Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.
R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.
"I am Dead, but it's not so bad. I've learned to live with it...My friend "M" says the irony of being a zombie is that everything is funny, but you can't smile, because your lips have rotted off."I knew as soon as I read the first paragraph that I was going to enjoy this book. It has a very dry humour and is also a very witty satire on modern society.
Warm Bodies is a really unique take on the zombie apocalpse story- told from the zombie's point of view! The main character in this book is a zombie called R (because that's all that he can remember of his first name) who lives with a horde of other zombies in an abandoned airport. Although the words that R speaks out loud are usually only monosyllabic grunts, his narrration of the story is very intelligent and extremely witty.
I loved the main characters in this book, particularly the zombies themselves. Sure, R occasionally kills people and eats their brains, but he's also a very funny, very resourceful and sweet guy, who loves to ride the escalators, hoard his few little treasures and listen to Frank Sinatra records. M- R's zombie friend seems to have a little more smarts, and a little more humanity left in him than the other lurching and groaning mindless drones, and I really enjoyed his sarcastic humour, and his whole quirky attitude to the world.
When R meets Julie everything changes, and he has the overwhelming desire to look out for her, and to be close to her. He begins to notice the world around him once again. He tries harder to communicate, and gets better at speaking and moving like a person- being around Julie starts to bring him back to life. In this story the zombies have taken over and what is left of the human race are barricaded into cities or stadiums, and fighting the constant tide of the undead. We see glimpses of flashbacks to the past and how it all started, and a horrifying vision of this militiaristic society exhausted, demoralised and on the brink of giving up. But with R and Julie forming an unlikely friendship across the divide, suddenly anything is possible.
This is a clever book with excellent characters, a decent story, and a completely unconventional romantic hero. I just loved the sarcastic humour throughout the book, all the snarky quips- and come on, it's pegged as a "zombie romance story"- how can you not want to read this?
There are also plans to release a film of Warm Bodies starring Nicholas Hoult in August next year, by Summit Entertainment, and directed by Jonathan Levine.