Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Well...Kinda Zombies Part One: YA books not quite, but nearly about zombies

Contaminated by Em Garner, Egmont 2013

Velvet Ellis lives in a different world as a teen than she did as a child.  There is no time for play, and very little time for school.  Velvet wishes she could have her old life back at home with her parents making all of the decisions, but that life is over.  It's more about survival now...,.

It all started with the newest drink, ThinPro, that helps you lost the weight you want to.  Most everyone in the country drank it, but little did they know they were drinking more than water.  And when the Contamination hit, the people who drank ThinPro changed.

The contaminated are now called Connies, raging mind-numbing people who barely resemble their former selves.  They're raging creatures, stumbling slowly toward the next victim regardless of who it could hurt them.  They look like zombies, but they aren't.  And Velvet's parents both became Connies.

Velvet has never given up trying to find her mother.  Every week she goes to the kennel to try and find her among the fetid, contaminated cages of people waiting to be found.  And one day, Velvet literally stumbles upon her mother.  It's time to take her home.

Connies don't change much.  They are still prone to being raging creatures, so to help protect the general population, they must wear collars that will stun them into submission.  There are certain protocols to keeping a contaminated person, and Velvet quickly realizes that trying to take of her sister, keeping a roof over their heads, going to school and working a job, and now taking care of her mother is too much.  Something's got to give...

And then it does...

Em Garner writes a brilliant dystopian novel whose premise of the downfall of the United States is unique and terrifying because it is based on something that could potentially happen.  The contamination knows no boundaries and affects anyone and everyone.  Garner brings in so many variants of society vs. man, including vanity, morality, prejudice and discrimination and survival of the fittest.  She creates a future world where history from the past is repeating itself.  The first chapter will rivet the reader to continue through the book and they will stay entranced with the unfolding story to the very end.  There has to be a sequel...and I can't wait to continue this story!  Recommended for JH/HS

Non-fiction pair:
 Invincible Microbe: tuberculosis and the never-ending search for a cure by Jim Murphy and Alison Blank

If you like this then you'll like...
Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
Z by Michael Thomas Ford

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