Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

warm bodies by isaac marion

This is without a doubt the most hopeful zombie book I’ve ever read.

So, I should start off by saying that I saw Warm Bodies in the movie theater before I read the book. I didn’t really have a desire to read the book until I saw the movie and absolutely loved it. The book is a lot bleaker than the movie (no real funny moments in the book), but it was still awesome and thought-provoking. It’s surprising to read a zombie book that has so much heart.

So, the protagonist of Warm Bodies is R, who has surprisingly clear, concise, human-like thoughts for a zombie. He has no pulse, no memories, and no identity that he remembers, but he’s different from the other zombies – he likes chilling in his airplane home and listening to music. He’s living out his boring, frustratingly slow zombie life until one day when he and some buddies go hunting for food, he meets Julie… and saves her. First his prisoner and then his friend, Julie awakens something in R. But a zombie-human bond is new, with consequences neither of them sees coming.

R is a fantastic narrator, and seems more human than plenty of human characters in other non-zombie books. He doesn’t just have thoughts, he has DEEP thoughts. And feelings. I was really wary of reading a book about a thinking zombie, because the last one like that I tried I DNF’d it. But R was just so wonderful that he totally made it work. Some of my favorite quotes from R…

“But it does make me sad that we’ve forgotten our names. Out of everything, this seems to me the most tragic. I miss my own and I mourn for everyone else’s, because I’d like to love them, but I don’t know who they are.”

and

“I shrug, deciding that this gesture, while easy to abuse, does have its place. It may even be vital vocabulary in a world as unspeakable as ours.”

Julie is also a likable character. She, in a sense, is kind of the life of the book. She’s what sparks major changes in R. She’s full of feelings and hope and energy. In the movie they made her a little more angry, and I think I liked her better here. There were hints to a more depressing past, but her positivity shone through more. Of course we only see her through R’s eyes, so of course she seems remarkable.

Also, if you’ve seen the movie – the Boneys are a lot different. They kind of dumbed down the idea of the Boneys in the movie. I can’t really say whether I like the book or the movie more… I love them both, for different reasons. The movie was great and more light-hearted but still gave me all the feels. The book was more pensive and thorough and full of great quotes.

Anyways, this was a lovely book. It was original. It made me think, both about zombies and about human life in general. I really liked that it gave zombies more of a story, and that it put a new spin on why zombies like brains so much. I liked that it turned into a forbidden love story, because those are some of my favorite. It was philosophical, sweet, and had enough action in it to never get boring. I’m glad I bought it, because I can definitely see myself re-reading it in the future.

There’s a prequel called The New Hunger that I really want to read, but it’s only available in e-book format right now so I’m going to wait for the print version. And Isaac Marion has stated on his blog that he plans to write a sequel to Warm Bodies, which is really exciting.

 Sarah Says: 4.5 stars

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14 comments

  1. This book wasn’t at all on my radar until I saw the movie trailer. Zombie stuff generally scares the pants off of me, but this might be one to take a chance on.

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  2. Sigh. I really am going to have to read this one, aren’t I? It didn’t appeal in the slightest, but I’ve seen so many glowing reviews from people I trust that I might just have to take the plunge. And I know you said the film was quite different to the book, but the trailer does look amazing 🙂

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    1. Yeah… but it’s kind of nice to see a hopeful zombie ending for once! Normally it’s just “and humanity was screwed forever, the end.” in zombie books.

      In the movie I was having SO many feels near the end because things were getting intense… it was a good flick.

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  3. I really want to read this after seeing the trailer for the movie cos zombie love story, wha? I’m glad to hear it’s good cos it seems like it would be SO easy for this to go terribly wrong.

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    1. When I saw the movie trailer, I had zero interest in the book because like you said, it’s a concept that could be done so badly. But after I saw and loved the movie I had to read the book, and it’s equally awesome. I am AMAZED that the author did a zombie love story so well. Major kudos to Isaac Marion.

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