Title : Contaminated
Author : Em Garner
Source : Netgalley
Pages : 336
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.
Contaminated wasn't what I expected. Its not your typical Zombie book.
ThinPro is a revolution in a weight loss product. Everyone is drinking it by the bucket load. Suddenly people are going berserk and getting violent and the government are rounding them up to see why. They experiment on them until they eventually realise that whats causing it is linked back to ThinPro. They round up all the Contaminated and put a special collar on them that makes them helpless. Now anyone who had a loved one fall victim to the contamination can bring them home.
Contaminated isn't focused on the Zombie aspect but more the survival and impact the contamination had on the world. Velvet has been looking for her mother ever since she was contaminated. She finds her and brings her home and Contaminated focuses on the struggle to care for her and her sister.
It isn't the most action packed book but it still is a great read. Velvet has so much to deal with and does it stoically. You really feel for her and her struggle to do everything. Life for her is nothing like it was. She has to leave school to get a full time job just to make money for food. She lives in assisted housing but when she brings her mother home, she is thrown out because she isn't allowed "one of those things" in the place. They move back to the house they used to live in before all this happened. Velvet has to do, and try to teach, everything to her mother. Most "Connies" wont get any better but Velvet has high hopes for her mother.
I loved the introduction of Dillon towards the end. Velvet has a boyfriend but ends up breaking up with him because basically he is a douche bag!! Jean (the lady who owns the place where the "Connies" live) introduces Velvet to Dillon and they hit it off. He is more understanding of her mothers situation and does all he can to help.
The concept of this book was great. Its kind of like "look what the price of trying to be thin will do" They drink ThinPro to get slim but end up becoming monsters.
As I said, Contaminated isn't action packed, nor is it centered on zombies but it still took me by surprise. I will definitely read the next book to see what happens.