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This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
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This Is Not a Test (edition 2012)

by Courtney Summers

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4018426,637 (3.98)3
Member:ErlangerFactionless
Title:This Is Not a Test
Authors:Courtney Summers
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2012), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:2013 Archive (inactive)
Rating:*****
Tags:Teen, Adult, Zombies, Post-Apocalyptic, Eden Rassette, 2013

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This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

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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 |
This is not a test like Zom-B was yet again centered around a group of teenagers, fighting for survival after a zombie outbreak hits their town. And just like Zom-b its not exactly what I would call a Zombie book. More a book with a zombie background.

Warning: May contain spoilers

The main Character in this book is Slone, a young girl with an abusive father and absent sister. Slone had planned for years to run away with her older sister Lily, to be free of their father. But when Lily decided to do it alone, without warning, Slone is let alone with no one else who understands. Contemplating suicide when the outbreak happens, she finds her self barricaded in the local school with 5 other teenagers, only difference with her and them? they actually want to live. She tries to cut herself off from the rest, something that isn't as subtle as she thinks, but when she finds her self falling for someone unexpected, part of her wants to survive. For him.

The teenagers are constantly battling with the outside, and themselves. And this book is filled with a lot of hard subjects such a abuse, suicide and death. The only thing I didn't like about this book was the way Slone was always constantly talking about killing herself. I know that's the way she was from the start, it just got slightly annoying

First Courtney Summers book and I'm happy to say it wont be my last. I thought it was very well written and I loved that she had managed to mix contemporary with paranormal. I would have loved to see it as a series, but it worked really well as a stand alone. ( )
  Staciesnape | Sep 14, 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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