Author: Em Garner
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Source: Publisher for Review
Edition: eArc (336 pages)
Cover Review: This cover is so creepy and I just love it so much.
Main Character: Velvet Ellis
After the Contamination - an epidemic caused by the super-trendy diet drink ThinPro 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.
*Thank you to EgmontUSA for the e-copy in exchange for an honest review!*
Em lives in a world where ThinPro had once taken over the world. Everyone was drinking it even though it was pretty much only water with protein. It was mostly for those who wanted to lose weight, though more than people who wanted to lose weight actually drank the water. The thing is, the demand for ThinPro got so high that they started getting protein from animals so the water wasn't even vegetarian. People started going crazy as they began to lose their minds. They drank the contaminated water so they became Connies, which are people that can't control themselves anymore. They could attack you or kill you for whatever reason.
The government has tried different forms of solving this problem, such as picking your eye or using shock collars. They even began taking in all of the Connies to try to contain them. If you've lost a parent and one of your parents are taken in as a Connie, you are allowed to go and take them back. This is exactly what Velvet does because she lives at home alone with her sister, Opal. Opal is ten years old and Velvet is 17, so Velvet is in charge because of the new laws passed. In order to stay in charge of her sister, Velvet must continue sending Opal to school why she only goes to school in the morning and works in the afternoon.
It's been said that once you're contaminated, there's no going back. You'll never be the same again, The thing is, it seems as if Velvet's mom isn't following this general statement. Can Connies get better? Will Velvet and Ellis be able to continue surviving in this world where the rules are constantly changing?
Contaminated is such a unique book. I haven't read many zombie books, so I always get excited when I get the chance to read one. I instantly fell in love with the world and the idea of a diet drink gone wrong. I just thought it was such an interesting way to cause zombies. I also really liked how parts of the past were woven in throughout the story. You didn't get told straight off what had caused everything. You had to slowly place the pieces together as they were given to you.
I really loved the characters in this story as well. Velvet was so loving and protective of her sister. Living in the world that she lives in, Velvet has to be strong, and I'd say that she was even stronger than strong. No matter what happened to her, she always tried to think positive. I also really appreciated how she was in control of her sister and Opal didn't give her much trouble, besides when it was about school. Opal was such a nice little sister. I couldn't imagine being that young and living in a world that she lives in. It's gotta be so tough on her, especially since she didn't even get a lot of time in the normal world. The new world is practically all that she knows.
I really liked how there was an option for people to take back the Connies if they were related. I'm very glad that there were people like Jean that watched the Connies as well and took care of them, especially if she didn't really have to. I also loved Dylan. I won't get too much into that, because I could go on for paragraphs, and I don't want to make you bored. In short: Dylan is just so caring and understanding. He's just so lovable.
I definitely loved how this book was written and I may have to buy my own copy because of how awesome this book was. This is the first book in a while that I can honestly say I couldn't believe when it was over. Since I read an e-copy, I literally kept swiping the page trying to see if there was more, but sadly there wasn't. I really loved this book and I can't wait to read more by Em Garner in the future, especially because she comes up with such compelling novel ideas such as this one.
Recommended for fans of:
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers