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This Is Not a Test (2012)

by Courtney Summers

Series: This is Not a Test (1)

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6439328,157 (3.83)6
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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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
I got this book on hold for some reason that I have no idea...this is not a book I'd ever put on hold. I typically don't like YA novels and I'm tired of zombies and so a zombie YA novel is not something I'd read, unless it won an award or someone recommended it but none of that is true. My coworker, who loves sci-fi YA, has a theory that she actually tried to put it on hold for herself and accidentally put it on my account - which sounds totally legit so that's the theory I'm going with.

Anyway, despite this not being my cup of tea, I kind of liked it. I didn't love it, but I did finish it, and I was never bored. The writing was great, and I felt like I understood Sloan - I liked hearing everything from her point of view. But I didn't really like any of the male characters. Rhys was annoying and everything Trace did was the most selfish thing ever. If I was trapped in a school with these people, I might risk the zombies. And everyone was so mean to Harrison! "ugh his crying is soooo annoooying" STOP. You guys are assholes and you should feel like shit for hating a kid because he's emotionally reacting to basically the worst situation ever. ( )
  katebrarian | Jul 28, 2020 |
ZOMBIES! Here is Kobo’s summary:

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 love reading zombie stories, and this book combined that love with another – YA fiction. The idea of a protagonist who may be suicidal is an interesting choice for a zombie story, but the author made it work for me. Sloane is still dealing with the aftermath of her older sister running away from home and leaving her with their abusive father when the zombie outbreak begins. Although she has banded together with five other students and she is barricaded in the high school with them, she is not as desperate to live as they are. In fact, she is just waiting for the barricades to fall and the undead to enter the school.

I was reminded of another teenagers trapped in a school book, Trapped, but I felt that there may have been a bit more character development in this book. None of the characters felt like caricatures or stereotypes. It was interesting to see how they related to each other while trapped in the school, and of course some of that relating includes anger, frustration, and attraction.

It’s been said in other reviews, and I agree, that the zombies are more of a plot device, and that this book is less about zombies and more about survival, and what people will do when everything falls apart.

I love survival-type stories, and this was a really good one. As a narrator, Sloane was frustrating at times, because I did want her to snap to and fight for survival, but it was also effective because the more I read about her life and her despair at being left behind by her sister, I sympathized. I can’t say I’ve read a survival story before where the narrator doesn’t really want to survive, and I always like to read something a bit new and different from the usual.

I liked the other characters – well, not all of them, but I was still rooting for them all to somehow pull through the nightmare around them. It would be cruel for me to spoil any of the plot and reveal each of their fates (I hope you weren’t expecting every character in a zombie/survival horror story to actually survive), but I recommend this book and suggest that you find out for yourself how it ends for all of them. (From http://pingwings.ca) ( )
  kimmypingwing | Jul 7, 2020 |
sad ( )
  Tip44 | Jun 30, 2020 |
I loved this book. It sounds like a fairly straight-forward zombie apocalypse novel, but right off the bat we find out that the protagonist is suicidal. How do you survive the zombie apocalypse when before the world ended you had already decided you wanted to die?

Most of the book takes place with a group of teens barricaded inside of their high school. These teens have a lot of baggage and don't always work the best together, and some of them have secrets. None bigger than Sloane, who doesn't even want to be in the world anymore.

I read this one in a single day and I really enjoyed this take on a classic trope. The author writes these characters well, but is mostly focused on Sloane. She's the only one whose thoughts we can read. Her inner turmoil and numbness is heartbreaking and I found myself wanting to save her while also knowing that is nearly an impossible feat when someone has arrived at this moment, this decision, to just let go. They keep people from knowing how they really feel inside, while at the same time harboring this near desperation for someone to really see them and comfort them and bring them back from the brink.

This isn't a book about zombies. It's a book about life and death and how we make the decision to stay in this world or to leave. How a human can decide whose life is worth saving and whose is worth sacrificing - maybe even your own ( )
  originalslicey | Mar 27, 2020 |
This took me so long to read because I kept pushing it back, but it was pretty good. It was real. ( )
  barajash29 | Jan 22, 2020 |
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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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Average: (3.83)
1 4
2 14
2.5 1
3 40
3.5 7
4 76
4.5 11
5 46

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