So, remember that book, Warm Bodies? It was made into a movie a while ago with that guy whose name I can never remember- the one who looks kind of like an Elf? I think he played Beast in the new X-men movies.
Anyway, I saw the movie before reading the book- just because I didn’t know the book existed. I’m very much a page-to-screen girl, rather than the other way around. And I loved the movie. I mean, really- loved it.
It’s about a zombie guy, R, who doesn’t want to be a zombie. Basically he meets this living girl and starts to fall in love with her, and in the process, starts to come back to life. And while it is very much a zombie book- brains are eaten, limbs are ripped off, things are shot- it’s more like a story of self discovery. And it’s very, very cute.
R is the narrator of the book, and his inner monologue is eloquent, smooth, and funny. Even before he starts to come back to life, he never really feels dead.
A quick disclaimer: I don’t like the whole zombie thing. I saw one episode of the Walking Dead and absolutely hated it. I think they’re gross and just ought not be a thing. Which is why I was legitimately surprised by how much I liked Warm Bodies. Probably because while it was a zombie book, technically, it didn’t feel like one.
Now, onto my review of the sequel, The Burning World.
At the end of Warm Bodies, R says that he doesn’t want to remember what he refers to as his first life, because he likes the one that he has now, with Julie. The books ends on a hopeful note, and it felt very self contained.
We open The Burning World a little bit later, with R and Julie living the American dream in a dilapidated house that they’re trying to fix up while R learns to be alive again. It’s very much as cute as the previous book ended. But that ends pretty quickly.
The book is action packed, confusing at times, and honestly, pretty gross. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but let’s just say that it’s not quite the suburban happily ever after for R and Julie that we started with.
I did not like the book.
And I want to give credit where it’s due! It’s not a bad book. It’s still quite nicely written, and it really did keep me up late, just so I could find out what happened next. But The Burning World felt like a zombie apocalypse book. Which, I guess, it was. I would just remind you all of my disclaimer: I don’t like zombie stories.
It just didn’t feel to me like any of the heart from Warm Bodies made it into the sequel. Sure, there were moments- one, in particular, regarding a lost family member, which basically ripped my heart out, but that was about it.
Basically, my problem is this, and maybe the problems stems more from how I read it than from the book itself. I opened a zombie book expecting a story about being alive, and got a zombie book.