Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: June 1, 2012
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?
This is Not a Test is Courtney Summer's first venture into paranormal and post-apocalyptic. I was a little weary because while I love Summer's contemporary novels, would This is Not a Test live up to my expectations? Well, it did. This is Not a Test is a great, edge-of-your-seat novel and was definitely a success.
True to herself, Summers puts more into this novel than zombies. She addresses other issues in this book such as abuse and suicide. This may not be a contemporary novel, but it definitely fits right in with Summer's first three novels.
Within the first few pages, we lean that Sloane doesn't want to live any longer. After the world ends, she still doesn't see the point of living, yet she survives. I'm going to admit, this isn't a characteristic that I like in a character. Why go through all of that to survive when she doesn't want to? Sloane has had painful experiences even before the zombie apocalypse. She's not really a relatable character. Yet I kept rooting for her. I wanted her not only to survive, but to want to survive. Finding a reason to live is just as vital to the novel as the zombie aspect is, if not more.
There is no doubt, Summers is an excellent story teller. The imagery in this book was fabulous. And Summers, per usual, was very blunt and candid, which I love about her. Overall, Summers can write one heck of novel.
This is a book that sucks the reader in from the beginning and doesn't let go until the last page. It is a very intense and perfectly-paced book (not too fast, not too slow). The last fifty pages or so are especially intense, filled with many a heart-wrenching and heart-pounding moments.
Overall, I was very impressed with this novel. Even though this was a zombie, post-apocalypse novel, it was so much more than that. Summers did not disappoint!