Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Zombies
Point of View: First (Julie, R)
Released: October 28th 2010
Series: Warm Bodies
Predictability: 3 out of 5 (Where 1 is totally unpredictable and 5 is I knew what was going to happen way ahead of time.)
My Rating: 8/10 Stars
Warnings: Definitely an older YA. Violence, eating people, mentions of sex, and they’re fond of the F word.
Warm Bodies stars R, a zombie. He doesn’t remember anything about his life, but he thinks his name started with an R. He ‘lives’ (shuffles around) in an old airport. His best friend M is also a zombie. They mostly grunt and shuffle together, only capable of speaking the occasional word.
Then on a food run, (yes food is what you expect) R unexpectedly saves a girl named Julie. He wipes black zombie blood on her to disguise her living aura and takes her back to his home. He knows a bit about her because he ate her boyfriend’s brain. (Zombies see flashes of a person’s life when they eat brains.)
This was one of the strangest books I’ve ever read! I usually avoid zombie books. They’re the one monster that totally creeps me out! But I saw the movie a while ago, (Yes I watched the movie first, I usually do *gasps*) and it was funny and cute and not at all what I expected. The book wasn’t exactly ‘cute’, but it was good. It’s a short, quick, fun read, which is just what I wanted.
I liked that we were inside the zombie’s head. R’s voice is what made this book! It easily could’ve been written from Julie’s perspective and though I liked her, it wouldn’t have been nearly as good. (And again my love for the whole good monster thing comes into play!)
R is one of the best protagonists I’ve read in a long time. He has an entirely unique voice and for a corpse he’s certainly eloquent. Far from being the mindless zombie, he might shuffle and groan, but his head is full. I especially liked the little things that changed in him after he met Julie. The hope, the caring, and all the little things like remembering how to smile. Julie was a good character too. She wasn’t just a damsel in distress or a mouthy tough girl, but somewhere in between, flawed and totally real. I also like both of the character’s best friends, M and Nora.
We don’t really learn what caused the world to collapse, or the virus of the Dead, and I don’t care. (Julie gives us her thoughts towards the end, but nothing’s confirmed.) The zombies, while traditional were unique enough. I liked the strange gray eye color and black blood thing. (Oh, and that eating human brains gives them flashes of memories.)
There wasn’t the normal sort of plot, because most of the time the characters didn’t have a plan and just reacted to the situations they found themselves in. But why would the plot be normal when nothing else about this book was?
For anyone curious both the movie and the book are good for different reasons. I remember the movie being more laugh out loud funny, but the book had quite a few chuckles. The movie was obviously more Hollywood, though they did a good job using R’s narration to keep his voice. I liked the book better of course, but just for the story not the missing internal thoughts. The Boneys (older Dead, now skeletons) in the book were much scarier than the horror versions of themselves in the movie. I think it’s because in the movie they were brainless, but in the book they acted. (Allbeit strangely) The boneys started a zombie church, and school. Giving children zombies to adults and teaching them what to do. It was all very weird.
There were parts that were a bit gross, but it is a zombie book after all.
The New Hunger by Isaac Marion
Pages: 105 192
Point of View: Third (Julie, Nora, R)
January 28th 2013 October 8th 2015
Predictability: 5 out of 5 (Where 1 is totally unpredictable and 5 is I knew what was going to happen way ahead of time.)
My Rating: 7/10 Stars
Nora and her seven year old little brother were abandoned by their parents in a world gone crazy. At only sixteen, Nora doesn’t really have a plan other than find people. (Living ones)
Julie and her parents are headed to an enclave which is supposed to be safe. At only twelve she can already take care of herself.
And a dead man wakes up in the woods with an empty mind.
I’m glad I read Warm Bodies first, because even though it made The New Hunger predictable, it’s not nearly as sad. (I’d always rather be prepared for deaths.)
It was nice to meet a young Julie and Nora. I loved Nora’s little brother Addy! M, R’s Zombie friend also makes an appearance. R’s parts were still my favorite! The things he talks to in his head were very strange, but I liked how he traded emotions for information.
I wish it had started just a bit earlier! I wanted to see R as a human and find out how he Died. Hopefully the sequel will answer some of the questions this book left me with.
We do get some answers about the progression of the messed up world, if not what caused it. And there’s a flashback of when they announced the zombie pandemic. It was also nice to see some other cities. (Or rather their ruins)
The tone was darker than Warm Bodies and it was missing the humor.
I was excited to read The New Hunger again when I heard they added more stuff in preparation for the sequel! But I was surprised at how little was added.
So, what’s different?
There’s an all new prologue and epilogue! (Though they were just weird and didn’t serve any purpose.) And a sneak peek at Warm Bodies 2! (Which shows Julie, R, Nora, and Marcus on a plane.)
The most interesting change to me was instead of R remembering the dead blond woman, he sees an old man in a tall building grinning and sipping a drink as his soldiers fill the streets. Which could be significant.
Aside from that, the only really noticeable changes were Julie’s letter to her pen pal being removed and a paragraph about the militias added.
Though it obviously went through another edit, for word use and such, and possibly continuity. Most of the changes were small, like R being called him instead of the tall man.
Also, mentions of beer and rapists were removed and her penpal sent her Whiskey instead of Vicoden. (I don’t understand why since its still an older YA due to violence and the F word.) I do like that the brand names were removed, like ziplock and Redbox. (And some I hadn’t heard of before) because now it’s not so dated.
Were the additions worth it? I’m sure for big fans of the series they were, but I was disappointed. According to Amazon it’s about ninety pages longer, but it’s more like five! So while I still recommend it, if you’ve already read it there’s no reason to read it again.
Do you prefer to read the book first or see the movie? I’d usually rather see the movie first, because otherwise I’m too annoyed by all of the changes. And the movie’s shorter, so it’s a good test if the book will be worth it.