If you wished to give Warm Bodies a pithy popular culture summation, you might say "It's like Twilight but with a Zombie" though this gives the general gist as to what the novel is about, it is unfair to both it and its author Isaac Marion.
Warm Bodies has been a resounding success for Marion, he originally self published it, but it took off by word of mouth to such a degree it has received a physical publication both here and in America and in February next year the movie adaptation starring British actor Nicholas Hoult in the lead will be released. This book was mentioned in passing (just author and title) to me on Twitter, but after looking it up and seeing it was a zombie novel and a romance at that, it took me mere seconds to buy it, and I'm not in the least ashamed of this!
Warm Bodies begins with the line :
so right there in the opening line it gets you as all good novels are supposed to do, and thus begins the absorbing and slightly melancholic tale of R, a zombie living among a hive of fellow soulless beings at an airport. He doesn't have much of a vocabulary nor much of a thought process, but he has a wife, sort of, and kids, sort of.I'm dead but it's not so bad. I've learned to live with it.
One day he goes hunting with his friend of sorts M. Zombies savour the brains of their victims because they see their memories as they consume them giving them a fleeting remembrance of what it was like to be human once. Having done this to one man R recognises his next potential victim as his previous victim's girlfriend, deciding not to kill her, he drags her home to his unusual lodgings and our romance develops from there.
Warm Bodies is in many ways inherently flawed not least because a zombie by definition cannot have the feelings and behaviours which R exhibits, but neither realistically can a vampire. So you have to let that canon slide if you want to enjoy this book. It has some other mild issues it lacks a level of profundity at times despite good quality prose, is a little episodic in nature as opposed to a steady ongoing plot flow and I was torn over whether it's homage to the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet was utterly genius or utterly corny. I did read it in one sitting though, will watch the movie and would read other novels by Marion.
It is an endearing novel and certainly an original concept 9/10