of them felt “off,” or unbelievable.

Marion really has the ability to pull us inside a zombie mind. At the starting we are as numb and purposeless as R. But as R changes into a more complex creature, we do too, and we end up somewhere completely different than where we started.

I enjoyed how Marion twisted zombies to make them his own. For zombie fans, this is where you may need to have an open mind, but don’t fear, it works for the story. They can speak a few words here and there and are sometimes capable of running. One aspect I liked is that zombies “dream” when they eat brains. Basically they relive the victim’s memories. Since R eats Julie’s boyfriend’s brain, he naturally becomes interested in her, which results in him capturing, instead of eating, her. Maybe this isn't new to zombie stories in general, but it was new to me.

In reality, virtually everything in this novel worked for me. And I think this is one of those books you just have to experience for yourself.

In my opinion, Marion nailed it.

I think he accomplished what he intended, which to me, means success.

But in case you’re sensitive about what you read, you should know Warm Bodies uses the f-word regularly but not obsessively. There are, of course, brains being eaten and arms being torn off. Also know that there are several short, thematic, sexual mentions.

Still unsure if this novel is for you? Check out the trailer for the film adaptation (hitting theaters Febuary 1st)—it’s what sold me on the story. And if nothing else, it will give you a good laugh.

If you're still unconvinced, read some of the 500+ reviews (and if you are convinced, you can get the book,) here.

Have any of you read Warm Bodies? What did you think of it?

1 comment:

  1. You talked about this before, and it sounds so awesome. I definitely need to give it a try!


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