This is Not a Test
Author: Courtney Summers
Release Date: June 19th, 2012
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads
Received this from NetGalley for review; this didn't affect the outcome of this review.
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?
I do a huge amount of my e-reading in bed at night while my boyfriend sleeps, which is the worst idea when reading something that involves zombies. As much as I love the zombie genre, I know how to terrify myself when it comes to the creatures, and This is Not a Test fit the bill.
However, This is Not a Test doesn't entirely focus on the zombies themselves. Most zombie fiction these days focuses on how the humans try to keep on living through the end of the world, and we follow Sloane, who doesn't want to live. Not really. She's stuck in a school with five other teenagers, who try to figure out how to survive. The only question is what surviving really means.
The book explores the relationships between each of the survivors, how they react to each other, how they begin to find themselves or crack under the pressure. Being stuck in a school with only each other, surrounded by the undead brings out the best and worst in them, and it's fascinating to read. Each of the characters seemed well thought out, and though I disliked one or two, I felt as though I was meant to -- and it's not as though they're entirely bad kids. They are what the apocalypse made them.
This is Not a Test is a fantastic, heartbreaking entry into the zombie genre, and I totally recommend it to anyone.