This Is Not A Test

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Title: This Is Not A Test
Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: YA, Horror, Contemporary
Format: Paperback, 323 pages
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin, Raincoast Books
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Synopsis
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?

My Thoughts
This is not a Test is a lot more than a zombie book, it is a look into the lives of six desperate teenagers that are trying their hardest to survive in a world that is crumbling around them. And for Sloane her world was crumbling long before the zombie infection. What I loved most about this book, and all of Courtney Summers’ books, are their realism, and their ability to crush such strong emotions into the reader. Her style of writing infects you from the moment you start and doesn’t stop until after you have finished the book.

Sloane is broken in a way that breaks your heart, and we see this from the beginning when we get a glimpse into her life before the world ended. Courtney’s short and curt sentences have a way of stabbing you in the stomach. They are forced onto you and it seems harsh at times but necessary. I loved this way of getting the reader invested in the characters. I loved Sloane’s character because she was flawed, and selfish at times. She tended to say the wrong things at the wrong time, and she was the perfect example of real teenage emotions.

At times I felt that the zombie element of the story was more of a writing device rather than a necessary part of the plot. It was used as way to justify the segregation of these 6 teens away from the rest of society. I have heard from other reviews that they thought the zombie device didn’t really add to the story, but I don’t agree. In the end I thought that the zombies added a sense of unseen tension to the characters that really couldn’t have been visible had the zombies not been there. If you are a lover of gory zombie books, this book is not for you. There were only a handful of scenes that made me cringe while reading, but for the most part the zombies were more of an unseen threat.

Although I keep talking about how much I loved Sloane as a character, I also want to express my love for the secondary characters. I felt that their interactions with each other and their actions towards each other added so much more drama and suspense to the entire novel. Some hated each other, yet they all knew that they needed to stay together in order to survive. This is not a Test is like Lord of the Flies with more internal dialogue (and zombies of course).

Please go out and pick this book up, I have read every single novel written by Courtney Summers and my god she has gotten better with every one. This is not a Test will open your eyes to raw emotions that don’t always get the attention they deserve. It will stay with you long after the last page is turned.


Book Trailer


You Might Also Like


  1. It's great that I'm reading good things about this book through other bloggers. You have confirmed that I really need to read this book. Thanks for the book trailer (:
    Joined your lovely blog!

  2. Since I saw the cover for the first time I wanted to know what it was about. And now that I know what it's about, I want to read it so bad! I love that you describe it as more than just a zombie book because thats what I've found with a few of the zombie books that I've read. Thanks for your review! Will definitely be reading this one soon :)