Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Warm Bodies" by Isaac Marion

Release Date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: Atria
Pages: 240

From Goodreads: "R is a young man with an existential crisis--he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.

After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.

Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead and the blurry line in between."

A few months ago when I happened across the trailer of the film adaptation of this novel I KNEW that I had to read it. The trailer (and thereby film) looks perfect in every way- it's fun and lighthearted, there is romance (and KISSING), humor, and action, adventure, and ass-kicking girls (say that five times fast!)- and I had hoped that that  would mean that the book also had those elements, however, I must admit that the book didn't impress me near as much as I believe that the film will (I think that this will be one of those rare instances where the film is better than the book).

Overall, this book was dark and heavy- much darker and heavier than I had expected- from the world-building, to the characters, and so on. While is some aspects I did enjoy this (ie. how deep of a character R was), in other instances I did not (ie. with R's wife and family). Furthermore, the book is short- probably the shortest book I have read since being in elementary school. As such, at times it felt like the action and adventure was far too rushed, or not near as developed as it could have been. Additionally, while at first I did find R's flashbacks of Perry's (Julie's boyfriend, the boy whose brain R eats)  interesting I did find myself becoming more and more disenchanted with them as the story progressed (especially during the flashbacks where R and Perry began to converse with one another).

All in all, as becomes evident, if you're looking for a book that is identical to the film this isn't it. That being said, had I went into this novel without any expectations I think that I would have enjoyed it much more than I did- therefore I think that those who have never seen the trailer or who don't have any inclination to see the film (or who don't allow their judgement to be influenced, unlike me), will perhaps enjoy it a fair bit more than I did.

Rating: 3/5


  1. If I'm being honest, I've never had any real inclination to read this book. I read part of the sample about a year ago and, realizing how dark the story was, set it aside. When I heard it was becoming a movie I still had no real interest in it. Then when the trailer came out my mom, of all people, made me watch it because according to her it was going to be the best movie ever. So I gave it a shot and now I'm dying to see the movie. I can agree that I'll probably enjoy the movie a thousand times more than I would the book. I didn't realize the book was so short though. Maybe at some point I might pick it up and give it a shot.

  2. Sorry you didn't enjoy as much as would have liked to. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  3. I actually LOVED this book. haha. I guess that's why these things are subjective. Sorry you didn't like it too much...But, like you said, it was short. At least that made it an easy read.

    I hate it when I slog through a huge book only to realize at the end that I didnt' like it. As much as I love him, I have to admit that Stephen King has done this to me more than once!!

  4. I've seen this one around and had no real plans to read it but when I saw the trailer I did get excited about the movie since it looks like it will be awesome and was planning on picking the book up before it came out. I'm glad I read your review because I would have gone in expecting it to have the elements that the trailer had so i'm just going to lower my expectations for the book I guess. Although I like dark and heavy books so keeping my fingers crossed that I enjoy it :) Awesome review!


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