Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion


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.

Movie Trailer

Book Trailer
Although this book gets 5 stars from me, it is by no means, perfect. Don't go in and think, well Stella gave it 5 stars so I'll love it. Truth is, I didn't love a large portion of this book, but if you value by opinions, then I ask you, please read on.

-Start of review-
Okay, as mentioned above, this book is not perfect. This is a graphic (sinusoidal) representation of how I would have rated this book throughout the novel:

A cosine!

The book started out humorous, refreshing and a bit quirky. R, our main character is awkward, lacking a bit of neural activities and most importantly, a zombie. He is like a newly released piece of avant-garde clothing arriving at a major department store near you. You're intrigued by it, you want to like it because it's not your typical t-shirt and jeans but you're also afraid. You're afraid because he is not your typical YA main character, which means, all bets are off. There is no predictability as to where this character is going, no "a girl who finds out she is the daughter of a very powerful man, which means she possesses this special power," no "quiet girl whose male best friend has been crushing on her since they could walk, but instead falls for the hot, cold guy she barely understand." So right off the bat, for about 30 pages, I enjoyed the book, I would give it 5/5 stars.

But then, things started to change. I blame my YA-trained brain for expecting "insta-love" romance to blossom. Well, THANK YOU ISAAC MARION. It didn't quite happen. Instead, the readers are confronted with about 120 pages of development. I appreciate this part because this is the character growth and relationship reinforcement that so many YA lack. But at the same time, my YA-trained brain was twitching for some action. So for the majority of this part, I thought this part was going to be a 2.5/5 for me. But I don't like to give up on books, not when I am so intrigued by the unpredictability of the plot. So, I read on, and for this, Stella's brain would like to thank Stella's curiosity.

After this slump, things picked up and it was as if an old Mercedes was restored to life, it began to chug along. I won't comment on the last 70 or so pages for fear of saying too much. All I can say is the unpredictability of this book definitely bumped up this book's rating. I want to read more and more of it. Devouring words after words, hoping to find out more and more of this world Isaac Marion has painted. And we arrive at 4/5 stars.

What gained this book that sought-after, coveted last star?
I thought and thought about this book after I finish and I couldn't stop thinking about it. So, first of all, that is a sign I really enjoyed this book. Many neuronal action potentials later, I've summed up the other things I loved about this book:

1) Marion's poetic writing. They are soft as butter and so reminiscent of John Green and Tahereh Mafi (or so I've heard). Here are some samples:

"I want out ribcage to crack open and our hearts to migrate and merge. I want our cells to braid together like living thread."

"I want to change my punctuation. I long for exclamation marks, but I'm drowning in ellipses."

"Sex, once a law as undisputed as gravity, has been disproved. The equation is erased, the blackboard broken."

"[What is love?] Maybe it's a kind of death throe. A distant echo of that great motivator that once started wars and inspired symphonies, that drove human history out of the caves and into space."

2) A tie-in to Marion's writing style is his diction in certain areas – so anatomical, so relevant to the concept of the Living Dead.
"The soft pink zygote of a plan."

"...her zygomaticus major pulling her lips in a faint smile."
At one point, Marion even describes Julie being out of breath as her bronchial constricting. Thanks for being specific and accurate.

3) The humour:

"Why is it beautiful that humanity keeps coming back? Herpes does that, too."

"Every time I go into the city, I bring back one thing that catches my eye. A puzzle. A shot glass. A Barbie. A dildo."

4) So many Frank Sinatra references!!

5) The "different perspective"...(view spoiler) It would translate great onto the big screen.

Phew. If this review is any larger, it might be up for contention as a planet circling our sun. If you're still around at this point, I thank you. You value my opinions! Can our cells braid together like living thread? 

Wait! Wut? There is now a sequel? Untitled Warm Bodies Sequel. I was happy with it being a stand-along but whatevaaaa, I'm happy to read another book by him.


  1. I really liked this one and can not wait for the movie too. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  2. I heard great things about this book. But I don't think I'm really up for zombie reads, they kinda bore me.

    I do like some good twists in my books so I might pick this one up.

    WHY OH WHY CAN'T WE HAVE SOME NICE STAND ALONE?! I'm getting tired (and quite broke) of having so many appealing series out there instead of awesome stand alones...

  3. I agree the book isn't perfect, but I loved it, too! I'm glad you enjoyed. :)

    Agree on the sequel thing--I was surprised when that was announced.

  4. I really want to read this before the movie comes out!

    Thank you for the honest review. I totally know what you meant about a book making you feel differently a different points. There are definitely books I didn't like for the first 2/3 bu then was blown away by the last bit and ended up loving it.

  5. Omg.. Dying here.. Your Review is so quirky I LOVE IT! Definitely changing how I was thinking about this book.. Not kidding. was TOTALLY against reading it. and now, with your review and the quotes you shared? Yupp.. freaking must!

  6. I love this review. I think its one of the best one that I've read for this book and its because of this that I'm not actually interested in reading this book. I love all the analogies and I wish that my reviews were as quirky and fun as yours.


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