This is Not a Test

This is Not a Test

This Is Not a Test

by Courtney Summers

Genre: YA Post-Apoclyptic
Published: June 19th 2012
by St. Martin's Press




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.


‚ÄúThis is not a test. Listen closely. This is not a test.”
But I think she’s wrong. I think this is a test.
It has to be.

There is no doubt that This is Not a Test is an intelligently and thoughtfully written book, but for some reason or another I was felt a slight emotional disconnect from the characters and the story.

It’s the dawn of the zombie apocalypse, and six teenagers have taken shelter in their local high school. As tension brews between them, they must put aside their differences if they want to survive.

The story primarily follows Sloane Price, one of the six hiding in the school. Sloane’s narration is raw and real, and it’s hard not to sympathize with her after all she’s gone through. Sloane’s life is filled with constant pain and loneliness (the one person she loves – her twin sister – left home without telling her, leaving Sloane alone with her abusive father). All of this pain and grief causes Sloane to retreat inside herself and become distant.

While Sloane’s character is flawlessly crafted, I can’t say the same about the other characters. Each of the five characters Sloane hides with felt the same, and there wasn’t much that distinguished them from one another. Their characters felt a bit underwhelming and I just wish they had the same attention to detail as Sloane’s character did.

Ultimately, though, this book is about survival – not from the zombies outside the school, but from fellow human beings within. Courtney Summers explores the haunting truth that humans are the most destructive and dangerous creatures on the planet.

While This is Not a Test is conceptually flawless, I was just not emotionally invested in the story as I wish I could have been. Nonetheless, I still highly recommend it – especially to those who like haunting, philosophical stories that stay with you long after you finish them.


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