Wendy Darling's Reviews > Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
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Jun 21, 11

bookshelves: adult, horror, pn-zombies-biters, read-2011, dystopian-post-apocalyptic-utopian, 2011-favorites, male-pov, 2011-publication, mature-ya, retellings, questionable-ethics
Recommended for: fans of The Reapers Are the Angels
Read from June 20 to 21, 2011

What makes us human? Is it merely a collection of living flesh and tissue and bone, or is it also consciousness and memory and feeling? R, the young zombie who narrates this novel, isn't really sure. But after meeting Julie, a human girl he impulsively saves and hides away in an abandoned plane, he begins to experience thoughts and feelings that he'd forgotten he'd ever had.

Warm Bodies is a wistful love story that is creepy, sad, sweet, and disturbing in equal measure. The notion that it is possible to write a philosophical zombie novel seems quite unbelievable, but the author has accomplished this feat with astonishing ease. Being in R's head is a revelatory experience; he is matter-of-fact, pensive, humorous, and troubled at various different times. After his shockingly violent introduction to Julie, he also becomes animated and severely conflicted and full of yearning. A story like this obviously requires that readers suspend a fair amount of disbelief, but the focus here isn't on the technical aspects of survival anyway, but more on the idea that the desire for dignity and tenderness have just as much to do with humanity as does a collection of blood and muscles and cells.

The gentle sentiment in this story took me completely by surprise, especially as it contrasts so sharply with the visceral feedings that keep the zombies alive. The nourishment comes not only from the nutritional content that is necessary for survival, but also from the associated memories and emotions that each morsel of brain matter contains. This startlingly original idea creates an incredible amount of anguish and guilt and longing for R, and as he becomes more and more deeply attached to Julie, it's impossible to remain unmoved by his plight.

I keep saying I'm not a zombie person, but some of the best books I've read recently have featured them in prominent roles. After being blown away by Feed, Deadline, and The Reapers Are the Angels, I wasn't really sure whether there was still another great zombie story I'd be excited about, but Warm Bodies is a brilliant addition to the non-typical horror, intelligent zombie novel canon. I think that the reason these stories have struck such a chord with me is that they're attempting to explore ideas that are bigger than the issues that are actually on the page. Whether the books are delving into the right to information or the value of life or the struggle to keep the human spirit alive, the presence of the zombies is almost incidental. It's the fundamental questions these novels raise about the nature of humans and humanity that make them such great --and moving--works of literature.


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Quotes Wendy Darling Liked

Isaac Marion
“Writing isn't letters on paper. It's communication. It's memory.”
Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies


Reading Progress

06/20/2011 page 31
13.0% "So gross, so weird, so good."
06/20/2011 page 116
48.0% ""Are my words ever actually audible, or do they just echo in my head while people stare at me, waiting? I want to change my punctuation. I long for exclamation marks, but I'm drowning in ellipses.""

Comments (showing 1-50 of 56) (56 new)


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead I'm so happy you are reading this one. I loved it. Absolutely loved it but I know not everyone does. It is so different. One of my employees just texted me thanking me for letting her borrow this book.


Wendy Darling It's kind of brilliant, Michelle! Totally took me by surprise.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "It's kind of brilliant, Michelle! Totally took me by surprise."

Same here. I won this book and probably would have never read it if I hadn't won it. I'm sure glad I did.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) The weirdest thing is is happening. I can't find or like your status updates, other than on my friends page. But I like that you're reading this.


Wendy Darling I'm really enjoying it! It's so different from what I expected.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I bet I scared you with Ann Nicol Smith. :D


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Maja wrote: "The weirdest thing is is happening. I can't find or like your status updates, other than on my friends page. But I like that you're reading this."

I can't either right now for some reason.


Wendy Darling Who wouldn't be?! And look, it's the three of us bonding over the undead yet again.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Well, they don'd call me Zombie Lover for nothing. Oh, wait, you're the one who calls me that. Nevermind.

But you're right, Wen, that's one thing I would never have believed a few months ago.


tonya. So glad you're loving this one, Wendy. It was a pleasant surprise for me, as someone who is too much of a baby for most zombie stories. R is a delightful narrator and have you checked out Mr. Marion himself? He's not hard on the eyes, either. I can't wait to meet him at Comic Con this year! :)


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "Who wouldn't be?! And look, it's the three of us bonding over the undead yet again."

