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"Relentlessly horrifying... a bone-chilling, riveting debut." (Ann Aguirre, USA Today best-selling author) Gritty and grabbing, Contaminated is a harrowing, emotionally charged dystopic venture into YA.
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.
Releases simultaneously in electronic book format (ISBN 978-1-60684-355-0)
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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.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.
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