Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.
This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won’t be changed without a fight…“
Amazingly, this book manages to combine a simple and powerful message with a fun story, without one bogging down the other. Yes, it’s a zombie apocalypse tale, but it’s cerebral. Yes, it’s romantic but it’s not a typical romance story. I’d call it fiction, but it’s a little bit of everything.
I finished this book in 2 days. It could have been one day, both because it’s short and because I didn’t want to put it down, but I didn’t want it to end. R, the narrator, is a fantastic voice: he’s analytical, patient, hopeful, self-aware, and simple. He’s also very relatable, despite being a zombie.
I started this book because I loved the premise, and I knew they made a movie off it. How could the movie do the book any justice? The concept can be there, but the book has so much nuanced meaning and thought (and Frank Sinatra references). I felt like the book was an intimate letter from the author (who, by the by, is my age exactly and lives in my city and now I really want to buy this man a cup of coffee).
In short (or long), I loved it. I highly recommend this one for fans of fiction, hope, atypical zombie stories, or romance; thirtysomething readers; futurists; those who enjoy studying human culture and concepts; and anyone wanting a short but powerful read. This may be the third-ever book in my life that gets re-read every year, so I recommend it for everyone.