Thursday, August 9, 2012

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

What happens if you have a monster for a father? What happens if your sister leaves you alone with him? What happens if on the same day you decide you’re going to kill yourself, there is a zombie apocalypse? I mean, really…what happens?

This was a neat twist on the usual zombie stories. Sloane is ready to die, she sees nothing getting better in her life and the one thing she had to live for, her sister, abandoned her several months ago. Then catastrophe! And she somehow ends up with a group of fellow students as they make their way towards the high school. There are some similarities to Trapped by Michael Northrop, but all in all I thought this was the stronger book. The social dynamics of the group are very well done, with tensions and emotions running high. It comes to a head in a drunken game of “I Never,” which as you can expect – does not end well. The book also explores what it takes to survive in horrifying circumstances (um. obviously, right?) and it is not awesomesauce.


I think it lost its focus a little in the second half, but I also think that it is hard to keep up the intensity of these types of stories. The story with Mr. Baxter could have been fleshed (haha) out a little more. I was wondering if there was a parallel story of abuse that got mostly edited out?

The other story that could have been expanded on and probably should have been, was the recorded message that they listen to over the radio. The kids do comment on its strangeness (medical processing? I mean, it just sounds super sketchy and full of ulterior motives), but then they decide to follow the instructions anyway. I’ll be honest – if I heard a similar recorded message I would think it was hella strange and probably stay where I was. Maybe the next message would sound better. Maybe the next message would actually explain something.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I read it in one day and didn’t want to put it down at all.

Book Source = Library Copy

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