Another review here for you, following the theme of Apocalyptic, but this one has a twist in the mind.
Here's the Blurby-Blurb!
"'R' is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows - warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can't understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.
This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won't be changed without a fight..."
I'm cheating by reviewing this book, because it has been months to probably a few years that I've ACTUALLY read this book, but it's been on the list for reviewing so long that I thought, hey, when is a better time going to come when I'm actually reviewing Apocalyptic/Dystopian genre books? So let's crack right into it and open it up for review!
-Dangerous Spoilers are looming just beyond the Read More Break, if you wish to vacate from the Spoilers, it is advised that you go and read the book first, then return to this review-
Not to mention when they casted Dave Franco as Perry I may have screamed a little bit, jumped on the bed, and tore a shirt from excitement. Dave Franco's eyebrows are the true beauty of this galaxy.
I simply bought my copy of Warm Bodies from Dymocks because I had heard on Goodreads that it was a fantastic zombie book but had a twist that not many of its kind had. Of course my interest was peaked, so that's what leads us to having it sit on my bookshelf and the movie sitting in my other 'DVD Shelf' on the opposite side of my room.
Warm Bodies is one of those novels that I just see the cover and I let out this high shrill squeak, like a deflating balloon, and my eyes go wide as I take in every part of the cover. The intricate details of the brain veins, how it creates the shape of a brain, how the red contrasts nicely with the white backing, and how the name fits perfectly in the middle of it all. The only exception is the review by Stephanie Meyer (why the heck is she reviewing a book about zombies when she writes about Vampires? Was this during the craze of Twilight and anything that Meyer touched or read or reviewed was immediately turned into gold 'cos her whole army fan base of tween girls would run out to buy it, regardless of what it was about? Perhaps)
Even the blurb is beautifully captivating and draws you into a, 'What? Is this a love story between a human and a zombie? Why would a zombie not be content with his life? He is a zombie...this is very weird and interesting Imusthaveit...'
It's one of my clear favourites for covers (It's number 10 on my Top Ten Favourite Book Covers List!) because of how simple but also symbolic it is and how my favourite colours are red and white - it's just so beautiful!
[9 out of 10 on Covers and Blurb for me!]
R, a zombie still in early stages of decay lives with a community of the Dead in an abandoned airport. Slowly losing himself, and the remembrance of his name, he calls himself 'R'. R is different from other Zombies due to his distaste for human flesh, and his ability to still form four, coherent syllables in one breath.
The world has been overtaken by wars, disasters, and now a zombie plague, leaving minimal survivors who live together in a blocked off Stadium.
R leads a pack to go hunting after experiencing a feeding frenzy, and finds a group of young survivors scavenging for supplies in the nearby towns, and R attacks and feeds on the brains of one of the young men named, 'Perry'. Feeding on his brains allows him to experience Perry's memories, and reveals that Perry's girlfriend fights the zombies in the same room, and decides to save her by hiding her with his bloody scent. For the next week, R hides Julie in his home, which is a broken down plane, and they get to know each other better as R shows her his treasures (A record player, and all his vinyl records) and Julie reveals more about her life. R continues to hide and eat Perry's brains, gaining more memories of Julie through Perry's relationship with her, and soon grows feelings for Julie.
After Julie tries to escape one morning, and nearly being killed by R's best friend, M, and his pack, Boneys arrive to take Julie but M and R save her by getting away in R's car.
Finding shelter in a nearby house as a heavy rain storm forces them inside, but Julie escapes and leaves R to return walking back to his home at the Airport, but feels cold for the first time by the rain since he "died". On his way back home, he stumbles across M and a group of zombies following behind. They have begun to experience things like dreams, old memories, and glimpses of their past. R recruits them to go and find Julie, and to get inside the Stadium.
