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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Review: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Stand Alone Novel
Young Adult
Pages: 320
Genre: Horror, Zombies

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?
*Advanced Reader's Copy issued by publisher and sent out by Julie Cross to members of the Perfect 10* 

Zombie books are one of my guilty pleasures and reading Courtney Summer's rendition of the zombie apocalypse was a real treat. Most novels give us characters that fight for the right to survive. Switching up that notion, Summers presents Sloane Price, the girl that wishes for her life to end, embedded within a group of teenagers who are trying to stay alive. Watching Sloane and reading her thoughts really keeps the anticipation pumping from beginning to end.

The aspect that really brought the novel home was the realistic and flawed personalities that Cary, Rhys, Grace, Trace, and Harrison all have. Shoving so many different people with skeletons in their closets together really pieces the novel together nicely. When they say it's The Walking Dead meets Degrassi, they weren't kidding. The drama playing out and popping up around every corner captivated and stole my attention for hours.

The drive to find Lily is what keeps Sloane alive, but when given the slightest peek of dying, she would also chase after that as well. She is a deep, diverse character. Years of child abuse from her father, being betrayed and left behind by her sister, Lily, and the memories that haunt her--Sloane is my favorite character. Cary comes in a close second. Badgered time and again by Trace, who fails to forgive him after sending his and Grace's parents down a zombie swarmed alley, Cary had a past that intrigued me. He was just completely messed up and a horrible human being succumbed  to fear, and there was just a pull towards his character that made me feel for him. All the characters made me feel that way, especially when the ending came by. I mentally cried out for every single character that entered and exited the story in some way or form.

Final Summation: Zombie fans definitely need to get their hands on a copy of this pronto. Once the bookstores open their doors, rush the shelves for This is Not a Test because the experience of reading the lives in this novel is one that you don't want to miss out on. A never ending adrenaline rush, I can tell you that much from experience.

First Line: Lily, I woke up and the last piece of my heart disappeared.
Story: S
Cover: A


vivalabooks said...

Nice review! I've heard such great things about this book, and your review has made me want to go buy it!

Cherie Reich said...

Great review!

Ελλάδα said...

I am always up for a great zombie book, so I had to read this one! To my amazement and happy surprise, this book is so much more than zombies. This Is Not a Test is such an emotional and thought-provoking read. While Sloane may sound like a weak character, I truly find that she has a powerful inner strength. This story is not just about Sloane, it is also about the events that happened before the outbreak, the throughout the rest of the story.

Even if you are not a fan of zombies, this book is a must read. It is just so much more, and so amazing. I had to take time and think about this book after reading it. This review maybe a bit on the gushy side, but any book that makes me think this hard deserves my admiration for both the story and the author who tells it.

Caroline said...

Woohoo! I've heard so many good things about this boo, it's definitely on my tbr list.

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