Title: This is Not a Test
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: 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?
First, I want to say that I do understand why so many people have raved about this book. I really do. The writing is superb. It’s got the kind of literary vibe to it that you don’t often see in YA novels. Courtney Summers is very talented as a writer.
I wasn’t blown away by it. I was left with more questions than answers. The whole thing was really depressing. There’s lots of death and zombies and blood. But there’s no redemption. At all.
And quite frankly, I like my stories to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This story only has a middle.
The characters know more than we do about what’s going on. And that always makes it really hard for me to connect with a character.
When I read, it’s as a form of escapism – true for a lot of people, I’m sure. But what also happens is that for a little while, when I read I become the character(s) I am reading about. That didn’t happen for me in this book because there’s too much the audience doesn’t know about the story. We’re thrown in halfway and ejected again before it’s over.
A lot of people like books like this – I just happen to not be one of them.