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Not Your Typical Zombie Romance

A book review of Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, a zombie romance that won't scare you off.

Not Your Typical Zombie Romance

BOOK REPORT for Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Cover Story: Blurb Fail
BFF Charm: Definitely
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Heady Stuff
Bonus Factor: Zombies
Relationship Status: I Know You're a Zombie, But We Can Make This Work

Cover Story: Blurb Fail

For the most part, I really like this cover. You've got your lonely zombie walking down a road. It's fitting and it strikes the right mood and tone. I'm not entirely sure why the zombie has some sort of fashion spread cloth flowering away from him, like some sort of zombie Vogue shoot. But I can take it. Overall, I find this cover to be made of win except for when you look closely at the top you will see a WTF Stephenie Meyer blurb. Why why why why? I honestly cannot see the (die hard) Twilight crowd picking this book up. But it could definitely alienate those who take any Meyer comparison as a literary death sentence. The UK cover is also quite awesome, but suffers from the same blurb. Though, it does have a bonus Simon Pegg blurb, which earns almost enough cool points to neutralize the Meyer quote.

The Deal:

R is a zombie, but he can't remember much else. He doesn't know who he was before he was turned or why he's wearing a suit. He doesn't know where the zombie plague came from or how/when the established nations of the world collapsed. All he can remember is that his name possibly began with an R. R and his fellow zombies spend their time shuffling, groaning and (of course) feeding. Because eating brains is when the zombies fell their best or really, feel much of anything at all. During one of their typical food runs, R and his zombie gang happen upon some young folks on a scavenging run. It's there that R eats the brains of a young man named Perry. Who just happens to be the ex-boyfriend of a girl named Julie. Suddenly R wants nothing more than to protect Julie. But can R really fight his zombie instinct and nature? Can R live for something more than eating brains?

BFF Charm: Definitely

I never thought I would so easily befriend a zombie, but R is just so lovable. Sure, he has trouble stringing more than a few words together at a time, but we have the privilege of listening to R's thoughts. But R is so eloquent and deep and thoughtful. And while maybe his motivations aren't purely friendship driven, he is a great friend to Julie. Plus, R has a best zombie friend (named M) and is one of the few zombies who seems to be able to maintain such a close friendship. R is one of the more unique narrators I've read in a while, which makes him stand out to me as a recent favorite.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Don't worry! There is no zombie sex in this book! Zombies in this universe can't even have sex, thank you very much. And for those of you who were hoping for zombie sex, I'm sure you can find something to suit your tastes of the internet. Everything between R and Julie stays very tame. The reason my score is so high is that the relationship between the two of them is just so sweet and touching. You can't help but root for R and seeing Julie appreciate how he has changed, how he is different than other zombies, is heart warming. There is a reason this book is consistently billed as a "zombie love story" and that's because the development of R and Julie's relationship is the main driving force of this story.

Talky Talk: Heady Stuff

I've already said you will find yourself rooting for R. And that's in no small part to the lovely writing of this book. R's thoughts and observations are poignant and deep but stop short before reaching navel-gazing levels:

As always I go straight for the good part, the par that makes my head light up like a picture tube. I eat the brain and, for about thirty seconds, I have memories. Flashes of parades, perfume, music...life. Then it fades, and I get up, and we all stumble out of the city, still cold and grey, but feeling a little better. Not 'good' exactly, not 'happy', certainly not 'alive', but...a little less dead. This is the best we can do.

Sometimes I don't enjoy narratives that spend too much time in any one person's head, but this book was an exception. Besides, this book can't take itself too seriously, all the time, because...well...zombies.

Bonus Factor: Zombies

To be honest, I've been pretty over the zombie craze for a good long while. But this book is a gift to an overdone genre. From it's unique perspective to its atypical plot, it will even appeal to those who have been feeling that zombies are done to death. (Heh, sorry, I couldn't help myself.)

Casting Call:

Nicholas Hoult as R

This book is currently being made into a movie, has started filming and is already been cast! And I must say, I'm pretty pleased with their choices. Nicholas Hoult is talented and has that handsome underdog thing going for him that I can really see working for R.

Teresa Palmer as Julie

I'm less familiar with Teresa (I've seen I Am Number Four, but I'm not going to hold that movie against anyone. It hardly seems fair), but she seems to have the right attitude of fierce, yet vulnerable.

The first image release from the movie is a little cheese ball, but I would except nothing less from Summit Entertainment.

Relationship Status: I Know You're a Zombie, But We Can Make This Work

I had heard good things about this book going in. Enough positive things that I was a bit skeptical. Plus, I found myself judging this as "just another zombie book." So this book had it's work cut out for it trying to impress me. And impress me it did. After the first chapter, I was hooked. So even though this book is dead, rotting and occasionally tries to get a taste of my brains, I am willing to make it work. Because this book made me like zombies again (at least for a few days).

Megan Crane's photo About the Author: Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.