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Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion I’ll admit it – the only reason I decided to read WARM BODIES was because I kind of have a thing for Nicolas Hoult and he’s playing the lead R in the movie adaptation. I wanted to read this book to know more about it before I fork over $10 to see Twilight 2.0, since Stephenie Meyer did blurb this one. I was skeptical about WARM BODIES going in – the plot confused me, weirded me out a bit, and just sounded plain strange. The writing was a bit florid and literary. The characters… Well, let’s face it. The main character is a zombie.R is a zombie living a typical zombie existence. He lives in a hive in the remains of an airport, occasionally wandering into the city to feed on humans. Then one day, while eating some tasty human brain, he starts having flashbacks to the life of one Perry Kelvin, including flashbacks that make him fall in love with Perry’s girlfriend, Julie. So, why only two stars, you ask? I think it’s because I had trouble connecting with this plot, the characters, and the world. R is mysteriously eloquent and self-conscious about his life, but it goes to the extreme of sounding like he’s composing a literary novel in the vein of Tolstoy. At times, it ranges into the realm of SHATTER ME – over reliance on metaphors to make up for a lack of real narrative. R comes off as a zombie who loves poetry, which in itself ruins the real intrigue of him being a zombie. Besides munching a lot on flesh, he doesn’t SEEM to be a zombie. A pale guy with some Hannibal Lecter-like tendencies? Sure. But a zombie? Not so much.One plus to this novel is a fascinating setting and zombie lore. Although we don’t learn much (anything) about the origins to this post-apocalyptic world, the last vestiges of society, and the zombie hives, we do get a glimpse into something different and intriguing. Boneys, fleshies, zombies…getting married? I think the strength of this novel is on a very different take on zombies, but at the same time, zombies being eloquent and able to converse with humans and appear to be human with just a bit of makeup?We have a whole host of other characters, from Julie, the designated love interest and all around unbelievable human falling for a zombie, to Perry (seen mostly in flashbacks), to M, another zombie who is growing in consciousness himself, to Nora, Julie’s best friend back at the stadium. I didn’t connect with any of them, and in fact, Julie and Nora just annoyed me more often than not. They came off as stereotypical high school airheads instead of relatable characters that I wanted to root for. I quite liked M, though. I don’t know why, so don’t ask, LOL.I think I am just in the mindset that zombies should be gone and brainless and all about the eating and not the ruminating on someone else’s life and the intricacies of groaning. To have a zombie so aware of his life, loving music and collecting knick knacks, living happily in a 747 at the airport, and kidnapping a human girl to save and coddle just wasn’t my thing. Paired with a narrative that is at times slow, and I found myself having trouble to push through this one. I wanted something more.The UK edition of this one features two blurbs – one from Stephenie Meyer that seems utterly neutral, and one from Simon Pegg. Simon Pegg and that awesome UK cover seduced me when I was at Heathrow Airport one day last year. But it took me awhile to read this, maybe because I was worried that I wouldn’t like it. Turns out, I didn’t.Oh, and that ending?World Building - ♥♥♥The zombies are intricately described and fairly interesting. There is not much explanation for this world, however, but I really enjoyed the zombies.Characterization - ♥♥R is described as being a hyper intelligent zombie. That alone was a turn off, but adding in Julie and Nora? Not big on these characters at all.The Love Factor - ♥R eats Perry’s brain and is automatically in love with Julie. Julie, meanwhile, begins to fall in love with a zombie and doesn’t really question why R knows so much about her. And when she does know she doesn’t care.VERDICT: With a rather unbelievable plot and characters that made me roll my eyes, WARM BODIES almost seems like a wasted concept. With better control and a better female lead, this book had the potential to be amazing. Recommended for fans of literary, strange paranormal fiction.