Here’s something I never thought I would say: I’m really into zombies right now. A few years ago I wouldn’t have been caught dead watching a zombie movie (heh, punny). Seriously, my friends once forced me into watching 28 Days Later after which I was sent home with a can of homemade zombie spray (febreeze) and yet another reason to sleep with a nightlight. When we would discuss our options for the zombie apocalypse I would openly admit that I would be the first to go. Let’s face it, I don’t possess even the most basic of survival skills, nor do I relish the idea of living in fear. However, my opinion of the undead has recently changed for two reasons:
My dad and I watch Walking Dead together every Sunday. He is now convinced that, come the zombie apocalypse, he is more than capable of leading a large group of people to safety. He has also admitted that the hardest part of the zombie apocalypse would be having to pretend he wasn’t excited that it finally happened. But let’s focus on that second guy, the guy that somehow made being a zombie just a teeny bit sexy. His name is R, and despite his unbeating heart, he fell in love.
I remember seeing Warm Bodies (the book) when it first came out and thinking zombie romance? No thanks. Now I’m kicking myself. As a self proclaimed book snob I hate reading books after they’ve become popular. I want to be the reader that got there first. “Oh that book? I read that years ago… way before it was cool.” Anyway, I had already decided not to read the book, I figured that seeing the movie would be good enough, but I loved the movie so much I had to have more. Maybe if I had read it first my opinion would be different, but as it is this might be the first time in history that I liked the movie better than the book.
The movie was sweet, the characters were loveable, and it had an awesome soundtrack. It was your typical “boy meets girl, boy eats girl’s boyfriend, boy kidnaps girl, boy and girl change the world” love story. In this case “girl” is Julie, a free spirited blonde who dreams of a better world – a world without metal walls designed to keep the undead separated from the living. “Boy” is R, a zombie who regrets his situation and, though he knows it’s a bit unorthodox, attempts to change it. Together they must face the wrath of both the living and the dead as their strange relationship grows stronger. It was funny, heart warming, intense, and not the least bit scary or gross. I loved it, I loved it so much that I want to see it again and again. I loved it so much that I decided to read the book… despite the fact that it now had a movie cover and had moved up to bestseller status. The book hipster in me relented.
Yes, the stories were altered a bit but that didn’t really bother me. More than anything I think my opinion of the book was compromised because I went into it expecting the characters to act a certain way. Book Julie is much more crass than film Julie and I ended up not liking her. Granted she has some daddy issues to cope with… on top of the fact that she’s just been kidnapped by a zombie, but does she really have to act like such a (pardon) bitch? Book R is just as sweet as film R and if anything I thought he was even more sympathetic because we get to hear the story from inside his head. He endures a lot more personal turmoil than the film lets on.
The book is filled with all the same one-liners that make the movie so great, and then some. I have never highlighted so many quotes in my nook as I did when I read Warm Bodies.
However, I should also mention that this book is NOT suitable for your pre-teen daughter. The movie is harmless enough but it’s literary counterpart is filled with the f-word and scattered with scenes of unconventional zombie sex.
Anyway, given my current mind frame I would probably rate the book at 3 stars, although if I had read it before the movie I probably would have given it 4 stars. Either way it’s worth the read and the movie is definitely worth the watch. Let me know what you think!