This Is Not A Test- Courtney Summers

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When six teens are trapped inside their high school during the zombie apocalypse, they quickly discover the line between the living and the dead isn’t as clear as they think in this chilling story of survival from the author of Cracked Up To Be and Fall For Anything.

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?

Sloane Price has never lived a normal life. She’s never had the chance to flirt with boys, go shopping with the girls or have homework be her only worry. Instead, she has been abused for years by the one man who should truly love her, her father. Six months ago, her sister, Lily, ran away from home and left her all alone to deal with her father’s constant beatings. All Sloane knows is that she’s been abandoned by the one person she loved the most, and now she just wants her life to be over.

Before Sloane can carry out her plans to end her life, drastic changes began to happen in her world. People are changing. They are no longer the people she used to know. Instead, they are turning into flesh-eating zombies. After she runs for her life, Sloane finds herself with five other teens in the local high school. Together, they must work to save and protect themselves. They soon realize, though, that they will eventually have to leave, as food and water supplies will eventually run low. This Is Not A Test is full of fear, death and surprises, and makes the reader envision was a true zombie apocalypse would be like.

When I picture the world ending, I think of crumbling buildings, roads that fold in on themselves and screams that haunt you everywhere you turn. It’s something that I’ve feared for a long time but have forced into the back of my mind. The zombie apocalypse seems no different. While buildings may not crumble and roads may not fold into themselves, the very people whom you love with all of your heart are torn away from you, forced to be man-eating creatures that seem to be souless. As a fan of The Walking Dead, an AMC television show, I was interested to see what Courtney Summers could bring to the table. A book about zombies is not my typical read, and I knew that I could be sucked in if it was written the right way.

Before I say anything else about this book, I have to express how much I disliked the character of Sloane. Throughout the entire book she showed absolutely no emotion. She was depressed and hurt, and every single page seemed to be dedicated to the fact that she wanted to end her life. Even when she got angry at her fellow schoolmates, no real emotion was produced. She just seemed to barely function, riding the waves until she could go out into the streets and let a zombie rip into her. I prefer my female leads to be strong and independent. Instead, I found Sloane to be weak, needy and closed off.

The first couple chapters of the book started off really strong. I was excited because I thought that I was going to be reading this awesome story about zombies and the world coming to an end. I was really disappointed with the way things turned out, though. For almost 300 pages the six students stayed in the school. Page after page seemed to be talking about them eating, going to the bathroom, fighting, checking the barricades, showering or sleeping. Follow that around for 300 pages and you’re gonna start to feel like your brains about to explode.

The last 40 or so pages were a lot better than the whole rest of the book. Things finally started to pick up a little, but I was really disappointed and disturbed about how a lot of things turned out. I was also hoping for Sloane to get it together a little bit, but it just never happened. She continued to be completely emotionless clear until the very last sentence of the book.

Overall, I did not like this book. However, I think that there is a possibility that this book will appeal to fans of zombies and The Walking Dead. Even though I was not impressed with this book, it has made me want to look into other zombie books. Hopefully, I will be able to find one that suits my needs just fine. In the end, I look forward to hearing what other people have to say about this book.

 

Pages: 320

Publication Date: June, 2012

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Rating: [rating: 0.5]

Teaser Quote: “She dives for me and we both crash to the ground. The side of my forehead connects with the pavement. I swear I hear it crack and then I’m underwater and everything is strange and removed and I’m strange and removed from it. I turn myself over, slowly, painfully, and stare into milky white irises, all the capillaries around them busted and red. I lose focus. I see one of her, two of her, three of her. Calm settles over me. She licks her lips. I close my eyes. This is it. Finally.”