Thursday, October 18, 2012

This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers



Title:  This Is Not a Test
Author:  Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published:  June 19, 2012

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My Rating: ★★★★★

 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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“'This is not a test. Listen closely. This is not a test.'
But I think she's wrong. I think this is a test.
It has to be.”

I love zombie and end-of-the-world books, so I was extremely excited to begin reading This Is Not a Test. I quickly discovered that this novel is not just about zombies. It is not about the dead nearly as much as it is about the living. It’s human nature down to its very core. A group of teens have barricaded themselves in their school and are forced to wait out this nightmare and just try to survive.

“We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the soundtrack
of our own impending death.”

This book was so intense and so heartbreaking. We are given a front row seat to Sloane Price’s devastating home life with her abusive father. Sloane is tragic and she is broken, but she is stronger than she gives herself credit for. I ached for her and I rooted for her.

“I woke up and the last piece of my heart disappeared.
I opened my eyes and I felt it go.”

The group of kids she has banded with is unique and every one of them fascinating and easily absorbing. I felt as though I was experiencing their emotions right along with them - wondering what they were going to do next, feeling their hopelessness and their fear, as well as their bravado, while they listen to the monsters outside trying to get in. Most want to live to see another day, but one just wants it all to end. I couldn’t help but wonder which fate most people would choose.

Courtney Summers is an amazing talent. She made me cry, made my heart nearly beat out of my chest, and, above all, made me think. This is hands-down one of the most intriguing “zombie” novels I’ve come across. I don’t want to share anything else, because you need to see for yourself how things unfold. This Is Not a Test contains something for everyone, which is a pretty impressive feat. I can’t wait to check out more of this author's work.

“Sometimes you catch something specific like the screams
and cries of people trying to hold on to each other before
they're swallowed into other, bigger noises.
This is what it sounds like when the world ends.”

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

chelesiggy