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Monday, April 1, 2013

Book Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion


BOOK review
Started on: 19.March.2013
Finished on: 27.March.2013

Title : Warm Bodies
Author : Isaac Marion
Publisher : Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Pages : 239 Pages
Year of Publication : 2011
Price : $ 14.25 (

Rating: 4/5
"I don't know why we have to kill people. I don't know what chewing through a man's neck accomplishes. I steal what he has to replace what I lack. He disappears, and I stay. It's simple but senseless, arbitrary laws from some lunatic legislator in the sky. But following those laws keeps me walking, so I follow them to the letter. I eat until I stop eating, then I eat again."
R is a zombie. Although he doesn't remember his name, as well as his previous living life, R is always curious about life. R has a friend named M; and he has been given a zombie wife and zombie children as his family - but nothing feels different. As part of a zombie's life, R also enjoyed the pleasure of eating human - especially the brain. When a zombie eats a brain, the human memories will flash through their minds - making them feel what it's like to live once again. At a time, R ate the brain of a boy named Perry Kelvin, his future would change forever.

It was when R and his fellow Dead are hunting for food, they come across a group of Living outside the fully-protected stadium for humans. While R was enjoying his meal - which was Perry's brain - R saw vivid images of Perry's life, especially the ones with his girlfriend named Julie. And then R realized that Julie is part of the group which are going to be eaten by the other Dead. Although Julie who's terrified suddenly throws a knife at R's face, R slowly smeared a fallen zombie's blood on her face - trying to disguise her as a zombie. Without any words, Julie got dragged by R, back to the airport where the Dead lives. That day, R did something the other Dead had never imagined before: saving a human's life.
"She didn't see it. She doesn't know. Her eyes address me like I'm a creature worthy of address, unaware that I recently killed her lover, ate his life and digested his soul, and am right now carrying a prime cut of his brain in the front pocket of my slacks. I can feel it burning there like a coal of guilt, and I reflexively back away from her, unable to comprehend this curdled mercy."
Day by day, R enjoys eating parts of Perry's brain little by little - savoring the feelings and memories that Perry had with Julie. Not only that, R slowly trying to get closer towards Julie and spend a lot of time with her - like taking her to the abandoned food court to find Julie's favorite food: Pad Thai. After some time, Julie seems to get used being around R, and she starts to talk about many things. Although R wasn't able to reply much because of his inability to express himself through words and just babbles inside his head, he feels pretty much alive when he's with Julie.

Unfortunately, Julie won't be staying in the dead airport forever, which means she has to go back to the stadium where every Living lives. R doesn't feel like saying goodbye to Julie because his feelings towards her has gone to deep - so he decided to go find Julie in the stadium, which is probably equal to suicide. But his determination made R tried so hard to disguise himself, making his appearance looked more living (thanks to his body which hasn't decayed severely, compared to others). And so the journey to go inside the stadium won't be easy; so is R's mission to turn the world into its' normal state along with Julie.
"I will return her to her daddy's porch by nine, and that will be it. The door will boom shut, and I'll skulk away home. Will I be able to let her go? I've never asked a harder question. A month ago there was nothing on Earth I missed, enjoyed, or longed for. I knew I could lose everything and not feel anything, and I rested easy in that knowledge. But I'm growing tired of easy things."
"They allow me to be an exception, and I feel humbled by this gift. I want to pay it back somehow, earn their forgiveness. I want to repair the world I've helped destroy."
image source: here. edited by me.
I think this is the first time for me, reading a post-apocalyptic (or zombie) fiction; and also my first time with Isaac Marion's writing. Actually, I'm interested in reading this book because of the movie adaptation that's been getting a lot of attention (as well as the main cast, Nicholas Hoult). So before having any thought of watching the movie, I quickly bought the book and read it first. There are plenty of good reviews about the book, so I kind of had high expectations towards the story. Although I do enjoy the story very well, but somehow it feels lacking in some parts. I don't know is it because of my mood while reading (I was going through my deadly mid-semester exam at the time), which makes me only read a few pages a day - or for some other reason. But in the end, Warm Bodies really gave me a new perspective about a zombie's life.

In the plot summary above, I barely told half of the book, and it still has a long way to go. I don't want to spoil the good and exciting parts, so I just stop right there. The story is written in first-person POV, which is R himself; so there's a lot of personality coming out from the narration.  As I've said before, R doesn't really talk much because of his incapability of conversing well, his thoughts pretty much represents his emotion. The main conflict of the story is of course, R's forbidden love towards Julie; along with other problems such as Julie's father, and the Boneys (the evil ones; which is a bit like the ancestors of the zombies, probably?) who opposes R's intention to interact with the Living. The story flows really well, and I do enjoy R's relationship with Julie; but somehow I don't feel any excitement happening - the intensity that I expect would be in a zombie-themed book. And lastly, the ending! I have to say: yes, I'm disappointed. Why would that happen? I was hoping for something better than that, though... (no spoiler) The ending definitely made me give a four instead of a higher rating for this book.

One of the best parts of this book is of course R's character. R's point of view of life and his life as a zombie is somehow fascinating for me to read. I absolutely love how he slowly starts to feel many things even though he's Dead; how he feels guilty towards Julie for eating Perry, how he feels sad about saying goodbye to Julie, and many more. M's character is also a very good addition for the story, because he's very nice to R even though he got punched in the face. As for Julie, I don't particularly feel anything special about her (probably because I'm a girl?).

Overall, it was a good first-time-reading-zombie-story experience indeed. Although I hoped for some parts to be better, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story. And of course, I'm planning to watch the movie some time later (probably on dvd). The trailer showed that the movie had a happy-humor mood, instead of gloomy-zombie mood. I'm really anticipating it because I'd like to see how well Nicholas Hoult convey R's character. At this point I'm kind of hoping the movie would portray the story better. For those of you who haven't watched the movie, here's the movie trailer for you to enjoy. Those who have watched, you can share your comments about the movie to me through the comments :)))
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

1 comment:

  1. Filmnya lebih condong ke humor koq, gak 'seberat' bukunya and R's super cute there ;)


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