I was just talking about that with Shelley. We do have this weird zombie thing going between the three of us! Next up on our zombie love train will have to be Raising Stony Mayhall Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory. Wendy, Maja, you game for some more zombie love when that book comes out?


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Of course! Plus, I just got the World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War audiobook. I've read some great reviews, and 365andMe says the audio is great. I'll let you now.
They ARE making a movie with Brad Pitt, no less. :D


Wendy Darling Oh, I am totally in for a Reluctant Zombie Lover read! :D Tonya, you should join us if you're interested...and we should get Shelley, too. My friend Ginny recommended World War Z to me, Maja, you'll have to let me know how that is.

And yes, I noticed Mr. Marion's author photo. And the fact that he's single. Ahem.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Maja wrote: "Of course! Plus, I just got the World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War audiobook. I've read some great reviews, and 365andMe says the audio is great. I'll let you now.
They ARE ..."


Ok, if it is good, I'm downloading it. I've been curious about that audiobook.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "Oh, I am totally in for a Reluctant Zombie Lover read! :D Tonya, you should join us if you're interested...and we should get Shelley, too. My friend Ginny recommended World War Z to me, Maja, you'l..."

Very cool. If you ever get a chance go to Mr. Marion's short stories and read his Angry Stoplight story. It's at http://www.burningbuilding.com/writin... . I usually don't read short stories but I loved that one. Notice I said nothing about his cute
picture.


Wendy Darling Oh, thanks Michelle, I'll check that out. I briefly on his blog earlier today, but I haven't spent too much time there yet. Although I DID take it upon myself to import his blog to his GoodReads page. He needs to hurry up and write more books, though!


Nomes oh i really so can't wait to read this one ~ i'm ordering the paperback ~ but it's not out until december :(

fab review and you are so starting some kind of zombie revival through my goodreads feed lately :D


Wendy Darling Thanks so much--there is definitely a swelling of zombie support in the GoodReads ranks recently. :D I can't wait for you to read this, Nomes!


Nomes especially everyone getting psyched for FEED. i am going to order it on my next order ~ but am half wondering about what will happen at the end of #2 when #3 is such a long wait away (and if i should wait until closer to #3's release date to get into the series? is it going to kill me? is it cliff-hanger-y?)


Wendy Darling As much as I want everyone to read them, I cannot lie: FEED and DEADLINE both have huge cliffhangers that will probably make you want to tear your hair out. If you decide to wait to read them, though, please try to avoid spoiler-y reviews and comments! I've seen far too many.

REAPERS and WARM BODIES both have endings that are fairly complete, though. This one leaves the door open and does have some unresolved coflicts, but the emotional closure is there.


Nomes is WARM BODIES a sequel? O.o

i will read FEED anyway. love the anticipation of waiting for the finale :) i have been trying not to pay too much attention to ppl's reviews other than getting the gist of it (haven't read any reviews for DEADLINE though ...)


message 22: by Nic (new) - added it

Nic Another awesome review that makes me want to break my book budget immediately.

Like Nomes I waiting for the paperpack I prefer the cover unless I kindle it... ~runs off to Amazon~


message 23: by Brooke (new) - added it

Brooke Great review! Definitely on my tbr now.

P.S. I second Nic's budget comment :oP lol.


Wendy Darling Thanks Nic and Brooke. :) Definitely a unique love story.

WARM BODIES is not a sequel, Nomes...and good, I look forward to watching your status updates on FEED. My reviews of both that and DEADLINE (as well as Catie's and a few others) are spoiler-free, though the spoiler tags in the comments are real ones!


Nafiza I wonder what the movie version will be like.


Wendy Darling Bloody. Bitey. Beautiful. :D


message 27: by mark (new)

mark monday the subject of this book (zombie protagonist) sounds so not-what-i-want-to-read, but i keep reading excellent reviews of it! some day, maybe some day.


