by Courtney Summers
Publication date: June 19th 2012
Review Copy gifted by St. Martin's Griffin.
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?
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!