The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern :: Indescribably Different

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern has been the talk of the town for the past few months. No¬†surprise, with such a deliciously quirky cover. But it’s strange. Every time I ask somone who’s read it to describe the plot, I’m met with blank, dreamy stares. Not one person could get beyond, “well, it’s about a circus that only comes at night (wow, really?), and, I don’t know, it’s hard to describe. But you should definitely read it.” So finally, I amazoned a copy right to my door. And I must say, I get it now.
How do you describe this indescribable book? I’ve spent the last half hour writing summary after summary, but I can’t quite nail it down. Nothing I write can capture the magic, mystery and ellusiveness of this novel. It’s just something you have to read for yourself. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. Is it the best book I’ve ever read? No. But it’s the kind of book that you can’t compare to others. It doesn’t belong on the same rating scale. If you’ve read it, you probably understand where I’m coming from.


Zombies Bring Me To Life: Ending My 2-Month Book Drought

Phew. Finally, I feel alive again. All it took was a novel about corpses to rouse me from my book drought. In the Spring, I read three books – in a row, I might add – that knocked my stocks off. Books that were worthy of my Top 10 Favorites list. All from different authors. What are the odds of that? At the time, I felt invigorated, enthusiastic and just plain happy. (Yes, all it takes is a satisfying read to turn my frown upside down.) But the high I experienced from those three books quickly dissolved, leaving me with a foreign hollowness. Thus began the worst book drought of my life. Granted, it didn’t last very long. Only two months. But it was two months of sifting through page after painful page of lacklustre books with no foreseeable end.

Then I¬†picked up a book about zombies that was receiving high praise online. It’s called Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. I was tentative at the beginning. While I like almost anything post-apocalyptic and dystopian, a book that features a zombie protagonist wasn’t really my taste. Zombies have always been my boyfriends thing, not mine. Fortunately, Marion’s writing style compelled me to keep reading. I loved the way he humanized zombies, at least on the inside, giving them thoughts and urges and a greater likeness to humans as the story progressed.

The main character, R, hasn’t deteriorated like most of the zombies who live at the abandon airport terminal. He goes through the motions of standing and grunting and speaking a few words here and there, remembering nothing about who he was in his former life. And when hunger strikes, he and his zombie companions travel to the city to feed. During one particular outing, he eats a young man, Perry, whose brain gives him the most vivid flashes of human life. In Perry’s memories, R learns about his girlfriend Julie. R is instantly drawn to her, and when he finds her alive in the corner of the room, he does something no zombie has ever done before. He saves her.

R brings Julie back to the airport, where he keeps her safe in his home – a 747 boeing airplane. When Julie begins to relax around R, they form a bond. R helps Julie return to her home in a large stadium, where humans are trying to rebuild and protect their civilization. After she’s gone R realizes that something about Julie was humanizing him. He’s learned to speak many syllables at once, he’s losing his crave for human fresh, and he yearns to be with her. To protect her.

Disguised as a human, R infiltrates the stadium and finds Julie’s makeshift house. She tries to keep him concealed, but the security breach doesn’t go unnoticed for long. The human authorities know that a zombie is amongst them. Julie and R need to think fast. They need to prove that the zombies are changing. Not just R, but all of them. But in order to change that world, to truly restore it, the humans and zombies will have to work together.

Warm Bodies is a beautiful story of courage, growth, understanding and love reminiscent of Romeo & Juliet. You don’t need to be a zombie addict to enjoy this novel. And while I am still NOT a zombie addict myself, I do have a new appreciation for them. (But don’t tell my boyfriend or I’ll be stuck watching zombie movie marathons every weekend.)