By: Melanie | September 14, 2013 | (22) Comments

Review: This Is Not A Test by Courtney SummersThis Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Post Apocalyptic, YA
Pages: 323
Source: Library
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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?

Zombies! Apocalypse! Fighting for survivial! Unexpectedly, This Is Not A Test wasn’t really that. It was almost the opposite.

I was rather surprised to finish this book and realise how unzombielike this novel was. In some ways, Courtney Summers threw in her contemporary ninja elements into this seemingly gruesomely terrifying book. Not to say I was disappointed with the lack of zombie-ness. I was glad of it. I am not a fan of zombies; creepy, mechanical like creatures. *shudders* Yet I understand some will be disheartened so here’s my warning now: this is not a zombie book; this is a book with zombies in it. This is not a test.

“Maybe the only way our story can end is varying degrees of sad.”

Sloane had it all figured out. She had it all planned out. Then tomorrow happened and she was lost again. After her mother’s death and sister’s escape, Sloan has been living with her abusive father, and she is absolutely fed up of the banter. She wants it to end. And she almost did if it weren’t for her ending up at her school with 5 other teens, fighting for survival. But Sloane isn’t. Ironically, in the zombie apocalypse, she wants to die. It’s all she’s ever wanted. She’s waiting for the zombies to come for them. Waiting for them to kill her. However during her time, stuck with 5 children battling to live, she begins to observe how much life means to others before her eyes. And maybe, they’ll make her life worth living again.

This Is Not A Test is chiefly, a character driven novel. Each character holds a place that is so significant and substantial that I don’t think Courtney could’ve chosen any others. They all were clearly distinguished and drawn, I must say, characters like Rhys were so full of hope and motives; I could hear him booming commands in my ear. These characters will never be forgotten, they may all share the same motive (excluding Sloane), but have unique personalities that readers will grow to love.

This Is Not A Test brings out attention to how worthy our lives are and how meaningful and consequential hope and will are. And how these elements can affect others around us, and how they can save lives. Even in the worst of situations. Such as, I dunno… a zombie apocalypse? I’d just like to point out why I deducted half a star: the feeling of falling and landing on your bum feels unsettling and just odd. The ending was too abrupt for my taste- and I still had a few probing questions about many issues. But of course, some will love the ending!

All in all, I was taken aback at Courtney’s skills in This Is Not A Test, her writing is still flowing strong and I don’t think there’ll ever be a dull moment with her books. To be honest, I don’t have many compliments left for Courtney, she seems to score high in every aspect, every genre.

 

4.5 Stars
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Melanie

Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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22 Responses to Review: This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

  1. OHEMGEEE. This book was absolutely kick-ass and sad all at once. One of my favs too. The characters were defintely a strong part in this novel- they were so hopeful unlike Sloane (who I actually hated for like half of it). Wonderful review!

  2. Amelia says:

    fantastic review, Melanie. This book teared me up and I really liked the ending unlike you- it left us readers to imagine what happened but I must say, I have a few questions of my own!

  3. Celine says:

    Wow, you’re really going through a Courtney Summers-phase! Haha.

    Your review is really fantastic, Mel <3 It makes me really curious for this book and I really, really, really need to read one of her books!
    Celine recently posted…Book Talk Topic: Growing Up As A ReaderMy Profile

  4. I totally agree that this was primarily a character-driven novel. I wasn’t expecting the zombies to play such a minimal part, but it was definitely a refreshing change and it worked wonderfully for the book. I’m so glad this impressed you too! Fantastic review as always. 🙂
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted…Review: Fearsome Dreamer by Laure EveMy Profile

  5. This Is Not A Test was pretty awesome, no?! I’m a huge fan of zombie books, but I was still equally impressed and intrigued when this book turned out NOT to be about zombies, but a book WITH zombies. I can’t remember much about the story other than it was quite character-driven and that I enjoyed it a lot (what Chen did near the end/in the middle was so heartbreaking), but yes. Courtney has some mad skills and I loved the message this book presented to us. Definitely looking forward to more from her! Fab review, Melanie!
    Megan @ Adrift on Vulcan recently posted…Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters {Film Review}My Profile

  6. I pre-ordered this book and still haven’t gotten around to reading it. Ugh!! I feel like such a fail. I have heard nothing but awesome things about this book and author. I need to get to it soon. Awesome review hon!!
    Amy @ Book Loving Mom recently posted…Audiobook Review: The Beginning of Everything by Robyn SchneiderMy Profile

  7. I really liked this book. It was an interesting take on zombies. It was more about the effect of the constant fear than the real treat. The only thing I didn’t like was the ending, unless this would turn out to be a first book 🙂 Great review Mel ^^
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Review 196. Leigh Bardugo – Siege and storm.My Profile

  8. Rachel says:

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about this story and I have a copy so I need to read this soon. I’ve heard it isn’t much about zombies which is kind of a disappointment for me, but oh well. Great review, Melanie. 🙂
    Rachel recently posted…A Kid’s Perspective: Judging a Book by it’s Cover #5My Profile

  9. Tanja says:

    Oh I love your blog design!!! It’s so pretty.

    Anyhow I’ll completely agree with you about this one. While it is a book about zombies at the same time the lack of them is what makes this book really good. I love how focus is on people and their feelings. It’s so real. Amazing review Melanie 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Fractured by Teri TerryMy Profile

  10. Alise says:

    It’s Courtney Summers week on YA Midnight Reads 😉 I love that you have found an author that you like so much! I’ve seen her books around a lot but still have yet to pick any of them up. From your review, I can definitely see how this one is more contemporary than zombie but it’s great that it didn’t hinder the book too much. I also like the fact this one has a clear message.
    Alise recently posted…DNF Review: Hidden WingsMy Profile

  11. This sounds so good and I’m definitely going to check it out now.

    Great review, Melanie! <3
    Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (16)- The Bath Kids Lit Fest EditionMy Profile

  12. Lyn Kaye says:

    I do love this book. I like that it was character-driven, and that the MC had to figure out the urge to live right in the middle of a crisis.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #58My Profile

  13. This is the one Courtney book I’ve read already and I loved it. I actually like zombies, but I love the twist on a zombie novel for this one.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Who Says You Have To Do All Your Holiday Shopping Alone?My Profile

  14. Alisa says:

    This sounds amazing. I’m moving it up in my TBR list.
    Alisa recently posted…Fire and Flood Excerpt and GiveawayMy Profile

  15. Sarah J says:

    Great review! I felt like the ending was abrupt and I still want more, but I’m also fine with where Sloane’s story left off. It’s great seeing another Summers fan!
    Sarah J recently posted…A Corner of White by Jaclyn MoriartyMy Profile

  16. Oooh I’ve heard a lot about this book and it sounds awesome! Thanks for the warning about it not being predominantly about zombies. Sounds like Courtney Summers is one to watch 🙂 Great review hun!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Tidal by Emily Snow Review: A quick, sexy fun readMy Profile

  17. Megan says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one so much. I’m not sure how I would feel about a zombie book without to much zombie action. Who knows, maybe I would love it.
    Megan recently posted…Megan Likes (New) BooksMy Profile

  18. I found this one to be more contemporary than horror, but I still enjoyed it! Glad you did too!

    Fabulous review, Melanie 🙂
    Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads recently posted…Kinslayer Blog Tour: Review + GiveawayMy Profile

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