Wednesday, 14 November 2012


This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

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. For Sloane Price, the end has never been something to fear. Six months ago, her world collapsed, and since then, she's failed to find a reason to keep going. As the days crawl by, and the motivations for survival change, the group's fate is determined less and less by what's happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life - and death - inside.

So, basically, I heard "zombie apocalypse - teenagers trapped inside a school, five want to live, one is suicidal." And I was sold. I wanted to read this book. It wasn't quite what I expected. I'm not sure what exactly it was that I expected, but this wasn't it.

Firstly, Summers has done something really unusual - she's focused on the boring bits of the apocalypse. And because of that, it's actually really interesting. There's less bashing zombies' brains out with bats, and more sitting around and wondering what to do. I know that doesn't sound especially interesting, but it really was. My problem was that I didn't like any of the characters. Seriously, not a single one. At all.

I wasn't on board with the ending either. I've been thinking it over for a couple of hours and I'm still not happy with it. For those of you who have read it, the problem started when Sloane found her phone and the text message on it. Everything that followed was just a mess. Honestly, I thought the sender of the message was setting up a trap for her, and I kind of wish that was what had happened. As it was...meh. I didn't really care. Maybe I would have cared more if I'd cared what happened to Sloane, but I didn't.

The writing was good, it kept me interested right up until the last section, and so I'll definitely give Summers' books another go. I think maybe this book just wasn't for me. I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it like I was expecting to. I feel a theory about zombie books formulating...

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