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Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Source: Southern Book Bloggers ARC tour
I don’t know if I can adequately explain how brilliant this book is, but I’ll give it a try. I knew better than to expect an average zombie novel, based on the buzz This is Not a Test was already getting before I picked it up. What I did not expect was how the book would affect me personally. I finished reading this book almost a week ago, and I’m still dwelling on it, trying to collect my thoughts. But I’ll try to keep this short and spoiler-free.
This is Not a Test was poignant, sad, disturbing…the end-of-the-world at its most real. It was about the aftermath, not the before, not the cause. This story is about what remains when the world collapses around you. How you survive. How you cope…or don’t. It’s about six kids who become unlikely allies (or enemies in some cases). The story follows these kids, through the eyes of Sloane, and it shows us just how little we know the people in our lives. This novel is full of deep characters with consciences but questionable morals, and they’re all trying to survive as best they can.
This book was so raw and it felt so authentic. So much so that it makes one wonder if Courtney Summers survived the zombie apocalypse in a former life. It may not be a full-on zombie novel, but I still don’t recommend it if you’re squeamish. The zombies ARE scary as hell when they’re around, but you don’t see much of them for the majority of the novel. The threat of the walking dead is enough to be scary, in and of itself. But what makes this story truly revolting is the choices that have to be made. How do you kill someone who is infected but not yet turned? How could that NOT affect you? How do you go on living when everyone you knew and cared for is dead and gone? The dilemmas faced in this book were far more terrifying than the zombies…at least until the kids are faced with the zombies once again. Then all bets are off.The author has created such a realistic portrayal of human behavior in the aftermath of an apocalyptic nightmare. I fully expect to still be thinking about this one for weeks. It's definitely not for the faint of heart. This was my first Courtney Summers novel, though I have Fall for Anything on my shelf, but after This is Not a Test, I want to read everything she's ever written or even thought about writing.
Book-A-Likes: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick