Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion I honestly didn't know anything about this book until I saw a preview for the movie. As soon as I saw the preview, I knew I needed to know this story. A zombie that falls in love? YES! I got doubly excited when I saw this title on NetGalley and got approved for it! I was so excited. But I was also nervous. You know how it is when you get super excited to read a book because of what you've heard about it or because the premise is so awesome that your expectations then go through the roof and you just can't wait to dive in? That's how I felt. And when you're all the way up there on the roof, there's a long way to fall if the story disappoints. But I'm so happy to report that this book did not disappoint me at all. I loved R's voice. I loved the story. I loved the writing. And now I can't wait to see the movie!When the book starts we meet R. He tells us about himself, what he knows about the world, what he doesn't remember from when he was living, what he does each day, and how he 'lives'. We learn that a hive of zombies has taken up living in the airport and they survive by feeding on people in the city when they need to. They spend their days shuffling around the airport, doing things that they 'enjoy', and interact only with brief grunts. We also learn that while he must eat people to continue existing, he doesn't particularly enjoy it. He seems to be the most advanced and emotionally conflicted zombie that he knows. When a group of zombies head into the city to feed and bring food back for those who can't travel, they run into a group of humans who are out scavenging. The zombies attack the humans and R meets Julie. I won't give away what happens exactly that makes him want to protect her, but he does and she trusts him. He takes her back to the airport with him and that starts their relationship. They work together to keep Julie safe from the zombies and the zombies safe from the humans. And all the while R is becoming more human again, talking more, feeling more, interacting more. And since the book is a romance, it's pretty much given that the two will fall for each other. But don't think this book is predictable or typical, because it is far from that!There are so many things that I loved about this book. One of my most favorite things was R. I loved his voice. I've never read a book from a zombie's POV. It was fascinating. I know this book's take on zombies is different than pretty much every one else's ideas on zombies, but I loved that. The idea that zombies think and can feel and cure themselves was awesome. And it would have been a completely different experience if the book had been written from a third person POV. I also loved the fact that while this book is categorized as a YA book it doesn't feel like a YA book. The voice isn't young or inexperienced or teenager-y or unable to express emotions or anything like that. He was not dumbed down just because he was a young zombie. His words were beautiful. Watching him change was fascinating. And one last thing that I really liked was the world building. There were some interesting and unique ways in which the author showed us both the current state of the world and the breakdown that lead to the current state. Because R is a zombie and doesn't remember much from his time 'living', I was really impressed with the total picture we received even with the first person POV. I really loved it.There were a few things I wasn't a huge fan of. It obviously wasn't enough to take any stars away from my rating of the book, but I still feel like I need to mention them. First, there were a couple parts of the book that dragged. Not many, and I did appreciate the descriptions, but just a couple places bored me. The other is a bit of a spoiler so I'm putting it in white text. If you want to read it, highlight it, if not, just continue on after the break. It was an interesting concept having the memories of the victims being passed to the zombies when they ate their brains. That part didn't bother me. I actually thought it was pretty intriguing. The part that bothered me was that R eats Julie's boyfriend's brains and that's how he comes to know who she is. R also gets memories of Julie and knows things about her that she never tells him. Then the boyfriend keeps showing up at random times throughout the book as a voice in R's head and it made me wonder whether the romance was really between R and Julie or Julie and her dead boyfriend. Does R have these feelings on his own or do they all stem from when he ate and killed the boyfriend? How much of the change that R goes through has to do with change that the boyfriend wanted to see and how much of it really started with R? These are just a few of the question that went through my head while I was reading, and that doesn't even touch on the weirdness of some of it. I was mostly okay with it, it didn't affect my overall feelings, but that connection was just a little strange to me. Okay, that got a little wordy. It was all just to say that a couple of things were strange to me, but not so bothersome that they affected my rating.Final Thoughts: I loved this book. It was so unique, so fascinating. R was a character I really wanted to hear more from. I'm always interested in male POVs and this one was done really well. It's probably because it was actually written by a man. But I also really liked the Julie and Nora characters. While reading about them I never once thought 'That's exactly how a man would write a woman'. That's always a big demotion in ratings for me if I actually start thinking about that. So the writing really was great. But ultimately, the whole book was just awesome and incredibly unique. I would never have imagined zombies like this and I have to say, I actually kind of like them this way. They don't interact a lot but they did have family units within the colony, they created an area for a school and a church within the airport, and they even tried to take care of each other. I loved it so much. Add all of that to the story and the romance and there isn't really anything else I can say other than that I loved this book. If you are a fan of zombie books, I would definitely recommend this book to you. I promise it'll be unlike anything you've ever read. And don't worry, even though there's romance in it, it does still have some gore. If you aren't a fan of zombie books but you're a fan of paranormal books or YA romances, I would also recommend this book to you. The writing is beautiful and R is a character that you should know. I gave Warm Bodies five stars and I can't wait to read the sequel and see the movie!!