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THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers

Published June 19, 2012 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Series: standalone novel

Pages: 323

Genre: Apocalyptic/Post-apocalyptic

Blurb: 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?

Favorite quote: “We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the soundtrack of our own impending death.”

I feel that it’s appropriate to post a review of a book about the apocalypse. It’s still December 21, 2012 for me!

I usually don’t read zombie novels. I don’t like a lot of blood and gore. But the blurb caught my attention- a book where the narrator clearly wants to die and then the zombie apocalypse comes? Sounds interesting to me. I like depressing books.

And it’s quite depressing. Sloane’s every thought is about her abusive father, the sister who escaped without taking her, and how she’s going to kill herself. Now that there’s zombies involved, she considers just waiting. Eventually, they’ll get in, and Sloane won’t have to live anymore.

She tries to make it easy. She stays outside while people are rushing for shelter. But she gets saved by some teenagers and winds up hiding with them in the local high school. Including Sloane, that makes six, and it’s an interesting mix of characters. You’ve got the jock, the geeky nerd, the stoner, the beautiful girl, the old crush of Sloane’s…and Sloane.

So what happens when six teenagers are forced to hide together in their high school, and without any parental supervision? What happens when morals are questioned, when life or death becomes your every thought, when at any moment you could be dead? What if your entire family is gone? What if you don’t really have a reason to live through the apocalypse?

This isn’t really a zombie book. It’s a book about depression and life and death. It’s a book about human emotions. And there’s zombies.

If you’re like me and you don’t like a lot of blood and gore, don’t be afraid. There’s not a lot in this book.

This book I would recommend to zombie lovers (although there may not be enough of them in here for you…) and apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic lovers.

Other reviews of This Is Not a Test:

XpressoReads’ take.

The Readaventurer’s opinion.

Rating: 5 stars