R impersonates a living person and follows Julie's scent to her home, and reunites with her. What Julie and R have between them has infected many others, causing them to change and accept that zombies are beginning to come back to life. After R accidentally kills a soldier after getting drunk who attacked him, he and Julie and others run from the humans, and the Boneys attack the humans. As Julie and R watch the battle between the Boneys and the Living and the assisting zombies, Julie has an epiphany: The plague started because the human race crushed itself beneath the weight of its sins until it released a dark force that changed the humans so that everyone could see their evil. Julie and R do the only thing they can think of: They kiss. The strength of their love cures R of the plague completely, and all the other zombies who see this their eyes turn gold and are cured alongside R. The Boneys retreat, and the Living accept the reviving dead and give them a chance, and assimilate them back into their society.
The book and movie have different changes and some things are taken out that were in the books, but would not make sense or appear proper in a movie - and surprisingly I was okay with that. While both different, they both have this amazing story to tell and they do it well for both of their styles. The book was able to really get into the mind of R, and how he was living in a world that was literally sucking the life out of him. A slave to his need to flesh, and not having any hope anymore.
In the movie, you see the relationship between R and Julie better because of the chemistry that they have. Parts of R's life has been taken out of the movie, and I think that was probably for the best because in the book I just thought - 'Wait...did those two zombies try to make out and arE THEY TRYING TO HAVE CHILDREN?!' - and I just opted out real quick of that chapter.
In the book though, you do see more of R's friend, M. While in the movie, he is used more as the comedic character that eases the tension of the rest of the movie and is the only other funny character besides Julie and R, and maybe Julie's best friend Nora.
Also, R wears a suit in the book while R in the movie wears a casual red hoodie and blue jeans (Like a teenager) but all in all, these alterations were good decisions and didn't take away from either the book OR the movie. It worked nicely, and I was so happy with it as two different versions of Warm Bodies.
R - R is an amazing character. He is quite the same in both book and movie except what he wears. He is funny, awkward, and very loyal to those around him. He was actually one of the very few male protagonists that I REALLY enjoyed reading from the perspective of and it was interesting to go into the mind of a male character. I'm very used to reading from a female's perspective and I tear those apart because I know for a fact that I don't think about love triangles and crushing the oppressive government on a 24/7 basis. (My heart ached for Katniss, because she truly understood me and my love for food) I really felt for R, and all the times things were going wrong I just wanted to wrap him in a blanket and tell him it'd be okay, and not to listen to all the bullies who called him a mindless zombie. He is just so adorable, and yet so dangerous too, but like a dangerous teddy-bear!
Julie - I will say, I kind of preferred Julie in the book, but that's just because we got to see more of her as a character individually instead of in the movie where she is more of R's love interest and anything she does is either to look badass or as a romantic interest to R. That doesn't take away from the fact that Julie is an awesome character too. You could really tell that she was struggling with the fact that R was a zombie, but also curious as to why he was different than the rest. She thought about others, about the world they were living in, and she was realistic as a character, which is always a joy to read when you're not having to tsk or roll your eyes at everything that they do.
M - Let's be honest, he is the arrogant, sarcastically joking, loveable but you want to punch him in the head too, sidekick to R. There's nothing wrong with that, maybe books and series do that because you want someone else to relate to and love BESIDES the main character, and it works with M in Warm Bodies. M in the movie got the biggest laughs out of me, and M in the book made me just think, 'Wow...R. You have the greatest best friend ever, I'm just saying. BROTP for life'
Nora - I loved her more in the movie than I did in the book, surprisingly. She was played by Analeigh Tipton so I can't complain (She was my favourite in Cycle 11 of America's Next Top Model, but she only came in third place. I'M STILL AGGRESSIVE ABOUT THIS ISSUE SO LET'S MOVE ON BECAUSE I DESTROY SOMETHING I LOVE DEARLY)
Perry - Perry was a jerk, let's be honest here. He is written as this guy who is simply looking for approval and was beginning to abandon hope in the world, losing more and more of himself as he aimed towards becoming a soldier and eventually hitting that wall of pessimistic and apathetic approach to life and Julie. Dave Franco surprisingly (But not really THAT surprisingly, just look at his eyebrows) made me really care for Perry's character, unlike in the book where I was glad that he died earlier on in the series because Julie and him fought all the time and she compared him to her father.
