R is dead. He's a zombie. Things in his world are pretty much seen in different shades of gray, and there's no meaning to life because, well, he's dead. Awkward, I know. But then R meets Julie, a pretty, feisty human girl, and suddenly everything starts changing. But R's not the only zombie feeling undead growing pains - the world is about to join in.
Warm Bodies is as much of a look at the intricacies of human nature as it is a romance. R is a zombie, and he begins his narrative as a flesh-eating, shuffling, pale-skinned creature that enjoys chomping on brains during snack time. But even then, his mental vocabulary and powers of description are stunning - the only thing he seems to have trouble with is his external dialogue. He meets Julie, and he falls in love with her after eating the brain (yes, really) of her boyfriend. Apparently eating people's brains gives you their memories, and R sees Julie's entire life. He knows everything about her - kind of. And their relationship really DOES progress at a nice, easy pace. R goes through an impressive period of character growth. As he slowly begins to FEEL things again, you feel them, too, through his zombie lens, which is really quite interesting. I don't know that any other author has really told a story from such a perspective. It's certainly unique.
Warm Bodies is also just as depressing as it is fascinating. Death, doom, destruction, blood, gore, squished brains, drinking, you name it. I know that Julie is supposed to be the light of R's world - the reason he starts to change, but honestly, she wasn't my ideal heroine. She cussed way too much, for one thing. I get it. People swear. They swear in real life and they swear in books, but Julie's language was totally unnecessary. Is it so much to ask for a leading lady that is actually that: a LADY? Apparently so. I didn't have sympathy for her. I had sympathy for R. I felt like R could have found a much nicer girl to fall in love with. I mean, if you're going base the entire reversal of the zombie virus on the goodness of human nature, it shouldn't be coming from a foul-mouthed, hard drinking, loose cannon. It's not the character that bothers me - it's the premise that goodness and light is coming out of JULIE, when Julie is about as pure as a mud puddle. Just saying.
I'm having a really hard time buying it. Good should be good and bad should be bad.
In conclusion, Warm Bodies is a unique book. It's gruesome and chilling. It's also depressingly poetic. Isaac Marion has a beautiful way with words. But it's not the kind of book I'd want my child to be reading - it's way too graphic for that. In fact, it's probably too graphic for me.
Pardon me while I go detox my brain...if a zombie doesn't eat it first.
That could be nasty.