I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I read this book about a year ago and at the time I was fairly new to zombies. I have watched the occasional movie, and I think I have read one or two Young Adult books involving zombies, but I have always been the type of person who neither loved nor hated zombies. Fast forward to now, and I have read a few more zombie books that were geared towards adults and played some fun video games that involved fighting the undead. Zombies probably won’t ever be my FAVORITE, but I can appreciate them more now for the scares and entertainment they provide.
Although the fact that the main character in Warm Bodies is a zombie is what drew me to read this book in the first place, it was kind of strange rooting for a creature that is traditionally a monster. I enjoyed the main character, “R”. He was very lively considering he was technically dead. We know what it feels like to hunger for and consume human flesh even though, but because “R” has retained enough of his humanity to regret it after he indulges in his urges, he is still a sympathetic character.
He really regrets eating Julie’s boyfriend so much that he takes it upon himself to protect her from his fellow zombies. Well, maybe he protects her because he is drawn to her beauty, but I like to think his guilt over killing and eating her boy friend was also a driving factor.
This book was a little difficult to read at times and graphic, but it was a book about a zombie so the violence made sense and was tame compared to other books I have read in this genre. Plus the violence always made served a purpose.
R is able to see the memories of a person by eating their brains, and he spends some time in the book savoring the memories and the brains of Julie’s boyfriend . He feels guilty while he does it, but he just can’t give up the feeling of knowing what it felt like to love and be loved by Julie. He also just likes to experience life though this normal young man’s memories. R’s strong desire to remember his humanity was actually very touching.
Julie was a great character and I completely understand why R fell for her. If anyone could inspire zombie to want his full humanity back, it’s a girl like her. She was very likable and strong. I mean, she would have to be one heck of a girl to fall in love with a zombie! Her reaction to R at first was just what you would expect. She was frightened and disgusted, but after he saves her life and protects and feeds her, she realizes that he is different than the zombie she is used to. I really enjoyed the way she maintained innocence and hope despite her current difficult circumstances.
Overall this was a very beautifully told story about a young man who desperately wanted to reclaim his humanity, and be with the woman he loved. The romance was great, but I just couldn’t get past the fact that the guy she was falling in love with was a zombie who had killed her boy friend. View Spoiler » I mean she kisses him at one point and instead of going “awwww” like I usually do when the main couple finally kisses I went “Yuck!” This guy had eaten a lot of people, and I just never forgot that. « Hide Spoiler
I was happy with how the characters ended up, and considering the rather heavy subject matter, this was a lighthearted read. I liked R a lot more than I was expecting to, and I rooted for him throughout the entire book.
The end of the story left me feeling very hopeful for the characters, and I would probably read a sequel if the author decides to continue, but one book was more than enough. There were also some entertaining secondary characters.
I would recommend this book for zombie fans who don’t mind romance and romance fans who don’t mind zombies.
Because of violence and language, I recommend this book for ages 15 and up.