by Em Garner
Release: July 23rd 2013
Genre:Fiction- YA: Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, zombies
How I got it: Received an ARC from NetGalley
After the Contamination—an epidemic caused by the super-trendy diet drink SlimPro that turned ordinary citizens into violent, uncontrollable creatures—the government rounded up the “Connies” to protect the remaining population. Now, two years later, the rehabilitated are being allowed home, complete with shock collars that will either control, or kill, them.
Velvet Ellis has struggled to care for her ten-year-old sister since her parents were taken in the round up. When she finds her mother in one of the “Kennels,” Velvet resolves to do whatever it takes to put her family back together. But the danger isn’t over. It’s beginning all over again…
Review: Wow! This was an amazing read.
Velvet is a seventeen year old woman who has the weight of the world pressing down on her. Since her parent were contaminated after drinking slim pro a diet protein water, she has been protecting her little sister Opal and trying her best to deal with the world falling apart. When she finally finds her mother in a "Kennel" she thinks things are looking up.
In my opinion Velvet is one of the strongest female main characters I've read in a long time. This is because she actually reaches her breaking point several times in the book, yet gathers herself up and fights even when the world is beating her down. She is an amazing character, backed by great secondary characters. Her little sister Opal is ten and while not as world weary as her sister, she is a strong little kid. She doesn't let things get her down and has the ability that children have to bounce back. Dillon is a wonderful love interest for Velvet sweet, caring, and understanding he's everything you'd want in a boyfriend.
The plot is great, I was swept into Velvets world. Ms Garner's world building is amazing, and very believable. A world where the government has a tight rein on the citizens and yet the some what lawless aspect where well melded together. I found the discrimination against "Connies" to be a great plot device and also thought it was an interesting message. Showing how discrimination can effects people, and repercussions in the extremes. Watching Velvet struggle through growing into her role as parent and caregiver, was enticing I became invested in Velvet's future. It was very hard for me to put this book down as the book progressed and things became worst for Velvet and her family. The cliffhanger ending was a bit frustrating, but I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.