Warm Bodies Review
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As the Beatles once sang, “All you need is love.” And, as it turns out, they might have been right. For the characters in author Isaac Marion’s zombie rom-com, Warm Bodies, love might just be the one thing that can cure them of their horrifying curse.

The hero of the story is a zombie known simply as R. R lives in a long-abandoned airport with a huge colony of his kind. Finding refuge in a 747 with a pile of Frank Sinatra records and other souvenirs, R may have no name and no memory of a life before death, but he still longs for something more. Even marriage to a nameless female and caring for their two adopted zombie children can’t really give his death some kind of meaning.

But then, on a feeding excursion, R meets Julie. As he devours her boyfriend’s brain, he’s flooded with images of life…of love. And he wants that for himself. So he captures Julie and brings her back to his jet, where the two eventually begin an unlikely friendship. And as R spends more time with Julie—and he grows more protective of her—he finds himself changing.

Told from R’s point of view, Warm Bodies is a refreshingly unusual hybrid of genres. On one hand, it’s a zombie thriller, with gun-toting humans and undead predators who love nothing more than munching on fresh, warm brains. There’s plenty of action and adventure, too, as R ventures to the humans’ overcrowded stadium home in an attempt to keep Julie safe. At the same time, though, it’s also a cute romance—a zombie-meets-girl story about the transformative power of love. Sure, R falls in love with Julie while munching on her boyfriend’s brain, but author Isaac Marion somehow manages to make it feel sweet and even just slightly romantic, despite the gruesome setting. Mix in a few touches of adorably awkward zombie humor, and you’ve got a fun-filled zombie adventure that comes complete with plenty of likable characters—both dead and undead.

Somewhere in the middle, though, the story temporarily loses some of its liveliness. Like R’s undead neighbors, it drags its lifeless limbs a little as R obsesses over Julie’s boyfriend’s memories—sometimes even possessed by them. And instead of propelling the story and its action forward, it tends to keep things stuck in the past. It all feels strangely spiritual—and completely out of place in an otherwise engaging zombie romance.

Despite a few minor pacing issues, though, Warm Bodies still offers a clever new twist on the same old moody undead romance. It’s sweet and funny and action-packed, too—an entertaining treat for your warm, tasty brain.

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