This is Not a Test- Courtney Summers

Written By: Kellie - Jul• 25•12

Synopsis: It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to? -Goodreads

Review: When this book was pitched to me as ‘The Breakfast Club meets The Walking Dead‘, this really isn’t what I was expecting. It’s still really good, but it’s really more of dark contemporary novel that happens to be set in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. The main character Sloane is deeply depressed and has essentially lost all will to live, and this was before the zombie outbreak. Things certainly aren’t going to get any easier.

This books starts with a bang and ends with a bang (and a bit of a cliffhanger considering this seems to be a standalone), and I loved every second. You aren’t going to get a lot of the hows or whys concerning the zombie virus outbreak which I know will bug some people, but for me those weren’t really the important details.

A few reviews that I’ve seen have criticized the slow pace in the middle of the book, but I loved it!  It very much reminded me of how much I loved Life As We Knew It. Sometimes survival isn’t about the epic battles but the quiet moments waiting to see if you’ll live or die. There are some great zombie moments in this book, but the human moments are so much better.

The characters are great and dynamic, they act like real people. For example, the potential love interest for Sloane is a smoker. That is really not something you see very often now (and for good reason) and it made him that much more believable. Sloane’s depression and suicidal thoughts are also a constant presence despite everything that is going on around her. She may be practically alone in an abandoned high school but that girl’s ghosts still haunt her, and that isn’t an easy thing to shake.

I’m not usually a big fan of angst, and when you lock six teenagers in a high school at the end of the world you’re probably asking for trouble but every heart wrenching moment or personality clash was handled perfectly and not just for the sake of adding in some drama. I don’t want to say too much as going into this book mostly blind made for a great read. The zombies will probably be a big draw for a lot of you, but if you’re anything like me you’ll stick around because of anything else. I highly recommend you check this one out.

Buy the book @Amazon (US) @Amazon (CAN)

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Second Opinions:
@BookNerd.ca
@Debbie’s World of Books
@Novel Thoughts

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One Comment

  1. You know, I have heard good things about this, but now I really want to read it! And, of course, I do love zombie books. ;)

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