Novel Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Series: Warm Bodies #1

New Adult/Adult ∴ Horror ∴ Apocalyptic ∴ SciFi > Zombies ∴ TW: slut-shaming, drug use, murder, gore
Published December 25th 2012 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Paperback ∴ 256 pages

Barnes & Noble ∴ B.A.M. ∴ Goodreads

R is having a no-life crisis—he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he is a little different from his fellow Dead. He may occasionally eat people, but he’d rather be riding abandoned airport escalators, listening to Sinatra in the cozy 747 he calls home, or collecting souvenirs from the ruins of civilization.

And then he meets a girl.

First as his captive, then his reluctant guest, Julie is a blast of living color in R’s gray landscape, and something inside him begins to bloom. He doesn’t want to eat this girl—although she looks delicious—he wants to protect her. But their unlikely bond will cause ripples they can’t imagine, and their hopeless world won’t change without a fight.

I love this book so much! I don’t care that it’s a re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet, it’s the Romeo and Juliet that I like. The characters aren’t annoying or rash or whiny, they’re all just perfect. 

Let me just preface this with a I-Don’t-Really-Dig-Zombies-Anymore warning. The mob mentality, the running, the swarming, I’m just not into it. This book is not that. It’s beautiful and bright and hopeful with a touch of zambo gore because you can’t have zambos and no gore.

R is having an existential crisis in the first section of the book. He thinks but can’t articulate, he’s obsessed with learning names and becomes frustrated that no one knows theirs nor cares, he loves music but doesn’t really understand it, and above all, he can’t remember what happened to him and it really bothers him. His friend M jokes with him (yes, JOKES, TEASES, what kinda zombie…?) that he’s too sensitive.

The cool thing about these zombies is that, if they eat a human’s brain, they have small flashbacks of memory for a while. It’s kind of like iZombie, but they don’t take on the personality, they just get the visions. R is eating the brain of a young soldier, Perry, who had a quirky, spitfire girlfriend, Julie. In a split second decision, R sort of kidnaps Julie and takes her back to his airport home to “keep her safe.” Turns out he just really likes her a lot. Everything escalates from there.

I think the whole moral or point of this book is to show how the human condition can be a plague, but also a cure. There’s nothing wrong with being human, but it’s important to be open and accepting of change when it comes, not everything can stay the same forever, you know.

If you like zombies or not, if you like Romeo and Juliet or not, if you like comedies, horror, romance or not, you’ll love this book. It has everything and it’s not even that long, so if for some reason, you don’t like it (I doubt it), then you haven’t wasted too much time, I suppose.

∴ 5 stars ∴


So, I ended up watching the movie the night I finished this because it had been so long since I’d seen it. It’s cute, it’s quirky, it’s stressful, but to be honest, it has nothing on the book. R is aged down, which is fine, it’s less weird and creepy. The plot moves a lot faster. Yeah, it’s a movie, but I think it’s missing out on the important life questions the book has. Nora is white and she’s definitely not in the book. I don’t know why they did that, how hard is it really to cast a POC? She’s (half?) Ethiopian in the novel and just straight up white in the movie. The ending is also a bit different, a little happier maybe. Overall, I like it as a movie, but not as much as the book in comparison.

Find the rest of the series:
The New Hunger ∴ The Burning World

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3 thoughts on “Novel Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

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