Saturday, May 4, 2013

Under My Skin

Published:  October 28th, 2010
Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies # 1)
By: Isaac Marion
Atria/Emily Bestler Books
ISBN-13:  9781476717463

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.

     Zombies are not my thing - AT ALL.  Especially not zombie love stories, which feel a little too much like they're cribbing from the Twilight playbook.  This book is the story of a boy (if you can call a zombie that in any real capacity) named 'R' and a girl named Julie.  One day when 'R' is out hunting with the other zombies living at the airport with him, he munches on Julie's boyfriend Perry.  Which does something weird to him and causes 'R' to kidnap Julie to keep her safe from the other zombies.  The story follows them as they grow closer and 'R' regains some of his humanity bit by bit.  Together they try to change the world and bring together the zombies and the remaining humans.  But can they really make a difference and what consequences could there be for a zombie and a human girl in a forbidden romance?  Never until just now did I realize all the Romeo & Juliet parallels between character names and even the reduxed storyline!  It was more than I expected, with the almost human 'families' that the zombies form with each other and the guidance provided by the elders, known as the 'Boneys' because they are nothing but skeletons.  I loved the fact that 'R' lived in a 747 and listened to Sinatra, with a romantic streak a mile wide.  But I felt like the fact that zombies munch on people and gain their memories/feelings was a little bit simplistic in theory and never really explained to my satisfaction.  Also, Julie is scared at first but accepts 'R' into her life a little too easily, especially knowing that he was most likely the one who ate her boyfriend Perry.  The scenes within the compound when Julie and her friend are trying to disguise 'R' from everyone and pass him off as human were more than a little ridiculous and unbelievable.  I mean, really?  These people who spend their entire lives keeping the zombies out and trying to eliminate them aren't going to notice when there's one in their midst?  They're not even gonna look closely at a supposed 'friend' from another compound?  Gimme a break!  And the way this ends, with the zombies beginning to transform into humans again because they're starting to 'feel' and experience things like the living (a.k.a. love and other schmaltzy things) made me want to gag!  If you're going to have it be a zombie/human romance, don't cop-out at the end and make things all shiny and new, with the zombie becoming human!  I liked the humor and oddness compared to other zombie novels, but the romance completely tanked this book for me.  Romeo & Juliet is so overplayed and I am so sick of retellings that try to camouflage themselves that I could scream.  Not the book for me at all and I wouldn't recommend it unless you're a fan of zombie books, romance and overly graphic/gory descriptiveness.
VERDICT:  2.75/5  Stars (Mostly props for originality and description I could picture in my head - and keeping me reading, which is the ultimate challenge.)
**No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.**

1 comment:

  1. Haha. I liked this book a lot better than you did, but I agree that the R&J was WAY overplayed.


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