Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

This Is Not a TestThis Is Not a Test

Synopsis: Goodreads

This is Not a Test is one of the most impressive stories of 2012. Courtney Summers' impeccable writing style is without a doubt incomparable. Be prepared. The Zombie Apocalypse is coming soon, to a book store near you.

My only regret, Why am I just discovering this author?

This is the first zombie book I've ever read and actually enjoyed. To be honest, I wasn't sure how I'd take the gruesome description of blood gushing all over the place, or people tearing into flesh and eating each other, but then I thought 'what the hell' I already watch these kind of movies so reading about it shouldn't be that bad. And in any case, there wasn't much to be disgusted by between the pages, just wonderful writing that was too good to pass on. 

I must say Courtney had me a bit confused in the beginning. I mean, I'm not supposed to know everything right off but I had so much questions: who's Lily? why is this chick in a bath tub searching for her vein? why is she so weird? and who's the man that obviously gives her chills? Thankfully things went by just as fast as I wanted them to. Summers paid no attention to overwhelming details but instead kept our adrenaline going with her intense pace and gripping action that kept readers in tune with what's going on.

The drama's as real as it gets. This was a short and quick read, but very entertaining along the way.

So, turns out that this controlling dude was in fact her dad who's also abusive, at least that's what I picked up from Sloane's impression (making up stories as to why she's been absent from school for a while, forcing to finish her breakfast to please him, etc). Lily, on the other hand, is her older sister who apparently took off. and hasn't been seen or heard from since. The vibe I'm getting is almost as if Sloane feels abandoned by her. Anyways, both father and daughter are having breakfast, awkwardly, when all hell breaks loose. A zombie uprising is taking place and Sloane as well as her dad couldn't be anymore clueless.

By the middle, we're left with a group of people stuck together and trying to establish some sort of solution as to how to make it out of their situation alive. Fortunately, the book was very well balanced so as to  focus not only on survival but on Sloane's internal suffering as well. Interesting how during a zombie apocalypse one can still struggle with sorrow on the inside that is completely unrelated to the current issue at hand. There wasn't much mention of the zombies or the goriness, but had a lot to do with the emotions of the people and how things are played out through their eyes. So, if you're getting this one because you're into all the zombie madness then don't bother cause it's almost like a dramatic movie with really good actors: you'll sit through and watch because their emotions are so believable.

It was kind of hard to collect my thoughts and write a really good review for this book but in the end, I can only do my best. So, to conclude, This Is Not A Test was just simply...brilliant!


  1. I loved this review. I haven't read any zombies book but this one seems very interesting. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Awesome review!! Im glad you enjoyed it. i really want to read this one too. I haven't read anything by this author YET, but I own her first book and I've been meaning to catch up with the craze. LOL


  3. Awesome review! I've heard good things about this book. I'll definitely have to grab it. I haven't really read that many zombie related books either, but now is definitely a good time to start with all the craziness happening lately.

  4. Ah! Sweet review!! I also am not huge into zombies, but I added this on Goodreads and now I'm really looking forward to reading this one :))

  5. UM YEAH, welcome to Courtney Summers.

    She ALWAYS leaves me like dead after finishing one of her novels. Seriously, just emotionally drained and in love and thinking 'how does someone possibly DO THAT'?

    I'm glad that this one was such a hit for you! Just BTW, Some Girls Are was my favourite CS novel :) (although I liked them all) soooo if you're looking for another one to read...

    Thanks for the awesome review, Shane!

    PS: I love your background! It's such a gorgeous colour and SPARKLY! <3 I like.


    1. Thank you, for both the recommendation & compliment!!

  6. This is Not a Test is an extremely physical book. Each blow can be felt, as can each of the more tender moments. Not only is it physical in the body sense as it relates to Sloane, but it's physical in its use of place -- Sloane describes everything quite meticulously. We know where things are lined up, we know who is bringing in breakfast, and we know just how much blood has been spilled. The book doesn't shy away from brutality nor does it shy away from being gruesome; despite being heavily vested in reality, it's still a novel about the zombie apocalypse. The metaphor of the physical reality of Sloane and the other teens vs. the non-physicality of the zombies feels obvious, but it's woven in smartly enough to pack a punch. I felt beat up and bruised reading this; fortunately, I had the same moments of hope and promise Sloane did throughout.


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