Book Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

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Warm Bodies
By Isaac Marion
Published: 1/2010 by Atria

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, noidentity, 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 stragely 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.

goodreads Book Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

The Bookish Brunette thought:

Warm Bodies is a very DIFFERENT kind of zombie book than this Brunette is used to reading. That’s not in all actuality a BAD thing, but there are certain aspects that I feel it necessary that one must posses to REALLY be called a zombie. And “feelings” isn’t one of them. Sorry.

Some of you may be recalling a few of my past reviews, such as: Zombies Don’t Cry by Rusty Fischer and Dearly Departed by Lia Habel and you may be calling me a hypocrite. Well, just HOLD THE PHONE a minute. There is a WORLD of difference between these three zombie books! Then why compare them you ask? (you guys like how I argue your side with myself don’t you????) Let it be known before I go off on my big rant of an explanation, that I don’t like comparing books to each other (and RARELY do so) but I feel it’s appropriate in this case to fully get my point across!

In Zombies Don’t Cry, YES, Maddy does in fact have “feelings”. But Zombies Don’t Cry is a Young Adult, comedic and light-hearted take on the zombie book genre in general! Maddy DIES, and comes back to life. She’s not BITTEN, or attacked by a rabid, man eating, plague ridden, once human THING… So really it’s in an entirely different league and I shouldn’t compare the two, right?

Wrong.

When I started Warm Bodies, all I knew for CERTAIN was that it was told from a zombie’s perspective. OMG right?! I mean seriously- we always get the HUMAN’S side of the apocalypse, how freaking badass to get to hear it told from a ZOMBIE’S aspect?!

Turns out… Not so much badass, as WTF?!

‘R’ is our (hero?) main character, he is a zombie. A real zombie. Like a rotting, “eat your face off”, brain licking zombie. Sexy right? And he’s QUITE philosophical for a member of the walking dead. I mean, he could’ve been ALIVE, non-rotty and doubled for Charlie Hunnan and I still would have rolled my eyes and told him to SHUT UP!!!!

Well… I may have asked him to please talk more quietly, so I could enjoy the view. Just sayin.

“Once you arrive at the end of the world, it hardly matters what route you took.”

…or how many people you ATE on the way there right?

Then we hear about his boring zombie days and routine…

“Eating is not a pleasant business. I chew off a man’s arm, and I hate it. I hate his screams, because I don’t like hurting people, but this is the world now.”

As we get FARTHER into Warm Bodies, I get more and more irritated by this OVER-analytical zombie guy who feels it necessary to question every SINGLE, SOLITARY detail of his life. DUDE. YOU. ARE. A. ZOMBIE. That’s it. Deal with it, and MOVE ON.

I also have to mention his zombie wife (who he catches having an “affair”), adopted zombie kids (because his JUNK isn’t functional.) Um… THANKS. See? For me, Warm Bodies went WAY beyond “fiction” into completely freaking RIDICULOUS.

Alas, the story continues… On a “hunting” trip (you know… Where they ‘hunt’ and EAT people and such) R saves a human girl from being an entree and brings her back to his zombie “home”.

Help me.

And on, and ON, AND ON it goes… until the complete and absolute ridiculousness that I mentioned earlier is quadrupled as R begins to start displaying humanistic type traits and at this point I’m only still reading because I’m utterly DUMBFOUNDED by what everyone loves so much about this book.

Now, there’s no doubt Isaac Marion can WRITE a beautiful story and Warm Bodies was indeed different from ANYTHING I’ve read before or since. Did I HATE IT? No… Warm Bodies was alright, in a completely WTF kind of way.

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 Book Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Book loving, zombie freak, stiletto wearing, twitter whore, coffee addicted Brunette with a purse fetish. Collector of flamingo paraphernalia & zombie keepsakes… Frequenter of thrift stores... cRaFtY bitch... and I match my eye-shadow to my outfit - everyday.

57 Responses to Book Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

  1. This is being made into a movie and being called “the Twilight of Zombie films.”

    Thanks for the review. I’m still torn as to whether or not I want to read it.

  2. I loved this book! But then I’m not as much of a zombie connoisseur as you lol!

  3. sinn says:

    Honestly, I think you missed the point. I feel that the author was really trying to deconstruct the zombie image. As I put in my review of the book, “It is easier to see the zombie as abject and pull away from it. The zombie forces us to look at our most basic level in an extremely personal way. It is easy for us to push the id down and block it out. It is easier to look at it and kill it rather than dealing with it. This book is able to show the evils on both sides—man trying to kill that which is too real and the zombie trying to distance themselves from their perceived evil.”

