I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 19th 2012
Also by this author: All the Rage, Sadie
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?
‘The radio crackles the prerecorded voice of that woman at us over and over…
‘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.’
‘This is not a Test’ includes a group of sorrowful teenagers trying to survive (some of them at least) and a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies.
Sloane Price has survived the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. She’s joined up with 5 other kids she went to school with and they are all hiding out in their old high school, trying to survive. Except Sloane never intended on being alive for very much longer. Ever since her sister Lily abandoned her she hasn’t been the same and lacks any sort of will to live. She escaped from the beatings their father inflicted on them both, and didn’t take Sloane with her. Being surrounded by kids who want more than anything to live makes her feel like an outcast as she continues to search for her way out so that she’s finally ‘free’.
I am a huge fan of zombie novels, and there’s certainly no ‘right’ way to do them but with most zombie novels I’ve found that I particularly enjoy the world building aspect and finding out how the zombies came to be. If it’s lacking in world building it better have a super fabulous story to focus on instead. The world-building aspect isn’t explained in this story and it came off feeling like a normal teenage angst ridden story, just with zombies thrown in as secondary characters, rather them being an actual part of the story. It’s almost like the author decided on two genres but forgot to mix them well enough so that they were good and blended.
I had a hard time liking the characters. These were all high school kids, hiding out in a high school, still playing high school games. I kept waiting for them to toughen up, to harden from what has happened to them, but it just didn’t happen. Plus? The zombie action was quite minimal for my liking.
The ending was bleak, brutal, but unsatisfactory; more than likely just simply due to my personal preferences.. I can see how this story will be liked by many, it just wasn’t overall exactly what I had anticipated.