Title: This is Not a Test
Author: Courtney Summers
Release Date: June 19th 2012
Published by: St. Martin’s Griffin
Read: October 1st 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?
What I thought:
When I heard of this book, I thought it was going to be like a lot of other zombie books out there, but there is much more to it. This book deals more with the people involved than the actual zombies. How they survived and found shelter, and how they interact with each other each day and how they have to face the toughness of death and sacrifice. There are definitely zombies, and a few places where they get attacked/chased, but there’s a constant fear of knowing what’s outside, and wondering how safe they really are in that school. They board up the doors and windows, but the feeling that the zombies could get through is like a kind of torture.
The story is told through Sloane, a girl with a bad past. Her mother died when she was young, her older sister ran away and left her alone, and her father beats her. Not only does she wish for a normal life like other kids, but she is suicidal and doesn’t really want to live in this world anymore after feeling betrayed by her sister. Add the zombies and she really doesn’t have anything left. I felt bad for her, having dealt with so much in life, but never really having any hope for the future.
The other characters really help bring this story to life, especially with the small battles among them and what almost seems like an alliance between some of them. Harrison who is a wimp and always crying (I didn’t really like him), Trace and Grace the brother and sister who stick together and who just lost their parents. Rhys and Cary, who are the responsible ones, but just as vulnerable as anyone else.
This was a great zombie book, the ending was intense, and I definitely recommend it for anyone wanting to be more involved with the characters and their interactions. It’s also written by a Canadian author, so bonus!