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?
I’ve read two of Courtney Summers’ books. One I did not like at all and the other was just okay. I have a hard time with unlikeable characters and Summer’s books are filled with unlikeable characters. I kept hearing really great things about this one, plus it has zombies. So I decided to give it a try. It’s by far the best book I’ve read by this author.
This Is Not a Test starts out with a bang. The beginning left me reeling and it sets the solemn and dark tone for the rest of the story. Like many reviews have stated, this really isn’t a zombie book. They are kind of like this unrelenting background noise to the story. The main elements are the kids in the school, how they are dealing–or not dealing–with their own issues.
Sloan was a very damaged girl. I couldn’t relate to her, but I understood her position. I liked her. I can’t really say that about the other characters, except maybe Rhys. The constant fighting between some of the characters really grated on my nerves. That’s what kept from liking the book more than I did. It was understandable, I guess, but I couldn’t help being annoyed by it.
This is a dark book. It’s bleak and Courtney Summers doesn’t hold anything back. It’s a fast and intense read and I would recommend having something a little more light-hearted for after. Overall, it was good, but I can’t say that I loved it.