Rating: 4 of 5
I've watched numerous movies that twist the traditional zombie mythology (for instance, FIDO
), a few of which even involved love stories (My Boyfriend's Back
and Boy Eats Girl
are fun examples). But, if memory serves, this was my first experience with the literary equivalent.Warm Bodies
was way better than I expected, yay! The underlying question of what makes one a member of the Living versus the Dead was prevalent; I never get bored exploring potential answers to that question. Free will was another thought-provoking theme.
The narrative was present tense - not the distracting, amateurish kind, either; the does-its-job right variety - and the narrator, a flesh-eating zombie called R, jumped off the page, grabbed my empathy by the throat and sunk his teeth deep. In other words, I liked R almost immediately. A huge element of the likability factor: R's existential crisis never felt whiny or angsty (thank you, baby jesus!)
Having read the cover blurb and seen the movie
trailer, I'll admit to having been a little scared that Warm Bodies
might do to zombies what that certain time-of-day book did to vampires. I'm happy to report there were no vegetarian, emotionally-abusive, sparkly zombies. There was nothing cool about being one of the Dead, and through R's eyes we understood why.
The story's quirks
actually made it better. The anatomical illustrations as the chapter headings. The overabundance of ellipses. Frank Sinatra. The side effects of eating brains. All added to the book's heart-warming nature and overall individuality.
So why didn't I give it the full 5 stars? Several reasons, but mainly because it started to feel rushed and a little too
sentimental the last 30 pages, especially pages 233-239. Other than those minor flaws, Warm Bodies
was a fun, post-apocalyptic, love story mixed with some coming-of-age. And like most love (coming-of-age) stories the two "people" have to overcome obstacles to "live" happily ever after.