21 November 2012

Review: This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Title: This Is Not A Test
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published: 19th June 2012
Source: Own Copy

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?
Knowing that this is a Courtney Summers zombie book, you know it is not going to be a straight forward story of survival. The main character Sloane Price felt like she had very little to live for before the outbreak. She was alone in a horrible home situation after her sister left, and when the outbreak occurred Sloan saw it as a way to leave this world with no one noticing. When she ends up with five other students taking shelter in the local high school Sloane is not sure she even wants to be there.

What I love about novels including zombies is the tension. Zombie books should be straight up survival books with the horror almost coming from what the living are willing to do to survive. Since at the start of this book Sloane wants to die I felt that there was a lack of tension. To be fair this did build during the course of the book and the desperation of the other characters came through in the writing too.

As usual, Courtney Summers builds a complex character with real fears and feelings. You can't help but immediately sympathise with Sloane and understand why she has become numb to her own life. This numbness carries through a good part of the story which I found entertaining even if it was a bit lacking in tension.

I didn't enjoy this as much as I did with Some Girls Are and Cracked Up To Be but I enjoyed it none the less and I will be queuing up to read whatever she writes next!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks a lot for your honesty! I think it sounds like something unique to have a character who doesn't care about their life in a zombie situation, although I can definitely understand that there's going to be a certain lack of tension. I'm definitely curious about THIS IS NOT A TEST though...

    Fictional Distraction