Warm Bodies, anyone?

Hi all, As you can see by the length of February’s reading list (below) it’s been one of those months. Short lists generally mean I’ve been busy doing writerly stuff or family stuff. Whereas long lists usually indicate I’ve been doing no writing at all for whatever reason (and have resorted to reading so I don’t go nuts), or I’ve had a stint in bed with the flu (and have resorted to reading so I don’t go nuts). In this case, it’s been the flu. And kids with the flu. Who then pass it back to me again. Yay. Lot s and lots of lying around in bed, feeling horrendous, and comforting myself with copious amounts of Panadol, throat lozenges, and books. TGFB. On the plus side, it means a heap of recommendations this month.

Among this month’s memorable reads have been Addicted by Charlotte Stein (erotic romance), Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (fantasy), Gabriel’s Ghost by Linnea Sinclair (sci-fi romance), and Ever After by Kim Harrison  (urban fantasy/paranormal romance) — I love The Hollows series! DS (14, but don’t let that put you off reading this) has just finished American Sniper by Chris Kyle and has now passed it on to his dad, so I’ll have to wait to report back on that one. By all reports it’s an amazing read, very thought-provoking and “sad”. But the book I’d like to briefly talk about this month is Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.

I first spotted a review of Warm Bodies by Carrie S over at the Smart Bitches Trashy Books blog. Carrie (clever thing that she is because I suck at one-sentence summaries) succinctly summed it up as: “R, a zombie, eats Perry, a human, and as a result falls in love with Perry’s girlfriend, Julie.” And I gotta say, although it looked like a fascinating  story and Carrie gave it a resounding B+, it didn’t sound like my thing at all. The Walking Dead is one thing but a zombie love story? Really? How’s that supposed to work? Ick. Can’t imagine it ending well. Nooo desire to read that one. And then I heard it was being made into a movie… and it’s been subsequently released (although not yet in New Zealand), and if this review of Warm Bodies the movie, also by Carrie S via the Smart Bitches Trashy Books blog is anything to go by (an A- no less!), the movie has a slightly different flavor (more humorous, perhaps?) but still does total justice to the book. Which is unusual, I think. Because so often the movie version can lack that certain something special that makes me fall in love with a book. It’s like — hard to explain but I’ll give it a go — everyone involved in the movie-making process knows the story backwards and forwards and upside down (or think they do), and because they know the readers who’ll be queuing up to see the movie already know and love the story, they think it still works if they leave out scenes that are perhaps integral to the characters’ growth and development, or cut characters they believe aren’t crucial. Meaning the final result ends up a little bit less rich of an experience for those readers/movie-goers with high expectations (AKA picky beyotches like me) after having adored the book to bits and beyond.

Yeah, yeah. I know: I’m a tough audience. But that’s always the case when I’ve read the book FIRST. I can accept that stuff always needs to be left out of the script completely or left on the cutting room floor. But there’s a real art to knowing what to leave out and what to cut. And sometimes, IMHO, the script writers or movie-makers make a bit of a hash of it. So there I was, interest piqued by Warm Bodies the book and the movie despite my initial misgivings about the subject matter. And I’m thinking I’ll definitely have to accompany DD to go see the movie when it releases here, but maybe I won’t bother reading the book. But then, just to ensure I end up forking out my hard earned cash on the book, too, DD informs me it’s on her recommended reading list for English (she’s doing the Sci-Fi and Fantasy-tailored class) and that her teacher loved it. So I caved, and ordered it from The Book Depository.

I gotta say, I wasn’t at all unhappy with the monetary investment on the book. It’s a great read! I’m almost too scared to try to describe any further it because it might put you off, and that would be a shame. Okay, I’ll cheat. As Audrey Niffenegger described it on the back cover (Vintage Books UK edition ISBN 9780099549345), “Warm Bodies is a strange and unexpected treat.” She also goes on to say that R could be the perfect boyfriend… if he wasn’t “grey-skinned and monosyllabic“. Well, I wouldn’t go that far — at least, not in the first half of the book anyway. (After which, well, sorry but you’ll have to read it to find out.) Suffice it say that I believe this book IS a romance, but it’s also more than just a romance — not that the romance genre should ever be described as “just” anything but hopefully you get my point.

Warm Bodies totally works for me. It’s tragic and funny and thought-provoking and hopeful, and it touched my heart. It made me think about what it means to be human. I won’t spoil it for you, but I hadn’t the faintest idea how the author was going to end the story, and I was kinda bracing myself for disappointment. But the ending is perfect *g*

Here’s the rest of my reading list for February:

  • London Eye; Toxic City 1 by Tim Lebbon
  • Dark Companion by Marta Acosta
  • Shine by Lauren Myracle
  • Playboy Boss, Live-In Mistress by Kelly Hunter
  • The Billionaire’s Bride of Vengeance by Miranda Lee
  • Dark Souls by Paula Morris
  • Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin by Anna Cleary
  • Addicted by Charlotte Stein
  • The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
  • The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
  • The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
  • Red Hot Fury by Kasey Mackenzie
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
  • Gabriel’s Ghost by Linnea Sinclair
  • Green-eyed Envy by Kasey MacKenzie
  • Ever After by Kim Harrison
  • Splintered by A.G.Howard
  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
  • Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
  • Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
  • Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
  • Eve and Adam by Michael Grant & Katherine Applegate
  • Itch by Simon Mayo
  • Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
  • Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Warmly yours ;-) M

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