Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: This is Not a Test - Courtney Summers

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Just the right amount of creep and wonderful colors.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Page Count: 322 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Sloane already feels dead on the inside, ever since her sister abandoned her. So why is she fighting to survive? A zombie invasion seems like the perfect cover for her to just give up completely. Unfortunately, there are five other people that are part of her group now. They care whether she lives or dies, so she is supposed to care too. As the days pass and no help comes for them though, just surviving might not be enough. If help doesn't come for them, they may have to seek help. Sloane doesn't see the point to go on, but she can't bring herself to give up just yet.

There was no doubt in my mind that this book would be anything short of amazing. I was correct. Courtney Summers takes a subject we've read so much about and puts it in a completely different mood. This is a much more somber zombie apocalypse novel. Sloane Price's narration sets a tone that is beautifully depressing. She had already given up on life the very morning that the outbreak happened, so it was interesting seeing someone who doesn't want to live surviving. It is a hard thing to let people go, when everyone around you is dying. This is what Sloane realizes, when the others she meets up with won't let her leave on her own. The relationships between the characters that find their way to shelter is tense. There is a lot of blame going on between Trace and Cary and that creates so much tension it is nearly unbearable to read. I really loved how well Summers got into the dynamics between the characters locked up trying to survive. The atmosphere within the school was perfect and a bit scary, everyone is on edge and everyone is settling in waiting for help.

Now on to the zombies. They were not the main event in this novel, and I loved that. Don't get me wrong, I love a good zombie apocalypse as much as the next person, but this novel was about a lot more than just getting your flesh eaten and trying to survive. There were zombies, and they certainly had their role. They were an important part to this novel and the way everything comes to be. It definitely had to be zombies, no other disaster would do because this one worked out perfectly.

Sloane was an interesting character to be in the mind of. Most people are completely set on survival. Their instincts set in and they know they want to live. Sloane didn't, but she was. Sloane gets caught in a tricky situation. If it's the end of the world, can you be selfish and kill yourself? Sloane was really working on figuring things out. She was so calm and just taking in all the drama that unfolded around her. She sort of checked out of her body for awhile, until she started to feel like maybe she should go on. It was a little disappointing that is took her so long to figure herself out, but it's how things go.

This is a novel you don't want to miss, but don't expect a lot of action. This was a beautifully written account of a more realistic zombie apocalypse. There will be a lot of waiting around once you make it to safety. There won't be a be-heading every minute. There will be a lot of contemplation and issues between survivors. Pick this up and read it now!

First Lines: 
"Lily, I woke up and the last piece of my heart disappeared. I opened my eyes and I felt it go."

 Favorite Lines: 
"I dig my hands into the grit. I like how it feels."

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