This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Releases: June 19, 2012
Where I got my copy: Goodreads' First Reads
"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."
What would you hold on to, when everything's gone? That's the question Courtney Summers asks her characters, and ultimately, us, in her new, explosively exciting novel, This Is Not a Test.
This awesome, post-apocalyptic zombie novel is seen through the eyes of the down beaten, often depressing Sloane Prince. To Sloane, life is all but over for her, for the past six months when her world all but tumbled down all around her.
Joining her in the novel are five teens: Rhys, Cary, Harrison, Trace and Grace, the twins. Each of the five teens have an annoying predisposition of living and surviving the zombie attacks, which oftentimes annoys Sloane.
Okay, do you get the idea of zombies, the apocalypse, and six teens stuck in their high school? Yeah? Great, now I can start reviewing.
As mentioned above, Sloane is the Debbie Downer of the novel. She's so down on her luck that even I, the person with the worst luck ever, feels fortunate. At every turn she managed to make me feel for her. My head was spinning throughout the novel, questioning her and her decisions, until finally I threw my head back and said, (to myself of course), 'Sierra, stop thinking. Just read.' When I did, I'll tell you, Sloane stopped making me what to slap the heck out of her and give her a huge hug and a pat on the back.
I realized, people, that she is much, much stronger than I would ever be in the aftermath of the DAMN ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! She's so calm, when I was sittin' up here going, "OMFG. THERE ARE ZOMBIES AT THE DOOR! AHH!" and at every thump on the stairs in my house, or the rain on the windows, I was jumping going "Holy shit! ZOMBIES!" and I just wanted to grab Sloane, perform some kind of brain surgery and take her calm, sensible thinking and give it to myself. (I actually just grossed myself out thinking of that procedure...ick!)
Alright, Sloane has been established, let's move on.
I absolutely adored Harrison. If I were in this novel, Harrison would be my best friend. Mainly because no one really liked him, and he was so worried about dying that I would have to befriend the little dweeb. Grace was okay, but Trace was mean, cruel and hilarious. Cary, you're damn awesome, too.
And then there was one.
Rhys. His character was almost awesome. I say almost because I really didn't feel connected to him, and I wasn't sympathizing with him like I was with all the other characters. I dunno. It was just this huge sense of disconnect when he popped the hell up (and he did it a lot. Following Sloane around like some little puppy).
Anyways, the characters were all pretty cool.
But let's move on to the awesomesauce of the novel: ZOMBIES. God I love those little bastards. It's such a thrill when reading and your characters are running for their lives from formerly-innocent humans starved for your blood. I legit felt like my heart was palpating out of my damn chest when Sloane and Rhys venture outside. I was like "OMG OMG OMG THEY'RE GUNNA DIE! LOOK OUT! ZOMBIE!!!!!".
Alright, caps, exclamation points, gtfo. I'm done with them I swear. But do you understand how much I love ZOMBIES?! (I can't say zombies without caps-ing it. Oh, I just did. I'm cured! Thank god. For a minute there I thought I was turning into an airhead. Aren't zombies airheads? Oh, god. Am I a zombie? Fuck this shit! I'm outta here!)
Loved the characters, the story line (um, durr! or gurrr depending on if you're a zombie or not...), and Courtney Summers' exceptional writing. Can't wait for more by this author!
Now for a little more: The title? Pure awesome. The cover? So damn beautiful. When I saw it I was like 'OMFG. LOOK AT IT!' and shoving it in the faces of family/friends. Ah, behold the awesome that is a Courtney Summers novel. :)