Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Source: Received a copy from the publisher to review
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 loved This is Not a Test! First of all, the title and cover are awesome -- I knew I wanted to read this book just from that.
The thing that stood out to me most about This is Not a Test was the style. It reminded me of a contemporary-literary YA book, with zombies. The main character, Sloane, is going through a lot more than the zombie apocalypse, with all the troubles she had to deal with at home. There would be a story to tell here even without the zombies, and the zombies amped it up to make it more intense. The different levels of this story are what make it unique, and is what made me continue to turn to pages.
This is a zombie book, but it's not full of blood and gore the entire time. (Yes, there is blood and gore, but not for the majority of the book). Because throughout most of the story, it is about five kids inside of a school while the zombie apocalypse goes on outside. I've heard this book described as "Breakfast Club meets Zombies," and that is SO TRUE! Besides Grace and Trace (who are twins), no one else in the school was friends before the zombies happened. They had seen each other around, and they do have small connections, but they would never call each other to hang out on a normal day. One of my favorite things about apocalyptic stories is how people who wouldn't normally be friends are forced to learn about each other and get along, and this book definitely served in that retrospect. I loved seeing the relationships develop throughout the story - especially the relationship between Sloane and Rhys.
And since this is a zombie story, and people are bound to die, I'm happy to say that Courtney Summers is not afraid to kill off characters the reader grows to like throughout the book! Also, each death was unique, and took me by surprise.
Final opinion: This is Not a Test is a unique addition to the zombie genre, with its contemporary-literary flair and the growing relationships through the story. If you're a zombie fan (or even if you've never read a zombie book and want to try one out), this book is for you!