Review: Contagion by Teri Terry

Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Teri Terry is one of my favourite writers. I’ve read everything she’s written bar the sequel to Dangerous Minds. Contagion is the start of a new series, and since Slated is one of my all time favourite dystopian stories, there was a lot to live up to. And what’s the number one thing we always end up saying about high expectations? It’s pretty much our motto…

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Contagion is a dual perspective story focused on Shay, a girl who knows new details concerning the whereabouts of a missing girl, and Callie, you guessed it, the missing girl who’s been captured by someone who resembles Papa from ‘Stranger Things’ to a scary degree. Both girls are existing in a world where a strange disease has gripped most of Scotland, one that’s incredibly contagious (surprise, surprise) and can cause supernatural powers in any survivors. The two girls are brought together by a boy, Callie’s brother and Shay’s love interest, who really just works as The Guy With A Motorcycle.
There’s a lot of potential in all of these things, but the combination of them all felt a little…predictable. The story didn’t take a second to get settled – you’re thrown right in with a countdown at the beginning of every chapter, so your expectations are high for something badass to happen. And it does, it really does, but I couldn’t tell you much of what happened in the second half. I think this definitely fell victim to a first book in the series reading more like a prologue. All the information could have been given in a threatening newspaper article at the start of the second book (which should be the first.)
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The main thing that stops me from liking this book, though, is the insta-love. Oh, it was strong. Practically pungent. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book where a couple fall in love that quickly. I think they only knew each other for about two days before they were the most important people in each other’s lives. [And after the ending, it felt like the insta-love was just there to amp up emotional investment, reading for the sequel to follow the classic separate-the-lovers trope.] It didn’t work for me, because I didn’t know the characters well enough on their own, so I couldn’t get behind them as a couple.
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Overall, I’m giving Contagion 2 stars. I’m really sad that it’s so low, because I did enjoy the pacing and Callie’s characters as Eleven transplanted into a YA story. But, if one half of the story wasn’t gripping me…I still have hope for the sequel and I can just tell it’s going to be more jam-packed with action and tension, but it was definitely a rocky start to a new series.
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How much insta-love can you deal with on a scale of one to ten? And, slightly off topic, but have you watched Stranger Things?
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