It seems as if my reading experience at the end of January has gone down slightly. I strayed from my intentions of sticking to really good sure thing four-star and five-star books. I was enticed into reading Warm Bodies – 1. because it was the YT book club pick for the 2nd of February, 2. because I’ve never read a zombie book before, and 3. because of the description on the back of the book was tempting and I was sure it was going be a good read.
Warm Bodies is a story of R, a zombie who cannot remember his name, his age, or how he’s become what he is. He and other zombies spend their time wandering aimlessly in an abandoned airport, which is ruled by the terrifying Bonies. Bonies are zombies in the most decomposed state, essentially skeletons, that are vicious and dangerous. R is a different kind of zombie because he has dreams. One evening while R and some other zombies are out on a “food” run, he meets a “living” girl named Julie. She is the total opposite of what he knows and an affectionate relationship grows between the two. Sounds pretty interesting, but in essence reading about it was a total bore for me.
The best thing about this book is the writing style. Isaac Marion is a talented writer. He does an excellent job of describing situations and especially the feelings of R, however I found some parts of this story uninteresting and very slow. Another good thing about Warm Bodies is the Vintage Originals paperback cover, white with the red raised nerves. I also loved how each chapter begins with a labeled sketch of a part of the human body. The sketches at the beginning of the chapters seem to correlate with what happens in the chapter where it appears. There is a strong underlying theme from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette and I found that a little cliché at times. It was as if he was trying much too hard to intellectualize this zombie story. Since Isaac Marion apparently wrote this book for adults, he was surprised that his book is being shelved in the Young Adult section and thinks that adolescents aged 16-19 should be reading what he reads and that these classifications shouldn’t need to exist. He believes this is mostly because of the quote from Stephanie Meyer on the back of his book. Needless to say, they put Stephanie Meyer’s quote on the back and the front of the Vintage Originals paperback edition. Marion feels “the YA label is reductive to any book.” So there are probably a lot more adolescents picking this one up than adults, moreover I can’t see this story really appealing to adults. Who knows? I could be wrong, certainly when you read Audrey Niffenegger’s quote on the back cover:
“Warm Bodies is a strange and unexpected treat. R is the thinking woman’s zombie — he could be the perfect boyfriend (though somewhat grey-skinned and monosyllabic). This is a wonderful book, elegantly written, touching and fun, as delightful as a mouthful of fresh brains.”
“Monosyllabic and grey-skinned “are not the only problem, R is a walking, smelly, rotting corpse for Christ’s sake. Warm Bodies was published in 2010 and I don’t think I remember hearing anything about it before now, but the movie was released yesterday in the States and next week in Europe. It is evidently more comical than the book, at least from what I can tell from the movie trailer. It did well at the box office this past weekend, but will it be classified as another movie about love between a living being and an undead, like Twilight. I’m sure the masses will be attracted to this film because of the comedy and I’d say go see the movie because you’ll have a better time than reading the book.
The New Hunger is the prequel to Warm Bodies, which is the beginning and ending of R and a few other characters. It foreshadows the second part to Warm Bodies. Isaac Marion has written since he was 14 years old. He has done lots of different jobs, including delivering death beds to hospice patients and supervising parental visits for foster-kids. Isaac Marion is the writer who has reinvented the zombie story, without really wanting to. He’s currently working on a sequel to Warm Bodies, which is due to be released in 2014. Check out the clip below to find out more about his path to success.
Title: Warm Bodies
Edition: Vintage Originals – Cool cover!
My rating: *
My favorite quote: ” ‘Why is beautiful that humanity keeps coming back? Herpes does that, too.’ ” (Warm Bodies, p. 147)