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Contaminated [Kindle Edition]

Em Garner
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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

Releases simultaneously in electronic book format (ISBN 978-1-60684-355-0)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-"Contamination, not contagion," they said. When the "zombies apocalypse" happened, the zombies weren't exactly like the ones Velvet had seen in the movies. They didn't rise from their graves, weren't undead, and didn't create new ones of their kind when they attacked. Instead, they were just normal people who had tried a new sports drink that promised to help them lose weight. However, as the drink became more popular, the company was unable to keep up with demand, and they began cutting corners in the production of the active protein ingredient. Unfortunately, it took several waves of apparent zombie attacks before scientists realized that the lack of impulse control and the aggression were caused by a contamination in the bottled beverage. While Velvet's father was killed in the first wave of attacks, by the time her mother had turned, electric-shock collars had been created to manage the contaminated's aggression and return them to their families. At 16, Velvet has lived through immense horrors, and now it has fallen to her to raise her younger sister and to care for her mother, who will never fully recover. Garner's novel is a unique take on a popular genre. While there are intermittent moments of suspense, the horror elements take a backseat to Velvet's plight as she strives to provide for and protect her family.-Ryan F. Paulsen, New Rochelle High School, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

A weight-loss drug causes a zombielike disease. Supposedly a cure has been found, but the suspicion and fear left in its wake engenders political and moral conflicts about how to treat the permanently affected. Among those caught in the web is Velvet Ellis, who struggles with the ethics of taking care of her “rehabilitated” zombie mother and her 10-year-old sister in the midst of a postapocalyptic economy. As in the 2013 zombie film Warm Bodies—among others—debut author Garner focuses less on the immediate horror of a zombie invasion, and instead shifts her focus to the aftereffects that such a devastating disease would have on its victims and on America in general. This has plenty of suspense—it’s not a book to read at bedtime. But the fact that it’s not your average zombie story allows readers to reconsider the entire genre as well as the possible ramifications of our societal priorities. Grades 9-12. --Bethany Fort

Product Details

  • File Size: 1618 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (July 23, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B6OV8R8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,617 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A perfect balance between action and emotion July 24, 2013
Everyone has heard of the term "zombie apocalypse." But no one expects it to happen --- until it does. Only this time, the stakes are higher. Instead of the undead rising to feed on the living, it's living humans being turned into violent, uncontrollable --- zombie-like --- creatures.

Velvet Ellis and her younger sister witness it all. These creatures, called Connies, were just regular human beings months before, becoming contaminated by drinking a trendy diet drink called ThinPro. Velvet's mother and father both drank ThinPro; for months Velvet and Ellis live on their own in an assisted living home set up by the government to keep families away from harm and nearer to the city. Through the months that spiral by without word from their newly-turned Connie parents, new laws are passed and new technology is invented to neutralize the Connies so they will no longer be violent and uncontrollable. Another one of the newest advances are Connie kennels. Connie kennels are where the government keeps neutralized Connies, so their families may come and find them and hopefully, take them home. Velvet searches the Connie kennels everyday in hopes to find her mother. And one day she does.

However, getting her mother back comes at a cost. She must do everything within her power to keep her mother and little sister safe, which means sacrificing work, school and even her home to make a better life for her family. But one question still haunts Velvet and her sister: Will Mom ever be the same?

CONTAMINATED is a great book for anyone who doesn't want to read about zombies but wants the same thrill. The action is perfectly balanced, with a softer more emotional side to the story. For the most part, the characters were very well-developed.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As the story unfolds the author develops her charters without losing the story in detailed analysis. I personally could not stop thinking of the so called Patriot Act that Mr. Bush gave us. The government in this story seems to over react but then one has to ask of it is really an over the top program to contain the contamination. I read "gone to ground" by Gayle Forman which is also a fantasy and the social impact by world threatening problems. They were both the kind of book that once I started reading I did not put it aside for much of the things around me. I did get a bit abused fore coming to bed at 3:06 in the AM.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really absorbing book and real enough to be scary! April 9, 2014
What an original premise and Garner's writing is fluid and reads fast. I kept putting it down to make it last longer! Cannot wait to see next book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Diet drink dystopia! April 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Another good story for fans of YA dystopia. The premise is original....not zombies, but victims of diet drink poisoning. The heroine is what makes the book an enjoyable read. She's strong, like able and loyal. Enough romance to keep it pleasing. Can't wait for the sequel, which is due out soon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than A "Normal" Zombie Book April 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book really surprised me. I was expecting a "zombies are everywhere" story but the change in how the zombies came to be as well as what happened afterwards kept me reading. The characters are pretty developed and the story itself kept me reading far into the night. I was pleasantly surprised for a book that I felt was just going to be so-so. I am now anxiously awaiting the next book to see where Em Garner takes her characters. Give this book a try, you won't regret it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very impressed February 13, 2014
By Osgood
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved Velvet's character! She was so strong for her family. I could only hope that my daughters would be as strong if faced with an adversity. Every chapter held my attention and every word brought me closer to the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! January 9, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved the story.
strong characters, little bit of romance.
lots of twists and turns to keep you intrigued, interested.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great January 7, 2014
By lj
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book, especially how realistic it was, I hope they make a sequel if they haven't already.
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More About the Author

Em Garner began writing at a very young age, always preferring the stories about what goes bump in the night. An avid reader of horror, science-fiction and fantasy, she first turned her hand to short stories about the sorts of things that hide under the bed...and she kept right on going.

Now Em spends most of her time in front of her computer, writing away at all the ideas she has swirling around in her head and hoping she can get them into a story before she forgets them.

She loves zombies, unicorns, and rainbows, the color purple and the smell of roses. She hates the smell of lilies, the feeling of corduroy and biting sandpaper. (Well. Who doesn't?)

She lives at the beach with her family, where she spends a lot of time reading and sticking her feet in the sand. She is afraid of sharks, but that doesn't stop her from going in the water.

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