Series: Warm Bodies #1
Also in this series: The New Hunger
Published by Atria on 10/28/10
Genres: Young Adult, Zombies
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing, Some violence)
'R' is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows - warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can't understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.
This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won't be changed without a fight...
I picked this book up because I really wanted to read it before I watched the movie, which is coming out on DVD in June. The first thing that really struck me was that the book was written from the perspective of a zombie! This was something unexpected and new – I loved getting into R’s mind and I thought that this made the book much more interesting and enjoyable than your typical zombie apocalypse novel. It was often funny to hear R’s opinions of his fellow groaning, shuffling zombie “friends.” Who expects to laugh at a zombie novel, right?
I liked R. I thought that Marion did a great job of creating a character who was detached from human emotion in many ways, but who still strove for that emotion in ways that allowed me to sympathize with him (and to care about what happened to him and others in his world). In fact, I truly loved the first half of this book because I so loved R’s perspective on the world.
R is relatively comfortable in his mundane, monotonous existence until the day when he eats the brain of a teenage boy named Perry. For some reason (which is never really explained), R experiences Perry’s memories in a much more vivid way than he has ever experienced his victim’s memories before. Because of this, he suddenly feels protective of Perry’s girlfriend, Julie. Instead of eating her, R covers her in zombie blood (to mask her Living smell) and brings her back to the airport zombie community, passing her off as a zombie in order to keep her safe. While hiding out with R in his airplane home, Julie starts to realize that R is no ordinary zombie. She even starts to suspect that he might be becoming Living again.
It was during the second half of the book where it honestly started to lose me just a little bit. Julie makes her way back to the stadium where she has been living with other refugees and R decides to follow her there. Because of his feelings for Julie, he has become more animated and manages to pose as a Living person. I understood why Julie liked R, but honestly not why she is so enraptured with him. And it really seemed odd to me how forgiving everyone was that R ate Perry (including Perry himself, who has conversations with R in his head). I mean, I know that it’s a tough world out there and that R was just doing what he needed to do to survive and all, but I still think that if someone ate my boyfriend I’d be just a little bit upset about it, at least at first. I don’t want to tell too much more about the second half of the book because I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I will just say that this half got a bit more philosophical (especially regarding how the zombies were created and how they could be defeated) and that only some of the philosophy made sense to me.
Still, overall I liked this book a lot and I will definitely be looking forward to the movie. It was unique and engaging and an enjoyable read. Oh, one more thing that I almost forgot to mention – I had a zombie dream the first night that I started reading this book! An odd only half-scary sort of zombie dream – I was definitely channeling the Julie character in the dream. So, I guess the book really got into my subconscious! 3.5/5 Stars