This is Not a Test
St Martin's Griffin
June 19, 2012
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon
Just one bit from someone who's turned is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a mindless, murdering monster . . . And there's no signs of any help or other survivors.
But for Sloane Price, it doesn't seem that bad. Her life before the world seemingly feel apart was far from picturesque. Now, a girl stuck with five people doing anything they can to survive is just waiting for it all to end. For those things to bring her the end she's waiting for.
As the days drag on, they each find a different reason to carry on . . . but as the tensions rise, with six students alone twenty-four-seven and life or death decisions weighing on them, the violence threatens to make its way inside.
It would be easy to see that Courtney Summers, a writer of contemporary, realistic YA fiction up to this point, had written a novel with a zombie apocalypse and just say that she was jumping on some sort of bandwagon. Oh, how wrong you would be, though.
This is Not a Test while definitely a zombie novel, is the most contemporary, realistic fiction zombie-having novel I've ever read. There are times in the novel when I got so involved in the story and the characters, what was going on inside the school that I forgot the dead were just outside those barricades, outside the doors. Almost. I say almost because it's always in the back of your mind that the reason Sloane and the others are in the school is because of what's going on outside.
Sometimes, it's just in the way back of your mind.
Sloane has some mystery going on with her - as to just what all is going on with her - and the other characters have things they're not quite being upfront about, either. It adds some tension to the situation (on top of the obvious tension) and allows things to stay interesting as we learn about them while they're trapped in a high school for days on end. It's a less gruesome 'The Walking Dead' meets 'The Breakfast Club.' Pretty awesome, really.
If you love contemporaries but don't usually (or ever) read anything supenatural/paranormal/other, please, please, please don't let the 'zombie apocalypse' put you off of reading hit - you'll miss out on a great contemporary!
And if you only ever read books with zombies or werewolves or vampires or some sort of creature, please do read this! It's fantastic.
Other books you might like: Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield and Trapped by Michael Northrop
thank you to LT's Early Reviewers for my advance copy