Review of This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Release Date: June 19th 2012
Genres: Horror, Contemporary, Zombies
Pages: 323
Format: eBook


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?

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Argh *zombie noises* Can zombies be excited about really great zombie books? Because if they could I bet they would be excited about this one. This Is Not A Test is a horror/zombie tale with a strong contemporary feel and somehow, that just works. With contemporary, I sometimes find myself a little bored as the pace feels slower. However This Is Not A Test kept up the contemporary tone and feel but also kept the action and sense of danger, despite the majority of the book being set in just one building. I would say this was one of the scariest zombie books I have ever read.

My heart really went out for Sloane, her life was just rubbish, seriously. She was constantly being beaten up by her father, like seriously beaten up, the can't go to school because the bruises are showing type. On top of that her sister had recently run away and now there's actual real life (dead life?) zombies banging on the doors. She was so broken I wasn't sure we were going to make it to the end of the first couple of chapters with her, let alone the whole book. She had literally lost the will to live, in the worst possible time.

The other characters had their own faults too, although I won't lie, I kept getting Cary and Rys mixed up at times. I felt that the most interesting person was Harrison, who was one of those wet type of guys who I would probably shoot first or use at bait during a zombie apocalypse. While he moans and complains about not having one anything in his short life, he won't do anything about it either. He's more than happy to follow around whoever he senses as the leader. However I didn't hate him as much as I hated Trace. He was damaged, having just lost his parents but his twin sister Grace didn't act anywhere near as much of a ass as he did. Every time he started getting at Cary it set my teeth on edge.

At around 95% I was wondering how Courtney would end the book and if there would be unfinished questions or if she'd kill everyone off at that point but somehow in the little bit of extra percent left, she managed to finish off the story perfectly. There was unanswered questions but I felt like it ended in the right place. I enjoyed her writing style so much I went out the next day and bought two more of her books. I would happily read a sequel to this or more zombie books though...

5/5

2 comments:

  1. OH I WANT THIS. I like zombie books. My sister looks at me in disgust, but I just like them for some reason. (I also like to freak myself out.) But is it just me or is Sloane such a typical YA name these days??! ;) I already feel for Sloane though....awww, I need this book. Badly. Great review!!!

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  2. Oh I loved this book even though it is totally out of my comfort zone. It's beautiful in a haunting way! I love the idea of your Unstacking the Shelves :)

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