Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Published: June 19, 2012
Publisher: St. Matin's Griffin
Pages: 323
Received: bought

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?

I think I just found one of my top books of the year! This world isn't just about the zombies lurking outside, it's about the hardship and emotional roller coaster that the survivors go through while trying to make it through an apocalypse they never thought they'd ever see. 

Sloane is definitely my favourite character in this story, because she is facing harder decisions than any of the other teens she finds herself hiding amongst. With the urge to let her life end due to the family life she has endured for so long, Sloane feels she owes it to her fellow survivors to tough it out for their sake since they all want to live. She feels it would be selfish to put any of them at risk if she offs herself, because they would need to dispose of her body and they've also seen so much death that it isn't fair to add that to their plates as well. Somehow this zombie outbreak, Sloane shows signs of hope for survival and the ability to help others make it through this mess of a life. I was pulling for her throughout this book and nervous every time an opportunity came up where she could end her life.
“Waiting around to be saved is like waiting to die and I have done more of both than anyone else in the room.” 
The story itself is more about the teenagers who are trying to make it through everything and not really about the zombies. The zombies are a bonus actually, since you do see them a few times and they are quite interesting. The part that seems so thrilling and horrific happens when the zombies are surrounding their hideout and there is that fear of them making it through all of their barricades and not knowing where they can all run to next to keep from being attacked and turned. I think that part is always in the back of your mind while you are reading the emotional stories of these high school students' new lives. 
“We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the soundtrack of our own impending death.” 
The students are all actually from different backgrounds and you really get to learn a lot about their true selves and not the personas they had during their high school days. They all face extremely hard decisions and terrifying circumstances, but the one thing they all share is how much they've all changed since the outbreak happened.
“This must be what Dorothy felt like, I think. Maybe. If Dorothy was six scared teenagers and Oz was hell.” 
This was a very fast read for a book over 300 pages. It kept my interest from page one and I fell in love with a few of the characters - Sloane and Rhys. The situations that happen in this book felt so real and like you are right there living this crazy new way of life with Sloane and her five new friends. This book ends with somewhat of a conclusion (one that shows the changes Sloane has gone through emotionally), though I would love to see a sequel. 

About the author:
Courtney Summers can't wait for the zombie apocalypse. Also she is the author of CRACKED UP TO BE and SOME GIRLS ARE, FALL FOR ANYTHING and THIS IS NOT A TEST, four edgy young adult novels published by St. Martin's Press.You can read more of her bio here, but I did want to mention that she is an Ontario author! (I love meeting and/or finding Canadian authors). 


  1. Been hearing great things about this one. Have to put it on my list. Enjoyed your review. It kind of reminds me a little of Monument 14, which I really liked.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Annette! I loved this book. And I have heard great things about Monument 14 too... I must add that one to my wishlist. :)


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