Tuesday, July 10

Warm Bodies: Book Review

Warm Bodies
Isaac Marion
Atria/Emily Bestler Books
November 1st 2011
Young Adult | Fantasy

Official Blurb -

A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.

R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.
I picked this book up because of a personal recommendation. Several people had mentioned that they felt Zombies were the next big thing. I exclaimed I would like to see someone try to make romance work with a zombie and the living. No sooner had these words been said than I was very straightly recommended this book. They said it would show me just how you can make zombie love work. Skeptical, but willing, I picked up a copy.

For starters, as the world is set up, my impression remained firmly in place. This is gross, disgusting, grotesque, and there is just NO WAY! After the shock wore off I just thought the book was odd. Here is where the transformation stuns you into a state of awe. Wow, talk about twist and hidden depth. There was no way you could expect what happens. A huge error is made in thinking this is mythical and fantastic. Isaac Marion doesn't mind if you come with that view, in fact he takes advantage of it and leads you on a merry dance. The joke is on you, it isn't really about zombies in the fictional sense, though there is plenty of proof to the contrary. Here is a healthy serving of truth with a big dose of zombie apocalypse. I have to slip into the spoiler section to truly discuss this:

Warning!!! Spoiler Section Warning!!!
The zombie is just a front or cover for the author to discuss our current mental state. This is more a Contemporary novel than anything else. The zombies have to eat the brains of others because this is where the life energy is stored. We, in like manner, seek out those who have dreams and visions and then we try to snuff them out. If we can just destroy all others, then we will feel better about doing nothing with our own lives. I loved how the part where R rides the escalator thing repeatedly everyday made me think he was a loser. Then I later realized that I was certainly no judge since I travel the same rut everyday. The eye color change at the ending was a bit odd. Plus, I wonder how extensive is the healing before you become alive again. What if you have lost nearly everything including whole limbs? Do you grow new limbs or are you limbless until death? Is it a revival of the wish to live life fully that completes the change or a kiss from someone who shares your love? I really liked the part with the children at the end. It points out that the zombie children don't naturally cleave onto zombie ways but have to be trained. Then, when their teachers are no longer around, they naturally revert towards life. Children left to their own machinations will seek to live life to the fullest in every moment.

--Okay it is Safe now--
Zombie love still escapes my ability to comprehend or believe in. The love story portion sort of escaped me. The characters just didn't sell it to me. They felt more like very caring siblings for the most part.

This is a tough book to recommend. While I loved the depth and hidden message, I am not sure I can easily pass it on knowing the price. The zombie bit is really gory. The writing is wonderful and the story has great pace. The characters, whether dead or alive, are all very much developed. I am glad I have read it since it opened my eyes to the way I live. As far as zombie love I will give it another try through another recommendation but I still can't ever see it happening.

Sexual: (Yuck. He is dead and rotting people.) Mild
Swearing: (Prominent even among the dead who can barely speak.) Heavy
Violence: Heavy, graphic, and gruesome
Main Character Age: Depends on how long he has been dead
Moments Divine:
". . .we'll see what happens when we say yes while this rigor mortis world screams no."
"I would like to end it here. How nice if I could edit my own life. If I could halt in the middle of a sentence and put it all to rest in a drawer somewhere, consummate my amnesia and forget all the things that have happened, are happening, and are about to happen. Shut my eyes and got to sleep happy."