Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Post Apocalyptic, YA
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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.
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