This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Published on June 19, 2012 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Genres Young Adult, Dystopian, Apocalyptic
Buy on Amazon http://amzn.to/1SMjHmV
This is Not a Test centers around the main character of Sloane; it’s the end of the world and she has ended up with five other students in Cortege High School. Although they have secured the building, the walking dead are still pounding on the doors, trying to get in. Once you are bitten, you are dead, it’s only a matter of time before you die and turn into one of them. This doesn’t sound so bad to Sloane Price; her entire world fell apart six months prior to the end of the world and she was already in the mind set to give up. Sloane day dreams about the barricaded doors failing and her world finally coming to an end. This doesn’t happen and she is forced to view this situation through the eyes of the other five people she is with. People she didn’t know that while prior to the apocalyptic events. The longer they stay, the more problems arise and soon there is danger both inside and outside the school and life altering decisions have to be made.
We meet Sloane in the beginning of the book, as she explains a bit of her life, as the walking dead literally start breaking down her door. She escapes and the book jumps 7 days later, when she has been picked up by the group and they are safely inside the school. The story then flips back and worth, retelling the events that occurred while the group made their way across town to the local high school. The story is told from Sloan’s perspective and you realize quite quickly what her mindset is throughout this zombie apocalypse. This books tells the story of how the characters survive once they are holed up in the high school together, day to day and then when bigger events take place.
I have read a lot of apocalyptic books and this one was much different from the majority that I have read. Although the end of the world scenario is much different, it reminded me a lot like Z for Zachariah (http://amzn.to/1WaDzp8). The author seemed to focus a lot on character development and I felt we really to know Sloane, Rhys and the rest of the characters quite well. I also enjoyed the fact that this book wasn’t all action, all the time. I liked the mixed elements and I was never bored with any part of the book. It was a much different way to write this kind of novel. This is the second book I have read by Courtney Summers and just like the first, I really liked this one as well. There is also a 100 page e-book, that is the follow up to this called, Please Remain Calm. I am hoping that the author is planning on writing a second, full length novel as a follow up to the first.