By: Cynthia Ayala
R is just a zombie who goes about his daily life eating brains and flesh here and there, taking care of his zombie wife and zombie children. That is, until he meets Julie and scarfs down her boyfriend Perry’s brains. Something is changing him, something from Perry and his inability to draw away from Julie is changing him, turning him into something else or rather, something old. Slowly, but surely, R is becoming human again, his heart is beating again. But that’s only if he can survive the Boney’s, the flesh freed Zombies, and Julie’s father, the general.
Warm Bodies is a post-apocalyptic paranormal romance novel set in the horror and young adult genres. Written by Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies was published October 1st, 2010 by Random House Vintage.
Following R and Julie Grigio, readers are thrown into another world where it’s Humans versus Zombies. However, this isn’t the typical zombie novel that follows the humans as they fight against the zombies. Instead, this novel takes on the narrative of R, the zombie and develops the human enterprise of what it means to even be alive.
Marion took this novel and gave it the opportunity to explore the fundamental of humanity, of what makes people alive and what makes them dead. Rather than going on about some virus that swept over humanity turning them into Zombies, he explores that maybe it was the Zombies who made themselves by no longer living. Monotony is the killer in the novel, the reluctance to actually live, that is the killer. It’s beautiful how Marion describes this novel, how he goes about developing the characters and the world that they are stuck in.
This is an exceptionally well thought out novel with such exceptional concepts that rise the novel above it’s Young Adult genre. This isn’t just a book for teens it’s a novel for everyone who can appreciate the depth of the story and the depth of the characters. It’s easy to follow while at the same time being incredibly thought provoking. But other than that, it’s very amusing. Before R meets Julie, there isn’t a lot of dialogue considering the fact that this is a Zombie and like most Zombies, he has lost the intellect to form sentences. But then again, when introduced into his narrative, readers find that there is a lot of intellect within him, seeking escape, and his life lessons, his inner dialogue, is both amusing and sad, grabbing readers. This character seeks to speak and express himself but finds himself trapped within his own skin.
And yes, this is a story that is a twist on the traditional Romeo and Juliet story, the forbidden love and star crossed lovers, the more romantic side of the story that opens the doorways for the characters. Love is life, living is life, not hiding and not wallowing in misery, that’s what this novel conveys with each word and breath it takes, making it an exceptional novel. (★★★★ | A)