I have two absolutely wonderful YAs I just read. Both of these were great – like, I am envious of people who have yet to read them because I wish I could read them again for the first time.
Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion
Book description: R is a young man with an existential crisis–he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse. Just dreams.
After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a burst of vibrant color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that R lives in. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world…
My review: How Marion managed to make a romantic lead out of a zombie, I will always be in awe of. And yet he does it so well. R is charming and sweet, even as he is consuming brains. This book is both hilarious and sweet and I enjoyed it immensely.
Warm Bodies is one of those books I saw the movie first. I think the book is better – it much better describes R’s longing to be alive and the transformation that comes over him, but the whole time I read the book I was picturing Nicholas Hoult, so that was a little bonus! Very recommended.
Just One Day, by Gayle Forman
Book description: A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay
When sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.
My review: Wow. Okay, my friend has been telling me for ages to read this book, and like a fool I didn’t immediately follow her advice. This book is amazing. What with If I Stay, Gayle Forman is rapidly moving up the ranks to becoming my favourite author.
Not that this was always an easy read. Forman delves so well into the mindset of the angsty teenage girl, I could just feel what Allyson was feeling, and it wasn’t always nice. I think I would have loved this book in my late teens/early twenties when I was going through the same kind of painful discoveries that we all do at that time, and I enjoyed reading it now having the luxury of time away from that exciting and terrifying time of life.
It is beautifully written. You don’t always like Allyson, but you certainly cheer for her as she grows into herself. And it ends in such a way that you HAVE to know what is going to happen. I will sometimes say I’ll get the next book in a series, which is high praise from me. In this case, I immediately went out to get the next book. Can’t wait to read Just One Year! Thanks for this recommendation!