My rating: 3 of 5
He can’t remember being alive. Can’t remember who he was, the people he knew, or even his own name, except for maybe the first letter of it was “R”–that’s what he goes by when he’s called anything. Whatever he was, not R is part of the problem that’s destroying the earth, an inevitable, creeping undeath afflicting the human race. Not that he’s very philosophical about all that besides aimlessly collecting old records when he can find them. Mostly he’s just there, except for when the need for life energy pushes him to hunt down the living–not that he’s particularly philosophical about that either. But on one hunt, when R eats the brain of a boy, he vicariously experiences numerous memories of one living human girl . . . Julie. Who just happens to be in the same room and in extreme danger of being eaten herself. Surprisingly, instead of turning around and doing just that, R finds himself inexplicably protecting her, taking her back to his secret place. And in the nearness of Julie, R finds something happening in himself that can only be described as miraculous. . . .
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Warm Bodies. Zombie story, obviously, but those come in all shapes and colors, you know? This one turns out to be a fun little paranormal romance, so if you’re into that genre, this story’s a pretty sure hit. Personally, I enjoyed it, although it wasn’t life-changingly stunning or anything like that. Probably the best part of it is the way the author described being a zombie from R’s own perspective–effective while also making it quickly apparent that R is not your average zombie. The zombies Marion depicts here are your slow, inevitable, relatively stupid variety, with a few quirks unique to this story. Pretty chilling for sure. Julie is a good match for the story, with enough guts and personality to brighten the dull landscape. There’s a nice blend of plot between the survival aspect, the change the world aspect, and the romance itself. Where the story fell a bit flat for me is in the explanation the author picked for how and why the zombie problem started and spread to begin with–and flowing from that, how the problem is solved. Don’t get me wrong, it works with the plot and works well. But it was one of those situations where it’s nearly impossible to suspend my disbelief enough to appreciate what’s happening in the plot. But then, the romance and the way everything works with R and Julie was always the point of the story, not the particular zombie mechanics. So, for what it is–a zombie paranormal romance–Warm Bodies works well and is a cute/creepy story that I would recommend for those who enjoy the genre. Just be warned: gory anatomical pictures at the chapter heads . . . just saying.