Feb 21, 2013

Book Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Book Cover: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

#1 in Warm Bodies series

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

Format: Ebook, 256 pages
Published On: January 31, 2013 by Vintage Books
Source: Requested for review via NetGalley.

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When someone mentions romance and zombies in the same book, probably the plot that you imagine will be a couple who has hot sizzling romance when they are not slaying nasty zombies. Nope, that's not what Warm Bodies is about - zombie is main character in this book. So, try to imagine zombie as a romance hero...

ZombieLove by Shameema Dharsey
ZombieLove by Shameema Dharsey [image source]

Not working out so well? Yep, I had the same problem. Zombies stink, are in various state of decomposing, have gross stuff oozing from their various wounds. Add to that 'appealing' range of qualities also nonexistent conversation skills and constant hunger for human flesh. So, when you hear that book is about romance between a human girl and zombie you immediately think - no way, that's not possible. But believe it or not Isaac Marion managed to pull it of.

Warm Bodies is narrated by R, a zombie. Dressed smartly in a shirt and a tie with grey skin and dark circles under his eyes, R tell us that (if we ignore the unpleasant smell) he could pass for a living workaholic who badly needs a vacation.

zombie businessman
My attempt to find 'sexy' zombie businessman [image source], [image source] & [image source]

You quickly become engrossed in R's pragmatic style of narration. For a guy who does not talk much and spends his free time riding the escalator, R sure has a lot of thoughts racing trough his head. He does not remember much about his past life or even his own name. The most beautiful moments in his life? When he eats a human brain.

"I eat the brain and, for about thirty seconds, I have memories. Flashes of parades, perfume, music..."

No wonder zombies are always hungry for more, right? But everything changes for R when he and his buddies attack a group of humans and he encounters Julie. Suddenly R craves for something else... And from the start it's obvious that his obnoxious body odor is going to be the least of their problems: zombies want to eat Julie, humans want to kill R and let's not forget the 'little' detail that R have killed eaten Julie's boyfriends. Zombie love sucks. But R does not give up:

"She is Living and I'm Dead, but I'd like to believe we're both human. Call me an idealist."
Zombies in love
When zombies fall in love... [image source] & [image source]

The world building in Warm Bodies is not very detailed and the hows and whys for apocalypse are not explained very much but I did not mind. R won me over completely - I was grossed out but still cheering for him. The funny part is: I didn't know what could possibly be a satisfactory ending for this book. If Julie became a zombie? If he ate her brain and had her memories forever? If humans found miraculous cure? If some muscular hunky bad boy killed R and swept Julie off her feet? I'm not telling what or if any of this happened, you will have to read it and find out. :p I will only say that I was not disappointed how the things were resolved.

There is a massive advertising campaign for movie Warm Bodies going on right now. But based on Warm Bodies movie trailer, I fear that they transformed it into young adult romance and omitted a lot of R's philosophical thoughts about the world that were my favorite part of the book. Maybe I am over-thinking it, but my impression was that Warm Bodies is much more than a zombie romance. It's a critic of modern society where people are going trough motions, doing the things they are supposed to do without pausing to think what do they really want. Stop and smell the roses. Enjoy the time you have, don't be a mindless zombie in a well-oiled machinery of today's society. ;)

My Rating: 4 out of 5

I recommend this book to fans of: post-apocalyptic books with a strong romance plot and zombies. Be warned: some descriptions are explicit, if you are easily grossed out, read the excerpt first before buying.

Let's Talk:

Did you read Warm Bodies or maybe watched the movie? Did you like it?

Could you fall in love with the zombie?

Any other thoughts or comments?


  1. Great review and love the pictures! I meant to read the book but ended up seeing the film already so probably won't now. I really enjoyed the film though - it's cute/romantic without being too cheesy and they had a lot of fun with the zombie genre and made it a bit tongue-in-cheek. R's character is so likeable that you really want things to work out for him and they def included some of his more profound thoughts.

    1. Thanks, looking for pics to go with the review is half the fun for me. :)
      I also have hard time reading the book after I saw the film, somehow books seems less intense then.
      I'm glad to hear that the movie is good. I meant to wait for dvd and then rent it or buy it but you made me want to go and see the movie. I miss R! But tonight is the last night at the cinema for Warm Bodies and we already have some friends planned to visit us, so I guess I will have to wait after all... :/

  2. I love your review! Great use of images! hahaha I couldn't help but smile and laugh at a few of them ;)

    I haven't read the book but I have watched the movie. I definitely got the philosophical ideals - people going through motions and not LIVING. It really hits you when they show clips of people walking and talking/reading/emailing/etc. on their phones - they're not paying any attention to the world around them. It's pretty much how society is today... we're all zombies in one way or another.... Oblivious to things going on around us, just going through the motions and trying to make it one day at a time...

    I enjoyed the movie! I need to read the book and compare!

    ~Kayla @
    Kayla’s Place

    1. I watched the movie during the weekend too. Movie was cute, but in my opinion book was better. If you liked the movie, you should definitely read a book too. You get a lot more of R's life before he meets Julie. :)

  3. It's on my spring TBR list and I became more excited to read it because of your review. I'm curious to know how a zombie and a living could fall in love. Very interesting. And your review's not silly, of course. I agree with you that "Zombie love sucks." ^_^

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Julie @ Books and Insomnia

    1. Yes it's very interesting concept. And just recently someone pointed out to me that this book is weird tribute to Romeo and Juliet (R and Julie) - I didn't make the connection at all. :D

    2. Ooh, a weird tribute indeed. Imagine Romeo being a zombie, trying to climb up to Juliet's balcony. Creepy. Haha! :)

    3. there is actually scene like that in a movie but they managed to pull it of and make it look cute. :)


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