Publication Date: December 25, 2012
Publisher: Atria/ Emily Bestler Books
Pages: 239 pages
Warm Bodies is a pretty clear cut Romeo and Juliet tale; the characters live in a world where zombies are threatening to kill all humans. R, a zombie, meets Julie and decides to save her instead of kill her. He instantly falls in love, aided by the fact that he ate her boyfriend's, Perry, brain and has his memories inside of him. Of course, this romance isn't accepted by either humans or zombies. With language reminiscent of the play at times and the infamous balcony scene included, there's no doubt that Warm Bodies is a play of the famous Shakespeare love story.
Except that it just kinda misses the mark on everything. R is a zombie, which means that, especially at the beginning, his communications skills are minimal. While R is also our narrator and able to explain everything as a human to the reader, when it comes to talking he doesn't get much further than 2 words. Yet, Julie, who has seen R and his friend kill all of her friends, still has an instant liking for him and an unexplainable trust in his goodness. While many argue Romeo and Juliet have the same thing, they actually are able to communicate (Romeo has some of the most beautiful speech in all of Shakespeare's work), she did not see him kill all her family and they lived in different times where teenagers were expected to pick partners for life. This is not the case in Warm Bodies and the whole storyline just falls flat with the love story. It doesn't make any sense, it's not believable and we never get a good grasp on Julie and why exactly she's so naive.
Besides that, everything else seems easily fixed too. All the problems, serious problems as in zombies killing all of mankind, are brushed over by the end and, though this is kinda a spoiler but not really if you read one page of the book, a happy ending is easily attained. Again, we are offered no explanation about how it exactly happened and what it means, the reader is just supposed to believe it.
For me, the appeal of Warm Bodies is non existent. The writing is not annoying, but it also never takes you into the world. This book is one of those books that make people say that all of YA sucks. It's simplistic, the characters are flat and undeveloped and while I enjoy the attempt at a modern Romeo and Juliet, it just misses all the marks that makes Shakespeare's story such a classic.