I’d seen the trailers for the movie, but I didn’t even realize the movie was based on a novel. A friend of mine sent me the book for Christmas, saying I absolutely must read this before seeing the movie. I was fairly nonchalant about this given that I only just now found out that it was a book in the first place. I was really interested in the movie, though, so figured it’d probably be a decent read.
Wow. This is the first book in a long, long time that I absolutely couldn’t put down. I was 100 pages in before I even blinked. The writing style, the story, the characters – all of it just worked so well that I was lost in this alternate universe. It was the quintessential bookworm experience and one I’d missed lately.
The story is a sort of post-apocalyptic take on Romeo and Juliet, which I didn’t even realize until about halfway through. The author goes his own way and doesn’t try to fit his plot into each scene of the classic romance, but more uses it as a muse. Romeo in this case is R, a zombie. Juliet is Julie, one of the survivors of this book’s version of the zombie apocalypse. R isn’t your typical zombie though and the book is actually his narration.
It’s an unlikely love story, especially given when first the two star-crossed lovers meet, it’s right after R has eaten Julie’s boyfriend.
Ultimately, it’s so much more than a love story. It’s about people and coming together to find a way to not just survive, but to thrive and to LIVE. The humans that are left end up focusing so much on survival that there isn’t much else left. The zombies find a way to show them that there is life to be had yet, and there is hope.
The creativity and imagination behind this book are staggering. I was in love with it from page one. R being a zombie never really gave me pause and I was with him the entire way. I think this is Marion’s first novel and I hope it’s the first of many.
Now I’ll go see the movie and complain about how different it is from the perfection that is this novel.