Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WARM BODIES book review

Is anyone else excited for the WARM BODIES movie? I pretty much died the first time I saw the trailer, and have watched it an embarrassing number of times since. (They also posted the first four minutes of the movie online, too, and you can bet I've watched that several times, too!)

Anyway, I went out and bought the book WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion because I could not wait until February for the movie. If anyone remembers from my DEARLY, DEPARTED review, I love zombies and I'm definitely into the idea of a zombie romance. So WARM BODIES was very much the book for me!

WARM BODIES follows a zombie named R (R because he can't remember any other part of his name.) R is an interesting zombie--he's rotting, he groans, he drags his dead body along without a whole lot of purpose, but R also has really interesting thoughts about life and death, and yearns to be able to talk and to remember what it was like to be human. While he's out hunting with fellow zombies, he eats the brains of this guy named Perry. In Marion's world, when zombies eat brains, they get to experience bits of that person's life for a flash. And R sees Perry's (ex)girlfriend Julie--in Perry's head and at the raid.

If you've seen the trailer you can probably guess the rest. The great thing about the book is R as a narrator. He's reflective and funny, and much of what he says about being a zombie applies to life in general. This is a zombie book that doesn't focus as much on the world, the apocalypse, the disease, or the struggles of humans against the zombie army. Instead it focuses on character and relationships, because R desperately wants to have relationships with his fellow zombies and, after meeting Julie, with people.

Through Perry's eyes (when R eats Perry's brain) I thought Julie was a little bit too much of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. But as R got to know her, she really grew on me as a character. I think it was because R is so persuasive as a narrator. He really felt for her, (and it was adorable and sad that he had a hard time, physically and emotionally, explaining that to her) so as a reader by the end of the book I couldn't help but feel for her, too. Plus, R is impossible not to root for. He wants things with such a basic intensity--the kind of desperate desire I know we've all felt at one point or another.

The ending of the book was a little bit abrupt, a little bit too easy. But getting to the ending was great fun. If you're looking for an action-packed zombie book, this probably isn't it, and there are tons of other books out there. But this book is an exploration of humanity and of what it means to be dead and alive. It's surprising, funny, and poignant. It's also not very long (240ish pages, I think--I'm too lazy to go get my copy and check) so it won't take you much time to finish.

Really, though, I think you should read it.


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