Contaminated (Contaminated #1)

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4.7 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
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Contaminated (Contaminated #1)
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
July 23, 2013
ISBN
9781606843543
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After the Contamination - an epidemic caused by the super-trendy diet drink SlimPro that turned ordinary citizens into shambling creatures unable to control their violent impulses - the government rounded up the "Connies" to protect the remaining population. But now, two years later, the government's started sending the rehabilitated back home, complete with shock collars that will either stop the Connies from committing violent acts or kill them before they do any further harm.

Since her parents were taken in the roundup, Velvet Ellis has struggled to care for her ten-year-old sister and maintain a sense of normalcy, despite brutal government rations and curfews. She goes to the "Kennels" every day searching for her parents, and when she finds her mother, she's eager to bring her home. Maybe, eventually, they'll be able to get back to the way things were before. But even though it seems that her mother is getting better (something that the government says is impossible), there will be no happy transition. Anti-Connie sentiment is high, and rumor has it that an even worse wave of the Contamination is imminent. And then the government declares that the Connies will be rounded up and neutralized, once and for all.

Sacrificing everything - her boyfriend, her home, and her job - Velvet will do anything to protect her mother. Velvet has to get the collar off her mother before the military comes to take her away. Even if it means risking all of their lives.

Gritty and grabbing, Contaminated is a harrowing, emotionally charged dystopic venture into YA from a well-known and respected writer of women's fiction.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Much More Than a Zombie Book
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
When I first picked up Contaminated, it sounded like the average run of the mill zombie book. And don't get me wrong, I love those books. They are great to bring to the beach or to curl up under the covers with at night. But Contaminated is so much more.

Velvet narrates her experiences with the "zombie plague". She is quick to explain that that's just what the government thought- zombies-just like in the movies and popular tv shows. This leads the government( and society) to mass murder of people who, aren't really zombies at all, but contaminated with a disease that ate at parts of their brains. This disease was transmitted in a weight loss drink. The whole scenario makes the events in the book seem more plausible than any other description of a "zombie plague."

Contaminated is not your average zombie book. It isn't the sort of book that describes how people hunting down zombies or goes into gory details about how zombies are violently attacking civilians and eating them. The book focuses more on the reality behind what happened first and how society tries to rebuilds itself. It makes you think of the bigger picture- not just what would happen if there were "zombies". What happens when the government is wrong? What if we follow orders from others without thinking, without using are brains- what happens if we are the zombies?

Em Garner is a fantastic world builder, who creates a story that teens and adults can connect to without feeling weighed down by too much details. If you are looking for a lit summer read that has some depth- read Contaminated. Zombie lovers will enjoy the book and those who like stories of survival, family, and the power of the human mind will never want to put this book down. Can't wait to read more from Em Garner.
Good Points
Couldn't put it down!
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What might REALLY happen...
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Velvet is struggling after the devastating catastrophe that killed her father and reduced her mother to a zombie. The animal proteins in ThinPro made the brains of those who ingested it look "like Swiss cheese" and turned them into violent monsters. At first, all affected were just killed, but when the government found they could lobotomize them or fit them with shock collars, some people survive. Velvet has been trying to go to school and support her sister by working part time in a nursing home while living in government subsidized housing. She's glad when she finally locates her mother at a kennel for "connies" run by Jean and her son Dillon, but when her landlord finds out that her mother has moved home, he kicks her out. With Dillon's help, Velvet moves back to her old house far from town, which leads to other problems, such as losing her job and having to take her sister out of school. Her mother seems to be improving, however, so she keeps on. When a secondary outbreak of the disease causes the government to round up any one wearing a collar, Velvet has to find a way to save her mother yet again.
Good Points
I really, really want to read the sequel RIGHT NOW. I think there will be one because of the ending, but can't find official confirmation. The dystopian setting was very realistic, Velvet tries so hard to keep things together, and I liked her romance with Dillon. I loved all the realistic details of how Velvet and her sister survive, and about how society changes when so many people are affected.
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