    I think the author did a good job trying to dig into the zombie mind and ask “what if?” As with Dearly Departed, he imagines zombies as having some sort of consciousness and the ability to rise about the id. Aside from the “good zombies” being basically human in Dearly Departed, I’m not sure of the difference between the two (okay, well, the “good zombies” get some kind of serum to keep them from complete and utter decay and Warm Bodies shows R rising above that mental/physical decay without help) . The author does a good job of showing the pseudo hopeless existence zombies face and the desire to rise above that. At some level, isn’t that the most basic human struggle? Despite the full devolution into the id, the author is able to show that, deep down, the zombies are still humans.

    The connection that R makes with Julie—yes, I fully understand that it originally started because he consumed Perry’s brain—show pure and simple innocence. And, through his devotion to her, she is able to see past his shell and fully grasp that he was more than a walking corpse.

    To me, this book was simply amazing in the dichotomies and the simple representation of the super-ego, ego, and id. I would go so far as to suggest that R and his friends are able to rise above even the ego.

    After reading many, many zombie books and growing up with zombie movies, this has become one of my favorites. If you want a less gritty existential novel, try Breathers by S.G. Browne.

    • No… I COMPLETELY got the point. I just didn’t LIKE it.

      If I wanted to read some DEEP, psychological book about the meaning of LIFE and the reason behind our existence, then I’d have picked up the bible.

      I’ve read my fair share of zombie books also… Tis WHY they call me “Zombie Queen” doll, so thanks for the suggestion. I have VERY ecclectic tastes and if the author didn’t want me to think of R as a rotting corpse and “look beyond” that… Then he should have made him a vamp.

      Just my opinion.

    • Caden Leigh says:

      It is rude to “spank” a reviewer or their review; just because their opinion is not your opinion. Naughty sinn ! Some books are just better portrayed on the silver screen.

      Sisses!

  4. Agreed that this was a different kind of zombie books – a little … softer spin on things. But I liked – like you said, in a totally WTF way :-)

  5. I love your review. I can totally see me going WTF throughout the whole book… but it still made me curious. You summed up why I would want to read this book: “Warm Bodies was alright, in a completely WTF kind of way.” LOL

  6. Alexa says:

    Aw sad that some zombie books don’t seem to be working for you this time around! I hope you enjoy some of the other reads that you have going on for this year’s Zombie Craze.

  7. Jenny says:

    A philosophical zombie? Maybe that kind of zombie would appeal to me? Although him musing over the arm he just ate has a bit of an ick factor I have to say. I want to love zombies. I do. Because you love them and you’re completely awesome, but they freak me out and I can’t get over it:(

  8. I am not so sure how I feel about zombie’s with a conscience, or the ability to reason. It’s…weird and unethical, or something. lol

  9. This has actually been on my TBR list forever! I still haven’t gotten around to buying it, but it does sound interesting. Your review has actually made me even more curious lol! I was laughing reading your review. You are so awesome chick!!

  10. Rain Maiden Jen says:

    Sounds like a totally different zombie read. I would love to check it out.

  11. kimba88 says:

    Hmm..this novel seems to effect so many people differently. I was totally going WTF as you described the protagonist. This is certainly a new twist, not sure whether I will pick this up. Thanks for your awesome opinions!

  12. I can’t say that I want my zombies angsty. I don’t mind the idea of some residual feelings and emotions — that’s tragic and poignant — but too much and it’s like Peter Doyle’s version of Frankenstein’s monster after the brain transplant kicks in and he apologizes for his previous bad manners.

    But the comments seems to show this review is successful in helping people find the type of read that they’d like.

  13. Molli says:

    I haven’t read Warm Bodies but I definitely think that I will. I like the sound of this one and I’m rather curious to see how I’d feel about it!

  14. teressa oliver says:

    I have not read it but I really want to. I have read lots of reviews and it has been on my TBR pile

  15. candace says:

    I haven’t read this, but I saw the authors presentation thing’y so I have an idea of what its about and why he did it that way. I think this is one I would like for the reasons you DIDN’T like it so much. I don’t know if I will ever read it, but its one that I might possibly like. I think its definitely not the typical zombie book.

  16. Traci Loya says:

    I haven’t read this book but I am totally wanting to!!! I have definitely got the zombie craze!!! Thanks for the great giveaway!!!!!

