Review: This Is Not A Test

Author: Courtney Summers
Pages: 322
Format: ARC
Release Date: June 19, 2012

Goodreads / Amazon

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?

*A copy was provided by St. Martin's Griffin for review purposes*

I don’t read zombie books as a rule (the last one I read was The Forest of Hands and Teeth and I had nightmares for a week.  Of course, that was 3 years ago, but you never know…) so I was really nervous to start this one.  Luckily, I had nothing to worry about.

I have never, ever read a book like this.  It was creepy, strong, heartbreaking, sad, gritty, raw, and just downright amazing, and I swear to you I will never forget it.  But not for a bad reason.  This book made me feel the strongest emotions I have ever felt, and I cried several times (I never cry when reading books.  Except for with Old Yeller).  This book just really opens your eyes and makes you think.  I have never read a book like this before, and it will definitely stick with me for a while.  Everything about this book is perfect: the writing, the characters, the story, the idea, the world, everything.  I don’t think I would have liked this book half as much if all of those things weren’t perfect.  There was amazing staging throughout the book, and the plot took unexpected twists and turns.  It’s really hard to make a book set in a school interesting, but Summers pulled it off tremendously, combining amazing writing and the fact that with that writing, she can make readers feel the strongest emotions.  Seriously, I don’t know how she does it.  There are only a select few books that I have been pulled into and not been able to put down, or that have made me feel really sad or scared, but this is definitely one, and Summers really has a magic touch because it’s amazing when you can do that.  One thing that I do want to know is if Summers is writing a sequel, because seriously she can’t let it end like it did and not explain it.  One thing that I don’t understand in this book is how someone (I’m not going to say who) was “injured” but somehow didn’t “turn”.  Summers didn’t really explain how that happened, and that, and only that, would be my only problem with the book.

This book has one of the most amazing cast of characters I have ever seen.
The main character is Sloane.  I must admit that I love her.  She does have her issues, but seriously, I can’t blame her.  She is strong, emotional, and most of the time it was like she was sleepwalking because she didn’t let anything in.  I really really liked her.
Then there are Rhyse and Cary.  I love them both.  Each one has an accompanying twist to the story that comes along with them, and I love how Summers added a little twist or fact or event here and there to make the story even more exciting.
And lastly there are Grace, Harrison, and Trace.  I have to say that I really, really like both Trace and Grace.  Trace is really sometimes a jerk, but I really liked that because he made the story interesting and really, he has an excuse.  I also really like Grace because she’s so strong and nice and kick-butt.  Harrison would have to be my least favorite character, just because he wasn’t a huge part of the story, until the end.

I can’t even explain this book.  It’s just so raw and emotional and scary and dark…there really aren’t words to describe it.  The best I can do is say that it is truly amazing (and that’s coming from a girl who hates zombies) and that you must buy and read this book.

5 pink flowers


  1. This sounds really good! Great review :) I'm looking forward to reading it!

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. Great review!

  3. Author Courtney Summers offers her view of the end of the world in This is Not a Test, a new teen novel that follows in the footsteps of the popular post-apocalyptic genre. When the world ends, six students, including Sloane Price, take refugee inside Cortege High School to wait out the apocalypse -and, most importantly -to survive physically and mentally.

    This is a Not a Test had its ups and downs for me. The books crowing glory, without question, is Summers' gorgeous, lyrical writing style that frequently boarded on poetry. Though, I'll admit that her storytelling isn't orthodox and can be considered slow-moving or lacking in enough dialog, that really didn't bother me for most of the book. I was completely pulled in by Summers' amazing style and the fascinating character depth that grew with every word.


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