Series: Warm Bodies #1
Published by Atria Books on April 26, 2011
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Funny-ha-ha, Romance
Also by this author: The Oxford Inheritance: A Novel, The Burning World
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.
What a truly engrossing and original novel. This will be my first of many zombie novels I have read where the story was told from the zombie, or ‘R’s’ point of view. This introduces the concept that zombies are more than the black drooling, grunting and groaning un-dead that they’ve been portrayed as in typical zombie novels. “It disquieted me at first, but it’s against etiquette to notice when one of us dies. I distracted myself with some groaning.” Zombie etiquette? Already I’m intrigued, give me more.
The storyline follows the same broken, choppy grunting and groaning that you would expect to find from your average zombie; except there’s an unexpected depth shown in ‘R’. The passages of lines where R is thinking are as in depth as a human, he just has difficult expressing his thoughts sufficiently due to his stunted vocabulary. You’ll find that the book is lacking in explanations, but it’s done that way on purpose, since this book is from the zombie’s point of view.
One line to sum it up? ‘I long for exclamation marks, but I’m drowning in ellipses.‘
R begins a friendship with an unlikely individual; a human girl named Julie. After attacking and killing her boyfriend Perry, by consuming his brain he absorbed his memories and he began seeing what he saw in Julie. That’s when R notices a change… a change in him, a spark of something he hadn’t felt since he died. It was as if he was just waiting for someone to come around and remind him of his humanity. This was truly a moving and touching novel in the unlikeliest of genres.