  17. Tim Ward says:

    I’ve missed out on a giveaway that I won of this book and regretted it ever since.

  18. Tina says:

    LOL-OMW I loved your review, but I loved Warm Bodies…..I couldnt help it I kinda had the hots for R…….and I cant wait to see the movie, just call me cheesy ok…:D

  19. Jolene A says:

    I’m intrigued with R and would love to read this and see how I feel. Thanks for the chance to win

  20. melannie says:

    I want to read it because it{s being made into a movie and as a bookworm, my duty is to read the book first ;)

    *fingers crossed*

  21. Well, it’s too bad that you didn’t seem to be too impressed with it, but I still want to read it!

  22. Bonnie says:

    I did read this but I don’t think I enjoyed as much as I thought I would. I kind of rushed through it so I think I would like to re-read it, especially before the film comes out! :)

  23. lyn says:

    I really liked Warm Bodies to be honest. It was a good, entertaining read :)

  24. Jasmine Rose says:

    I’m sad to hear you didn’t like this one that much. I read it about a month ago and truly loved it. My bookshelf needs a copy sitting on it ;]

  25. DeeDee Griffin says:

    I loved this book – read it in a day!

  26. Daphne says:

    This is a twisted way to view a zombie apoc I would be thrilled to read it:)

  27. I tend to read a lot of adaptations for work, so I’m definitely interested to read this before it hits the big screen. Keeping fingers crossed it’s good.

  28. Thanks for the giveaway! I’ve seen this book around and I’ve been dying to read it! It sounds like an interesting book!!

  29. Ivya says:

    Haven’t read it, but I would like to ;)

  30. Stephanie Parent says:

    I haven’t read Warm Bodies, but I’ve heard so many good things about it, and I’d love the chance to own a copy!

  31. Maritza Robinson says:

    I haven’t read this book yet. It is on my TBR list. Sounds like such a great read. Can’t wait to read. Thanks for giveaway!

  32. It wasn’t your typical zombie story, but I loved it!
    -heather

  33. Katrina says:

    I have not read this, but I think I may check it out.

  34. Pixie says:

    I’ve been wanting to read this a long time and now I’m even more curious about it after reading your review and some of the comments! Haha. :) It sounds so different from any zombie book I’ve ever read. I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy it as much as you’d hoped though. Thanks for the giveaway!

    <3
    Pixie

  35. Bummer that you didn’t like it. I thought it was hilarious.

  36. Lauren Goff says:

    I started reading the book and I really liked what I read. I would love to finish it and to have my own copy! :)

  37. Lynn K says:

    I’ve not read this yet but Warm Bodies has been on my radar for awhile now. My local bookstores only has the foreign language edition, the irony. =.=

    Thanks for the review and I hope I can check it out soon!

  38. Zemira says:

    I’ve read it and it wasn’t that bad. I enjoyed it even though I though I would hate it.

  39. this has been on my tbr for quite some time now. i think it will be good, many have mixed reviews of it. we’ll see.
    thanx for hosting and the awesum giveaway :)

  40. Emma B. says:

    I’ve been wanting to read this one for months. I just LOVE everything zombie! Thank you for the giveaway! (And I mean it :)

  41. I have been scared to read this one!! & now, the Zombie Queen has given it 3 stars!! I will say this… If I win, I WILL read it…. sometime in the future, you know. If not, I wouldn’t just buy it. Sounds…. different… but I would still like to give it a shot… because you know, Zombies and all!!

    =D

  42. Enna P. says:

    I WANNA READ THIS SO BADLY!!!! NEED!!!

  43. [...] I was like, oh dear GOD people are going to be like, “This hypocritical bitch!” after my review of Warm Bodies!! Because while I HATED that stupid, “wanna-be” zombie… I think Maberry’s “zombie [...]

  44. [...] ~Kaye from Tithe … loved the way this sounded.warm bodies zombie bookMeh… Warm Bodies didn’t do much for ME. *stupid analytical zombie* Books Started by the Zombie Queen this week: Original content [...]

  45. [...] God help me. We all know how much I totally adored the Warm Bodies book *ahem* yeah… not so much. Judging by the Warm Bodies movie trailer, the feature film looks [...]

  46. [...] Goodreads Love Vampires: 4 of 5 Stars (@VampiricReviews) Good eReader: 5 of 5 Stars (@goodereader) The Bookish Brunette: 3 of 5 Stars [...]

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