Grigio - Oh my gosh he should be on a top list of good characters gone pyscho bad and practically villainous. He is Julie's father, and lost his wife and everything else in his life, thus resorting to alcohol and brutal pragmatism. Like Perry, he has lost all hope in the world and just trains soldiers to kill the dead because there is nothing left in the world to do but kill and survive. You feel bad for him, but at the same time you can tell he does it to himself and so you kind of wish for him to just go already because he makes life hard on everybody else and causes the biggest dramas in the book/movie. That's a sign of a well written character!
- All the characters - They are absolutely superb in how they are written and by the actors they are portrayed by. I love it all!
- How Warm Bodies is based on Romeo and Juliet (Don't hate me because his name is R and her name is Julie)
- The detail given to everything. The Boneys, the Stadium, the Airport. I could honestly vividly imagine it and that's because Isaac Marion knows how to describe and place everything without listing them off and becoming boring.
- The relationship and chemistry between R and Julie.
- How the death and zombie attack scenes were written. My gosh, I love gore when done properly!
- THE COOOOVVVVER *FROTHES AT MOUTH*
- The way R's transformation was slow, progressive, and gradual. It wasn't this, 'OH HEY! I'm not a zombie anymore. Want to date?' kind of transformation.
- All the casting for the movie (Yassss Dave Franco and Nicholas Hoult and Analeigh Tipton Yassssss)
- The length. It is a great length, and it didn't drag on which I always appreciate when an author knows when it's time to end it perfectly, instead of draining it for every cent it can make.
- The soundtrack! Gosh, it's on my Spotify playlist of Movie Scores. It's so, eerily but light hearted at the same time?
- So. Many. Quotes. I had SUCH a hard time picking my favourites and in the end I'd just write the entire book down in my favourite quotes book.
- The movie poster! HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?! the puuuuunnnns on all of the movie covers!
- The cheesy, 'Let's fall to our deaths while kissing and you get shot but in reality you're alive and okay and it's totally cliche romance' ending. I can see what they were trying to do, but I still kind of cringed at the clicheness.
- Dave Franco died and wasn't in the movie as much as I'd like him to be in it for his glorious eyebrow game.
- The fact that they changed R from wearing a suit to a teeny red hoodie and jeans..but I can understand why, it'd stand out like a sore thumb (But Nicholas Hoult in a suit? Yum)
- That Romeo and Juliet scene on the balcony..I get it already, okay? I get it.
I rate Warm Bodies a 7 out of 10, and the movie a strong 6 out of 10.
(You might think it would be higher, but let's be real here, I love this because it's zombie, and not because it might be the best or worst novel/book out there. It's my personal opinion and sometimes I love something but know that it's not absolutely amazing. You can still love something and have it be a 5/10 if you know it's crappy)
[I honestly couldn't pick my favourite quote, so I just put all of my favourite ones in here, but some STILL didn't make it. Be happy this post is not entirely just my favourite quotes!]
“I want to change my punctuation. I long for exclamation marks, but I'm drowning in ellipses.”
― Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies
“In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, everything collapses.”
― Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies
“What's wrong with people?" she says, almost too quiet for me to hear. "Were they born with parts missing or did it fall out somewhere along the way?”
― Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies
“But I'm not afraid of the skeletons in Julie's closet. I look forward to meeting the rest of them, looking them hard in the eye, giving them firm, bone-crunching handshakes.”
― Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies
“What wonderful thing didn't start out scary?”
― Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies
“Once again the absurdity of my inner thoughts overwhelms me, and I want to crawl out of my skin, escape my ugly, awkward flesh and be a skeleton, naked and anonymous.”
― Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies