Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
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?
From what I've seen from this author so far, Courtney Summers has this special way of writing words - not only with her colourful cast of character's but with these raw, intense emotions that always seem to come along with them. THIS IS NOT A TEST is a greater risk for Summers as her new title is far from her usual works of her 'cutting edge' contemporary literature. But since I'm already a HUGE fan of the zombie and the post-apocalyptic genre, I was immediately drawn towards this book before I even started it. In the end and after reading it all, with a creative crossover between The Breakfast Club and Zombieland, it's no wonder why I've come to adore this author's work so, so much and even more than ever before when it comes to this book alone!
I'm going to be straight with you, right here and now, and try not to bore with you the minor details. So here we go . . . There's no doubt in my mind when I say that Courtney Summers should continue writing books with zombies or at least books with some form of horror in them, because quite frankly she had totally made my mind blow and I still can't believe how amazeballs this book really was and how Summers managed to pull it all off! No, seriously! It was that good! I mean, WOW! Even with this book having zombies popping up here, there and everywhere, this book for me was still far more than your average zombie novel. It was rather a simplistic novel but with a somewhat complexity about it, you know? After all, there's a group of teenagers who are trying to fight against every possible, violent curve-ball the world seems to throw at them and while - for the majority of the book - it's depressing to read about and even a little uncomfortable at times, but there's this sense of realism that this book just . . . had which I guess made me connect with the story a hell of a lot more than I'd ever imagined it would do. There's depression, there's grief, there's death, there's killing, there's hope, there's consequences, there's even love and honestly . . . this book had it all!
What had stolen the show for me - apart from the storyline - was the main character, Sloane, who was the one who made this book as epic (and depressing) as possible. Sloane's voice - compared to all of the characters we are soon introduced to in the book - was so raw, brutal, fresh, and yet she possessed this split-lip of pain about her that made everything all worth while in the end, and made my own heart ache every time she came onto the page. I mean, reading her voice alone and having small glimpses of her past life that made her for what she is today, I can say I've never read a character like her before nor have I ever EVER had such a strong connection with a character like her before, at least not as powerful as the connection I had with Sloane. With this main heroine at heart, Sloane is hard to describe since there's so many layers to her character arc but with everything Sloane experiences or rather has 'experienced', both in the present and in the past, you'll be right there cheering with her and wanting her to triumph over the many difficult situations that she is now faced with. But wow, wow, WOW . . . Sloane impressed me and with her in the lines of some very interesting company of teenagers with their own mindsets as well, I have to say the characters, the zombies, the story, the blah, blah blah . . . was just . . . WOW!
Overall, I can't necessarily say anymore about this book because you will just have to find out for yourself on how really amazing Courtney Summers's THIS IS NOT A TEST book really is! With a little blood and gore, some heartbreak and death, and a bleak world of dire desperation where people will do almost anything in the means of survival, this is the kind of book you really DO NOT won't to miss out on! But word for the wise - DON'T READ THIS BOOK IN THE DARK! It's scary!!!