Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book Review: This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Title: This Is Not a Test
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: June 19, 2012


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 by Courtney Summers is a beautifully written tale of grief and survival. This is not your typical blood and gore zombie tale. The zombies act more as a catalyst to propel the story into one that explores what people will do to survive, and the emotions that result from those decisions. Sloane has reached her breaking point, and decided she cannot live this life anymore. Too bad for her, the day that she decides she is ready to give up, the zombie apocalypse happens. Now she is trapped in the school with five of her classmates.

Barricaded within the school, Sloane has to see all the other survivors fighting to survive, and explore her reasons for giving up on life. With six different personalities trapped alone in a school, relationships, and loyalties are tested. The real question is, when the world is gone, does humanity go with it? Courtney Summer has taken the question and spun a stunning story exploring for the answer.

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.

Update: It has been about a month or so since I read This Is Not a Test and wrote this review. Sometimes feelings change over time, but not with This Is Not a Test. It is a beautiful book, and it really is one of my favorite reads on 2012.

**Unabridged Bookshelf received this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review**

Would you change if all the pretenses and the whole idea of image disappeared in the blink of an eye? Would you still be the loser, the nerd, the jock, or just a human being who is fighting to survive? 

Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!


Anonymous said...

I'm really excited for the release of This Is Not A Test. I keep hearing wonderful things about it and your review just makes me more excited. I love books that are thought-provoking. Plus, it has zombies, so it's ought to be a great read.
Thanks for the wonderful review. :)

Unabridged Bookshelf said...

@Nick Thank you for stopping by! I loved that This Is Not a Test is nothing like what I thought it would be, especially being so thought provoking.

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