This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers.
After having a gander around Courtney Summers’ twitter page and seeing that her cover photo was a still from George Romero’s classic flick Night of The Living Dead (favorite movie ever), I knew I wanted to read this book.
I read a lot of reviews for This is Not a Test before I bought it. Most of them drew attention to the fact that this book isn’t about Zombies. I’d have to agree. It’s more about the human condition, and how humans behave when the end of the world is imminent. Trust me when I say, Courtney Summers does an excellent (and terrifying) job of exposing those dark and dangerous parts of our personalities that we hope we’ll never be forced to explore in real life.
Some of the best YA stories I’ve ever read are about putting a bunch of kids in an impossible situation and forcing them to make life or death decisions. Think Katniss Everdeen and her stint in the Hunger Games arena. What would you do to survive? I don’t know about you, but that kind of question, or more accurately the answer to it, frightens me more than the crazed creatures these authors dream up.
Panic not flesh eater fans, there are some hardcore Zombie moments in this story, with plenty of blood and flesh munching. But the Zombies are only a catalyst for the events that take place in the story which is centered around six kids, hauled up in a school as the world outside crumbles at the hands of the undead. I don’t want to give too much away because this is a book you should experience for the first time in it’s entirety, without any spoilers.
I will say this:
We witness events through the eyes of suicidal seventeen-year-old, Sloane Price. Sloane doesn’t really want to be a survivor, but she’s swept up in a sea of her peers as they make for the sanctuary of Cortege High.
There’s division in the small group of six. People died during the journey to the school, important people, and now blame is forcing a barrier between our survivors.
The dead outside are banging on the doors to get in and tension is poisoning the air inside the school. Add a gun and a bottle of whiskey to this mix and you’ve got yourself a hardcore fight for survival.
More than once this story made me sit bolt upright, a WTF? bubbling on my tongue. This story is so raw. It invokes all the feelings. I cried, I laughed and by the end I had my plan for a Zombie apocalypse all mapped out in my head.
I have to say that this is my most favorite book of 2012. If you’re looking for a chilling read to see October out, this is the book for you.