Book Review – Warm Bodies… by Isaac Marion

Title: Warm Bodies

Author: Isaac Marion

Format: Paperback

Published/Written: 2011

Despite having already reviewed one book that has had a recent movie come out for it… I will say that it is not too often that I decide to pick up a book because a movie of it is coming out.  Yet, this was the case with Warm Bodies.  I fell in love with the story line from the first preview I saw in theaters.  I always thought it would be interesting to do a Zombie love story… I was excited to see  someone had done it even if it was just a film… I later discovered that the movie was based off a novel and I got even more excited… I knew I needed to pick up the book even if there was a forever long waiting list for it at the library…

When I sat down to crack the book open… I was surprised by how the story was conveyed.  One would not think that a zombie would make a good narrator for a first person perspective novel… but Isaac accomplishes a very realistic voice that is quite compelling and has a rather strong vocabulary.  (It enthralled me to read words that I hardly see in type let alone hear spoken.)  I know it seems bizarre for a zombie to be able to tell his story in such a way… but it works considering that the life of “R” before he became a zombie indicates that he was a well-educated man.

For me… the story gripped me right away and this book is what I would call something of an escapist book… every time I picked it up… I was lost to the world around me and entered into the post-apocalyptic America where zombies rule the world and the living are few and far between.  The root cause of this happenstance is uncertain… but not really important.  The focus isn’t so much on the how and why but on “R” as he deals with the issues of being a zombie and protecting Julie the girl he meets… after killing her boyfriend.  If you have seen the previews… you know the general plot of the story, thus I don’t feel it would be a spoiler to mention how the gradual change of “R” was masterfully done as it was so subtle… and quite powerful at times.

Over all… I found the book to be very well written… Isaac is a master of short syllabic dialogue, communicating a lot through short conversations and prose.  On the whole… I loved this book, despite knowing most of what would happen based on the movie previews… I was surprised by the twists and turns the journey took to reach the end… I do have a few complaints about the book though.  In the book there are two different narrators, the first of course being “R”… and then a second additional one.  My problem wasn’t with the second perspective, as it gave a lot of depth to the story… the problem was that it was hard at times to realize the switch right away… it didn’t take me too long to discover the change but… it was enough that I had to go back and reread some.  I also took issue with there being a shortage of dialogue tags… most of the time it was fine… considering the brevity of the dialogue but there were a few occasions where I would have to sort of count to see who said what.  This would have been more problematic if the speech patterns between some characters weren’t vastly different from one another…  it did become an issue on occasion though. With that said… I am still going to give this book a 4 page rating…it is not too often that I find a book that I can’t really put down and can finish in about two days.  So… if you are looking for something unique, or are into zombies… this book is a must read… for those not so into zombies… you might still want to give it a try… but I won’t blame you if zombies aren’t your thing…

Writer Wednesday – Patricia L. Beaudin

Let’s start with the basics. Who are you?
Tell us (briefly) about you…
I’m a born and raised Michigander. When I was in high school, I was into art and didn’t think I’d ever be able to write something decent. In my mid-twenties I decided to write down a story I had been thinking about for fun. The floodgates were opened with that story and I haven’t stopped writing since.

…and a bit about what you’ve written…
I love writing young adult. The stories always have some paranormal or fantasy elements.

…and what you’re working on right now.
A short story related to my debut novel, Being Human, called Sunlight. It takes place after Being Human and is in Jamie’s POV.

What are your earliest book-related memories?
I remember being in love with Clifford The Big Red Dog books. I had them all and reread them all the time.

What are your three favorite books?
Just three? Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, Willow by Julia Hoban, and The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

How many books to do you read at any given time? What are you reading now?
I only read one book at a time and usually from start to finish which means nothing gets done until I reach The End. I’m actually not reading anything right now. I have some stories by friends I need to beta.

Finish this sentence; when I curl up with a book, I ___
get lost in another world.

To re-read or not to re-read that is the question.
I don’t reread often, but only because I have so many new books I want to read.

How likely are you to read a book that’s been recommended to you?
Not likely. Goodreads has book recommendations and I have people recommend books and I rarely pick those books up. It’s not that I don’t think the books would interest me, it’s more I already have a giant TBR pile that I’m trying to get through.

How likely are you to recommend a book (that isn’t yours)?
I do it a good bit. If I read a book that I really like, I’ll review it on my blog and that’s pretty much me recommending the book.

What do you look for in a good book?
I never really thought about it. Usually if I pick up a book it’s because the cover caught my attention and the back sounded interesting enough to open.

Why do you write?
I write because it’s fun and I like creating. I’ve always been creative so it’s a good outlet for me.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?
I honestly can’t say. I’d probably just be working at a restaurant as a cook or baker, but those jobs wouldn’t be my passion.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
All over. Things I see or hear, other writers, my imagination.

What has writing taught you about yourself?
I can do things I didn’t think I could do. I always thought I was an awful writer, but I gave it a shot and it worked out. I know not everyone will like my stories, but they are good.

How do the people in your life seem to view your writing career?
My grandma is beyond proud and tells me all the time. I figure my parents are too, but we don’t really discuss my writing too much. I’m not much of a talker, even with my family. Usually, I thinking, “Don’t ask me about my writing. Don’t ask me about my writing.” when I’m with family.

Are there any stereotypes about writers that you don’t think are true?
Not that I can think of.

What do you see as the biggest challenge today for writers starting out?
Getting noticed. There are so many books being released each day now. Self publishing really opened the doors for writers, but it also means that you have to work twice as hard to get noticed.

Have you made any writing mistakes that seem obvious in retrospect but weren’t at the time?
My first paperback of Being Human I forgot page numbers. When I was formatting for e-book, the guide I used said take out the page numbers, you don’t need them. Then when I started on the paperback, I forgot to add them back. It took me a few months to finally put the page numbers in because I thought I needed to buy a new ISBN number and I didn’t have the money. Turns out I didn’t.

Is there a particular project you would love to be involved with?
I’d like to have a story in an anthology, but I’m horrible with deadlines. A friend asked me to be in one she was putting together and she said the deadline was Christmas. I couldn’t write a single thing for the story idea I thought up because all I could focus on was the deadline. Deadlines are my Kryptonite.

How do you deal with your fan base?
By being really excited. My fan base isn’t very big yet, so when I have a fan talk to me, I act like a fangirl and jump and squee. LOL

Finish this sentence; my fans would be surprised to know ___ about me.
I’m a lot more anti-social than they think. Talking online is super easy because I’m hiding behind a computer screen, but if any of them met me in real life, I wouldn’t be half as chatty.

Anything else we should know?
This is the kind of question you don’t ask me. I always say nothing, even when I have a lot of new things happening in my life. I can’t help it though, I’m anti-social and an introvert. You have to drag me kicking and screaming and then I say things like, “This was so much fun. Let’s do it again.” Not even kidding. It has happened multiple times.

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