A Zombie You Can Take Home to Your Parents

I learnt of a new genre this week and fell in love with a zombie for the second time. Zom-Rom-Com is a romantic comedy featuring a zombie as a leading romantic lead.

He’s cute, endearing and with a droll and funny sense of humour. He’s ‘R’ and he’s the zombie hero of Warm Bodies, a great Young Adult book by Isaac Marion that I really enjoyed last year, and is now a great new movie out in the theaters at present.

We have all got used to the lovable if troubled vampire, via the  True Blood television series, the books it was based on by Charlene Harris, and of course the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer that spurned a generation of movie vampire heart throbs.

But Zombies? They eat people, and they’re dead, so where’s the appeal? R doesn’t remember his past, just a shuffling existence around a deserted airport terminal in a post apocalyptic world. The remaining humans who have been spared the virus that has turned most of the world to zombies are holed up in a fortress and when R meets Julie, the daughter of leader of the human resistance, something sparks his humanity and he spares her, and becomes determined to save her and in the process saves himself.

The humour is great. In the movie there is a scene where ‘R’ tries to remember what life was like before, his voice over talks of a romanticised view of people connecting, loving, enjoying each other’s company, and we find ourselves looking at a busy airport terminal where everyone is connected alright, but to phones, computers, i-pods, all together but disconnected.

In both the book and the movie, the horror that is usually at the core of Zombie-hood is not at the core of the story, but love, acceptance and taking risks for others are.

Warm Bodies is a great story and has been made into a great movie, a faithful film recreation of a unique written story that is often hard to find.

Chick Lit for beginners

If you read chick lit, (and let’s face it heaps of us do), then you can now hold your head high!  The latest award on the Literary front is for Comedy Romance and has been won this year by Lisa Jewell for 31 Dream street Lisa Jewell is no stranger to Comedy Romance (or Chick Lit genre), and had this to say at the award ceremony:

You feel undervalued when you write the kind of fiction I write,” she said. “So it’s great to have this genre given its own night of appreciation and recognition. To win is just wonderful.

I feel somewhat uneasy by this statement. If an author as prolific and as capable as Lisa Jewell feels undervalued, then what are those of us who read these books supposed to feel? 

So hooray for Joanna Trollope, (a judge on this years Romantic Comedy panel) Her blog, “Why I love Chick Lit” sums up pretty well why Chick Lit is so popular.

Comedy romance works for readers because the jokes are underpinned by recognisably real people in recognisably real situations – disappointment, frustration, loneliness, anger, sadness and all the grim old daily human carry-on. In fact, without the gravitas, the jokes wouldn’t work.

So come out from under those duvet covers, and celebrate an award that recognises that chick lit isn’t just froth and nonsense!