This Is Not a Test
By Courtney Summers
Release Date: 06/19/12
Book Description from Amazon:
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?
***ARC received by St. Martin’s Griffin and early review posted with permission by publisher***
Let me start off by saying this: I don’t like zombies. I hate zombie movies because they are all the same to me. Plus I always think, how can these people not outrun the zombies when they are walking so damn slow? Another thing: zombie books usually don’t really catch my attention. The only zombie book I’ve read is Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel. I was drawn in to the beautiful cover and intrigued by the book description. After much procrastination, I finally ordered Dearly, Departed and even then, it sat on my TBR pile for months before I read it. I was blown away by it.
When I saw this is not a test available on NetGalley, I was instantly captivated by the cover. The way the girl on the cover is positioned, the weird angle of her head, the way her hair covers her face and the background. And wait; is that blood on the corner? Holy cow, I needed to find out what this book was about. The description also caught my attention enough that I decided to give another zombie book a try and I went ahead and requested it. I’m so glad I did, it completely blew me away! I am now rethinking my zombie book outlook and looking for more zombie books that catch my attention.
In the beginning of this book, we meet Sloane Price who lives with her abusive father. Her and her older sister were saving for years to be able to run away together and escape their father. But her sister ends up leaving without Sloane. Not too long after, the outbreak hits and Sloane is able to get away from her father. She ends up with a group of teens and they end up seeking shelter at their own high school. Sloane is completely devastated that her sister has abandoned her and she has lost all hope. Unlike the others, Sloane isn’t trying to survive. All she is waiting for is to die. Courtney Summers does an amazing job at letting us FEEL her pain and root for her, even when it seems she has nothing left to root for.
Although this movie centers on zombies, that it not the main focus of this book. The main focus is all about these 6 semi-strangers that come together try to survive. The process and end result is a heartbreakingly-beautiful yet devastating story. All the characters are realistic and extremely well developed. This book is raw and intense! It doesn’t sugar coat anything and it deals with many tough issues. At the end of the book, I felt emotionally drained and like my feelings had just gone on a roller coaster. It’s a surprisingly fast read that will hook you in from the very first page and leave you wishing for more at the end. Get ready to have your heart ripped out over and over again and slowly put back together again.
5 out of 5 sparkly stars!
Some of my favorite non-spoiler quotes from This Is Not a Test:
-I woke up and the last piece of my heart disappeared. I opened my eyes and I felt it go.
-In a perfect world, I’m spinning out. I’m seven days ago, sleeping myself into nothingness. Every breath in and out is shallower than the last until, eventually, I stop. In a perfect world, I’m over. I’m dead.
-”This is not a test. Listen closely. This is not a test.”
But I think she’s wrong. I think this is a test. It has to be.
-And then I step into the lot, feeling the bravest and most indestructible I’ve ever felt in my life which is strange, I guess, because I’m readying myself to die.
-I’ve been variations of hurt my whole life.
-”You really think there’s nothing left for us?” he asks.
“I think there’s nothing left for me. I don’t think that for everyone else.”
-The thing no one tells you about surviving, about the mere act of holding out, is how many hours are nothing because nothing happens. They also don’t tell you about how you can share your deepest secrets with someone, kiss them, and the next hour it’s like there’s nothing between you because not everything can mean something all the time or you’d be crushed under the weight of it. They don’t tell you how you will float through days. You autopilot, here but not really here, sleepwalking, and then every so often you are awake.
-”But you didn’t die,” he says.
“I did,” I say. “I’m just waiting for the rest of me to catch up.”
About the Author
Courtney Summers is the author of young adult novels including Fall for Anything, Some Girls Are, and Cracked Up to Be. She lives and writes in Canada, where she divides her time between a piano, a camera, and a word-processing program when she’s not planning for the impending zombie apocalypse.
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