This is Not A TestAuthor: Courtney Summers
Genre: YA Dystopia
Published: June 19th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin
Purchase from: Amazon | The Book Depository
It's not everyday that I come across a good zombie story. But This is Not A Test is beyond good. This is brilliant, a well-written zombie novel that's not all gore and violence. It has enough drama, suspense and emotion to keep you reading. More than an apocalyptic novel, This is Not A Test is a story on what it truly means to survive.
Sloane Price is suicidal and has no sense of self-preservation whatsoever. I find her interesting as the main character and narrator of the story because her thoughts and instincts go against everything that one is supposed to do in her situation. She's depressed and well, considering her past, it's not a surprise that she wants to just end everything for her even when the world around her is on the verge of ending, too. But despite her suicidal tendencies, Sloane possesses strength that she's not even aware of. And that's where the other characters come into the picture. Somehow, they all helped Sloane find her courage and heart to survive.
The prose is really good and poignant. Courtney Summers knows how to use her words to maximum effect, whether the scene involves running away from zombies or making out with a boy in the locker room or just happening inside Sloane's head. Every page seeps with emotion that my heart practically aches for Sloane and all that she's lost. The writing is that vivid and effective. There's not much in character development though, because Sloane basically stays the same all throughout save for one major change in her towards the end. The other characters, too. (At least the ones who made it to the end.)
Tragic is only one way to describe it but I guess that's what happens when the world, or at least your town, gets overrun by zombies. Not everyone makes it and the ones who do are never really safe. This is Not A Test is an ironic story of a girl who survived even when she didn't want to. And in surviving, she gets better and stronger, if not whole. A really good read.