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This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

This Is Not a Test (edition 2012)

by Courtney Summers

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4108325,944 (3.99)3
Title:This Is Not a Test
Authors:Courtney Summers
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2012), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, In the blog

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This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers



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Dear Zombie Obsessed Friends,

The first time I heard about this book, I was reading a review of the sequel on Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s blog. I was so eager to read the first book, I quickly placed it on hold at the library and raced to pick it up as soon as I was able. The premise isn’t something that’s new in this age of zombie apocalypse pop fiction, but it’s told from a prospective I’ve never read before: surviving the apocalypse through the eyes of a suicidal survivor. I really enjoyed reading This is Not a Test even though it may or may not have given me nightmares. *cough*

Three reasons to pick up a copy of This is Not a Test:
❤ Plot twists take a deadly turn in this book. There aren’t a lot of surprising twists in the book, but when they happen wham! I’m completely blown away.
❤ I know I mention this too much, but I have to say I really enjoy books like this that aren’t afraid to use the “z” word. It’s something I search for when I read or watch zombie books.
❤ The characters are realistic portrayals of teenagers trapped in a school with no way out. Sometimes when I read post-apocalyptic fiction I shake my head and think “you don’t stop being human just because the world ends.” Doesn’t mean cold water isn’t cold water or teenagers are suddenly less horny little twerps. They might not be happy-go-lucky and have a lot of painful decisions to make, but let’s be honest, when are we ever people don’t suddenly change their colors just because the world ends. I would argue people show their true selves when they are put in-between a rock and a hard place.

This book was so good, I forgot to take notes half the time. When a notes obsessed book reviewer forgets to note take, you can bet the book is worth checking out! This is Not a Test was a spine tingling good read. If you haven’t read it, you are missing out! I recommend this book for fans of science fiction or horror. There was a bit of romance, but it wasn’t all that big a part of the book. I cannot wait to get my hands on book two!

Your friend the zombie fanatic,
☠One Curvy Blogger
Check out more reviews and bookish content @ One Curvy Blogger ( )
  One_Curvy_Blogger | Feb 16, 2015 |
I thought the idea of a suicidal girl who was dead inside surviving the zombiepocalyse really ironic. Obviously, the author thought so too but this book is not funny. It is story drenched not with a bit of terror but more bleakness and melancholy. Everyone stayed hopeful but the main focus of the story actually deals with the resiliency of the characters after wringing them through the nightmare. With 6 kids, the author shows the each type of reaction and how each one deals with the mental scarring from zombie encounters. There's always someone who a. Cries b. takes initiative/leadership c. Causes problems through rash impulsive actions or d. This story has all these people who incorporates these characteristics. I somehow couldn't bring myself to care enough about anyone. The violence and animosity built increasingly between people after being cooped up with each other in the same place. It was interesting to see how everyone all lost their shit and broke down eventually. This isn't a book about love (although there sort of is) or romance (there's a bit of that too). As far as zombie books go, the presence of zombie was always there but not as important as the feelings and assorted psychological damage dealt upon the high schoolers. No one really comes close to a resolve with themselves and everyone is in emotional turmoil while keeping their forethoughts on survival. Except for Sloane, that is...about survival. It was interesting to see how the desperation and determination of her peers influenced her to want to live for something. She's still on the mend and I see her slowly making progress throughout the book. I was right about to comment on a loophole regarding the high school's penetrability when it was later resolved near the end of the book. There aren't any loose ends really except for the fate of the survivors and whether or not they reached their destination. The cliffhanger isn't really one because it does leave questions that can be expanded in a sequel. However, the book doesn't need a extension because I'm content with knowing that the suicidal part of Sloane is a chapter of her life that is closed. Whether they made it to a safe haven is not crucial to know. Their journeys with coming to terms with themselves is more important. ( )
  Annannean | Jan 6, 2015 |
Compelling voice, excellent atmosphere. Actually made me jump when I heard a noise while reading, as part of my brain thought zombies were coming...
  devafagan | Jan 2, 2015 |
I'm not really sure what to make of this one. It was a good read and it was well written but maybe I was expecting more zombies? Or explainations? Or a resoloution? I'm torn.

I really liked the story and couldn't put it down until I found out what happened to them all... but I didn't get closure. I'm not saying all endings have to always be neatly tied up but if they had been I'd have been happier and would have given 5* instead of 4*.

A handful of kids end up in a school, sheltering from the zombie hoards outside which roam their town relentlessly. Why are there zombies? I have no idea and I suspect the kids don't either but since they never ask each other those simple question's, "Why?", "Where?", "How?" I'm left wondering if maybe they do know, in which case - why don't I?

Sloane is the narrator and we get an insight into her life before the zombies came although I felt that I never really knew the whole story of what went on there either. It's frustrating. There's only one viewpoint really and I only found out what Sloane wanted me to know. Since Sloane herself was mostly fixated on her sister and her need to end it all I didn't get to know half of what I needed (wanted) to know. Enquiring minds need to know.

So, accepting that I didn't find out all that I wanted (needed), how was the story? It was good actually. Dark and sinister and creepy and scary and all the stuff you come to expect from a zombie book...just without many zombies. One or two popped up every now and then and they were the jacked up crazy kind but because I didn't see much of them they were more of a psychological fear than a physical fear. It was scary wondering where they where going to come from...if they were going to come...when they were going to come. Sometimes that's scarier than the actual event of them coming. It's the not knowing.

Anyway, it's a good story which is well told. Sloane's voice is right for the telling of it but I just wish she'd been a little more forthcoming with the stuff I needed to know...

I'd even be happier if I knew there was a follow on book which might fill in some of the details for me (there's not, is there?).

*Sigh* It's a hard one. Good story, well written I just wanted...I'm not sure what I wanted. More? Better? Fuller?
( )
  SilverThistle | Dec 31, 2014 |
I will start by saying that this book was very hard for me to get into. I kept waiting for all of the action and death and blood and gore. The beginning starts off quite slow. Sloane and some other adolescents are holed up in a school while the zombies are waiting outside the doors. This is so not your typical zombie story. This is more a novel about how we survive and what we choose to do when confronted with our past and our future. The story is gritty and the characters all have flaws, what teens don't? The zombies themselves are background characters. Most of the time they don't even figure into the story. The zombies don't enter the storyline itself until about half way through the book. They make a brief, very brief showing, and then we are back to the drama of adolescence.

The book is not bad, not by any means. The characters are easy to relate to and will stir your emotions. Some of them you want to hug, others you want to shoot. The zombies are not really even needed for the main part of the story. They are just a backdrop for these teens to confront their hidden fears. There is a very small smattering of zombie violence, but not enough to consider this an action novel. If you are looking for your typical zombie book, don't look here, because that is not this book. There is very little going on, except for in the hearts and minds of these teens. Their world is crumbling around them, while they worry about who will kiss who, and if they will ever leave the school.

What will happen when an adult enters their closed in world? Will they stay at the school or move on? Who will live and who will die? You will have to read the book to find out the answers to those questions. I did see that there will be a sequel to this book. So if you like this one then look for the next one in January 2015. ( )
  TFS93 | Oct 9, 2014 |
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Barricaded in Cortege High with five other teens while zombies try to get in, Sloane Price observes her fellow captives become more unpredictable and violent as time passes although they each have much more reason to live than she has.

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