Wendy Darling It's such a bizarre concept, Mark, but the author really made it work. I read this because so many of my amazing GoodReads friends had talked about it and I got the ebook, so I didn't realize until yesterday this was a loose zombie version of Romeo and Juliet. (Uninfluenced by marketing!) But even knowing that and seeing the parallels in retrospect, I didn't think we were hit over the head with it.

Definitely worth a try sometime if you're feeling adventurous.


message 29: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Zombies, zombies everywhere! I love it! But at this point of the game I need something new—a different look or point of view. I am really looking forward to this one!


Wendy Darling This is definitely "different" and definitely good, Laura. :) I hope you enjoy!


message 31: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura I just finished Cold Kiss, which had the zombie love idea, but this book sounds like it takes the idea further. Can’t wait!


Wendy Darling You know, I should have mentioned in my review that this story is loosely based on Romeo and Juliet. ("R" and "Julie" and "M" being major players.) I actually didn't know this until after I finished reading it, but that's part of the beauty of the book--it works anyway, whether you know it or not. I don't feel as though the device felt forced.

I'm looking forward to reading Cold Kiss as well, I've heard some good stuff about it. :) I can't resist a good zombie book these days. Apparently.


message 33: by Loni (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loni Flowers I was hesitant to read this book because I had never read anything with Zombies in it. But I absolutely loved this one. Being able to connect to and feel sorrow for R is what brought the book alive for me.


Wendy Darling I'm so glad you ended up loving it, Loni! It's definitely not your typical zombie book for sure, I thought it was such a thoughtful and rather romantic take on them.

I hope we see a lot more books by this author in the future.


♥Rachel♥ This was a great book. Who'd have thought a zombie book would be such a sweet love story? Great review Wendy. :)


Wendy Darling Aw, I'm glad you liked it too, Rachel! I didn't expect such sweetness either. So weird when they're...undead.

This is one of those few cases where I think the film adaptation has a lot of potential. Fingers crossed!


♥Rachel♥ I didn't know they were making a film. I thought the comments above were talking about World War Z. I'd love to see this made into a film.


Wendy Darling Yes, it's a film with Nicholas Hoult! It's scheduled for August 2012 release. The director is kind of an offbeat choice, which I think is good for the vibe of this novel.


message 39: by Kay (new)

Kay This looks great. I love zombie books. :D


♥Rachel♥ Nicholas Hoult was in the Brit series Skins. I liked him a lot. I just clicked over to IMDB and Teresa Palmer (Six of I Am Number Four) is Julie. I like these two. :)


Wendy Darling Oh, then I hope you give this a try sometime, Kay! Definitely different, but definitely good. :)

And yeah, I think the cast and crew look promising for the movie, Rachel. Fingers crossed!


Sandy Wendy, I'm reading this right now, and I am so pleasantly moved by it. I had to come and see if you'd read it, knowing your penchant for zombie tales. =)

Love this review!


Wendy Darling I'm so excited you are reading (and enjoying) this, Sandy! Can't wait to see what you think in the end. And hah, me and my zombies indeed. ;)


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "I'm so excited you are reading (and enjoying) this, Sandy! Can't wait to see what you think in the end. And hah, me and my zombies indeed. ;)"

Go zombies! And Wendy!


Gunne "I think that the reason these stories have struck such a chord with me is that they're attempting to explore ideas that are bigger than the issues that are actually on the page. Whether the books are delving into the right to information or the value of life or the struggle to keep the human spirit alive, the presence of the zombies is almost incidental."

I spent over an hour trying to put this into words and you said it so effortlessly.


Kaitlyn Yes. Perfect review. <3


Wendy Darling I'm sorry, I'm just seeing these comments! Thanks so much, gunneos and Kaitlyn. :) I loved this one so much more than I thought I would. A peculiar but immensely appealing book.


message 48: by Tammy (new) - added it

Tammy Ooh, I have this one sitting on my shelf at home, but still haven't gotten around to reading it yet. So glad you enjoyed this book - you had me at your description of wistful, love, creepy, sad and sweet. Now I know I'm going to enjoy this!


Eyehavenofilter I just saw an advert for the movie...it actually looked ok... So now I read your review I want to read the book first!


message 50: by Nenia (new) - rated it 1 star

Nenia Campbell Yay! I'm your 100th like! *feels proud*


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