This Is Not a Test

Courtney Summers
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?


Reviewed: 2015-04-07
When the zombie apocalypse happens, some people won't care as much as others, people who are already facing very difficult lives. And even if being part of a small surviving group overcomes some of the mundane difficulties of life, it doesn't overcome all of them.

I was totally engrossed. The back stories of the characters were fascinating and plausible, and trying to figure out how to survive, and who to listen to, and second-guessing everything except when you're so worn out with it all that you can't even think. Summers does a great job of alternating the intense scenes with slower, more thoughtful, even slightly boring scenes, giving the reader a chance to catch her breath before the next great crisis. And in a zombie apocalypse, there always is another crisis coming.

And also, there's more behind everyone than just the current adventure of running from zombies. That stuff would make a compelling read all on its own. So, both thrilling and deeply empathetic. With a longish timeframe (months, not days) that feels natural to the way things develop. I'll be reading everything Summers has written.

Library copy.
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