Title: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
What’s Good About It
With all the ‘oops I fell in love with a zombie’ fiction circulating at the moment, it’s a surprise to me as much as anyone who knows me and my fondness for zombies, that I haven’t read any before Warm Bodies. I guess that, while I love zombies and their groans and decomposing body parts and their taste for human brains, all the things that I love about them really preclude loving them in that way.
I confess, it was beautiful artwork that prompted me to read Warm Bodies, to put aside the sense of revulsion I had at the idea of zombie romance. I had the image in my head of that episode of Being Human, where the reanimated, and rotting, corpse girl is snogged by some bloke for a dare. Grim. However, Warm Bodies was far from grisly.
R makes for an articulate, and lyrical narrator, exploring the ups and downs of zombie life with delicious humour. There is a vast range of emotion covered – from the frenzied horror of feeding, to the surprisingly tender burgeoning romance between R and Julie. R and Julie… Get it?
That slightly obvious literary reference aside, there was very little to criticise about Warm Bodies. Everything seemed pitched just right – poignant and observant without being schmaltzy, visceral and gruesome without detracting from R’s likability – creating a touching read that questions what it means to be human, and what’s really important about living.
What’s Not So Good
Aside from the aforementioned quibble, I did think Julie got over the death of her ex (not a spoiler, it happens straight away) a little too easily. A bit more exploration of the guilt and the conflict it would have caused her would have pushed this to a five star novel for me.