Monday, March 2, 2015

Review: This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Author: Courtney Summers
Publication Date: 06/19/2012
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Apocalyptic

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?

Summary from Goodreads


Fresh off my binge of The Walking Dead on Netflix (I'm only caught up through Season 4 so no spoilers!) I thought This Not A Test would be an excellent follow up that would allow to me to continue to live in a zombie infested world for a little longer.  Our MC Sloane is one of the lucky few to survive the early days, much to her dismay.  You see, poor Sloane wanted to die.  She had it all planned out and when that plan was taken away from her she becomes obsessed with the fact that she should be dead.  This bothered me, I would have preferred a character who was happy to survive.  

Despite wanting to be dead, Sloane has made a space for herself in a group of teens that barely know each other from before the end.  Right from the start you can tell that they've all been through a fight just to make it to where they are now.  Summers does an excellent job of putting together a mix of personalities.  There's the natural leader, the wanna be good guy, the dead weight, a brother/sister dynamic, and Sloane.  I equally loved and hated each character, but the reasons that I hated them were why they came across like real people.  Misplaced hate and trust issues, butting heads and jealousy are what you would expect from a band of people doing what they need to in order to survive.

The writing and pacing were well done, I had no trouble keeping my attention on the story.  The only thing I wish there had been more of was interaction on the outside.  By the time we start the book our band of survivors have set up camp in their old High School and it isn't until the end of the book that they consider leaving to find better options.  Please Remain Calm is the sequel to This Is Not A Test so I'm hoping for more outside action in it.

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