Friday, November 30, 2012

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Genre:  YA Zombie

Description (taken from Courtney Summers' website):
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, everyone’s motivations to survive begin to 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?

There are a couple of things I have learned from reading this zombie book.  One is, I don't know if I actually have a fascination for zombie books.  I mean in a zombie world, can anything ever end right?  And two, I love having an explanation for everything.  Even the smallest poking and prodding in the right direction would be good for me.  I felt like this book had zero explanation and was all about living in the moment of zombies.

Right from the beginning, I did not like Sloane.  I understand that she had a very traumatizing childhood and no longer wanted to be a part of this world.  And of course, the zombies ruined her perfect suicide plans.  But even through understanding all of this, I found Sloane to be a very whiny character, and she came off as a victimized little kid.  I just couldn't feel any empathy for her.

However, the side characters?  Grace, Cary, Rhys, Harrison, and Trace?  I loved these guys.  They are all coming from different backgrounds.  And you're going to watch them go through a hard time filled with so many mistakes and emotions.  They honestly made this book worth it.  I would have liked this book a bit more if it weren't for the ending.

I always forget that in a zombie apocalypse, there are no surprise endings.  In the end, we're all going to die...  And while a lot of people die in this book, you don't really get any closure from Sloane's point of view other than she's going to fight to stay alive.  And I really, really wanted some closure or an explanation.  But all I got was, "And the fight to survive continues."  Blargh.

There are a lot of people who loved this book.  It's about finding your will to survive when you think you're done with life, and it's not a sugar-coated zombie apocalypse.  However, it just didn't suit me.

Challenges:  Young Adult Reading Challenge


  1. I've been tempted to read this but keep putting it on the back burner. Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. I'm sorry you didn't like this one. I actually enjoyed reading it very much.

  3. I've been wanting to read this one for a while but now I'm not so sure...


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