Quick note before the review. My next few reviews will most likely each have a different format. I’m currently experimenting to find a new format for my reviews as my old one was very annoying for many reasons. I couldn’t let the review flow normally because I could only put character/plot/writing info in the designated spot, making the reviews feel very unnatural.
‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.
This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won’t be changed without a fight…
Actual Rating: 2.75 stars!
WARM BODIES is a pretty nice read. It’s definitely not a perfect book, nor worth the hype surrounding it. I expected way more from the book and I think that’s the main reason that I didn’t love it as much as I thought would. The hype made my expectations skyrocket and as usual, I was disappointed.
This book is full of itself. I swear that this book thinks that it’s the shit. The book is utterly insufferable in that regards. It had a very elitist attitude, if we’re going to assign anthropomorphic qualities to this darling book (that sounds like something that would be said in this book TBH). It’s the douche that thinks it’s better than everyone because it reads Shakespeare and Tolstoy for fun.
WARM BODIES is a metaphor for the 21st century and how utterly horrible it is. WHY I HATE THE 21st CENTURY would also have worked as the title for the book. To be honest, I’m entirely okay with books that are metaphors but I’d like the metaphor to be subtle. When you pretty much shout it at the reader, it looses its impact. The whole book was filled with passages like this:
We were fearful in the best of times; how could we cope with the worst? So we found the tallest walls and poured ourselves behind them. We kept pouring until we were the biggest and strongest, elected the greatest generals and found the most weapons, thinking all this maximalism would somehow generate happiness. But nothing so obvious could ever work. (page 148)
We’re corralled in the stadium with nothing to think about but surviving to the end of the day. No one writes, no one reads, no one really talks. We don’t have flowers anymore. Just crops. (page 71)
Perhaps part of Marion hates about the 21st century is the fact that you cannot write a book like this anymore. You just can’t. WARM BODIES was lucky to make it big time but for the most part, it is impossible to make a widely successful YA book that is a METAPHOR.
That aside, WARM BODIES is still a good book. It’s not amazing like I thought it would be. I don’t think it could’ve gotten more than a weak 3 star rating if the preaching had been taken out. It could have gotten a much higher rating if I got what I was promised: a gruesome and poetic book.
I can see where this “poetic” part is coming from but gruesome? Nuh-uh. This is light stuff. There’s no ick factor or weird zombie gruesomeness. There’s definitely some zombie violence but it’s neither graphic nor scary.
But, you can’t judge a book by its lack of gore. You can however judge a book by its characters. R the zombie is our main character. His thoughts were surprisingly really interesting. I didn’t expect that at all.
For the most part, his thoughts were interesting and thought provoking. I admit he some times too philosophical. I don’t think any 20-year-old contemplated life on a daily base. Not to mention this:
I wobble into the bathroom and lean my forehead against the wall in front of the urinal. I unzip, and I look down, and there it is. That mythical instrument of life and death and first-date backseat fucking.
Don’t know about you guys, but I highly doubt that a penis could kill anyone.
R’s sort of a loner. He’s also a possessive arse – yeah, let’s not forget about that. He also
saves kidnaps the love interest, Julie. He also lets Julie go back, “freeing” her, and then he follows her all the way to her home. But he likes Sinatra and Lennon so we’re all good.
I’m not saying that R is the worst protagonist ever. He’s cute and funny at times. He’s got some really amazing moments but I definitely do not see why he’s in people’s Top Ten Book Boy Friends.
What keeps people fairly interesting in the real world? It’s really obvious. In real life, people don’t have one personality feature. There’s always more to them. People are multidimensional. They have feelings. That’s one thing that some authors can’t do. Characters are either entirely missing a personality or they have one feature that OVERWHELMS EVERYTHING. THIS ONE PERSONALITY FEATURE YELLS AT THE READER, “DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME. I AM [insert word]!!!1!!!”.
Julie was one of those characters. She’s brave and that’s it. She’s got girl balls because she can live in zombitopia without being eaten. She’s obviously intelligent but this isn’t really a personality his is the end of her intended personality.
Julie has no real personality. She was just the girl that R loved (for some strange reason). I think she was meant to signify something but honestly, I have nothing. For someone to signify something, the person needs something more than a name.
It’s sort of a must.
The writing is definitely the main selling point to WARM BODIES. To an extent, it lives up to what I thought it would be. WARM BODIES is beautifully written. It truly is. WARM BODIES is a type of book that you want to read every single line thoroughly.
However, this comes at a price. Too much of a good thing is never good. The amount of symbolism and philosophical thoughts was nauseating because there was just too much of it. I like symbolism and philosophical musing but I do have a cut off point. When interesting thoughts turn into preaching about how horrible the 21st century is, I loose interest in the book.
Overall, WARM BODIES is a fairly interesting book that I do think you should read. It’s not a must read for the decade or even the year. WARM BODIES is simply an interesting book that will entertain you through a lazy afternoon.