Friday, February 13, 2015

[Review: This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers]

"This is Not a Test"
Author: Courtney Summers
Series: This is Not a Test #1
Pages: 326
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Zombie
Date Published: June 19th, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Format Read: Gifted paperback


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?

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To This Is Not A Test,

WOW, I think I'm still picking up pieces of my heart off the floor. You were nothing like I thought you were going to be, but that's not a bad thing, because you ended up to be so much more. You took my heart and threw it on the ground, while also giving me some gross zombie goodness. I don't know what else to say, but thank you. So thank you book, for both ruining my life and making it better.

-The White Unicorn

This book is gnarly, but not for reasons that you might think. Yes, it does have bits of blood and guts and zombie snacks, but it's also just a book about people. Summers took a bunch of kids who are nothing a like and made them have to survive something that no one wants to go through. She not only gave me a zombie apocalypse to worry about, but also a group of kids who had their own, just as terrible, monsters to deal with. None of these kids are truly innocent types and it keeps the tension high throughout the novel.

This book is like a really dark, really effed up version of the Breakfast Club. You have six very different kinds of kids locked in a high school together. But instead of being held up in detention of a Saturday, these kids are trying to stay alive as people they know are bitten, only to die and come back as monsters. In a way, this book also plays out like The Walking Dead. It's a character driven zombie story. The zombies are there to create a feeling of doom and the a likely chance of death, but the real actions comes from human interactions. 

I also found it really interesting that Summers picked Sloane as her voice to tell the story. It gave everything a really disconnected slant. See, Sloane is suicidal. She doesn't want to live, so it makes the story even more uncomfortable. As the story progresses, you see different sides of Sloane as well as everyone else in the school. 

Summers also manages to tug at your heartstrings in a big way. There is a lot of family drama in the pages. A lot of people trying to figure out part they play in life and if life is even worth living. I'll tell you that I was in tears at a few times throughout and it wasn't the pretty kind of crying either. 

If you're looking for a zombie book that isn't something that you've read before, this is it! 

  5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this NOW!


Chrystal said...

This is an amazing review of Summers' book. I love your comparison to The Breakfast Club and The Walking Dead. I will be sharing your review with those who have not read the book as I think your review will make people want to read this so much!

Nicole said...

I was expecting more zombies when I read this one but I still ended up enjoying it a lot. BUT CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT ENDING. It was good of you to wait so you can read the sequel/novella that just came out (I don't know which one it is)