Courtney Summers has magical powers. No, really, she does. When I read her books, I forget to breathe because I am so caught up and invested in the lives of her characters. This Is Not A Test taught me to not pigeon hole great authors. Because, you guys, Summers writes GREAT contemporary, so I was like, oh no, she’s doing zombies. BUT then I read This Is Not A Test and was like, magic flows out of her keyboard because I LOVED This Is Not A Test and truly believe that Courtney Summers will excel at any genre she puts her pen to.
This Is Not A Test opens not with a whimper, but with a bang. Sloane is eating breakfast with her dad, who is a real piece of work FYI, when there is pandemonium in the streets. YUP, A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE Y’ALL. Eventually, Sloane ends up barricaded in the school with five other teens. However, Sloan has lost the will to live, you see, her sister ran away earlier and Sloane feels life isn’t worth living without her sister.
Sigh. Sloane. I felt for her throughout the whole entire book. I mean, girl just can’t seem to catch a break. First she has like the worst childhood ever, as you learn from her flashbacks. THEN she’s had to deal with the abandonment of the person she trusted the most. It’s like no wonder Sloane is aching so badly and doesn’t seem to care whether she lives or dies. I couldn’t help but root for her and wish she would eventually find some sort of hope, or shake my head when she does something, errr, foolish, I suppose is the word. I’d mention the other characters here, Cary, Trace, Grace, Harrison, and Rhys, BUT I think they are best met in their own time as you read the book yourself, so you can form your own conclusions about them.
Holy wow you guys. I felt SO ON EDGE while reading This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers. First, there is my deep seated fear of zombies and they are a constant undercurrent. THEN there’s the fact that Summer’s characterizations usually hold a vice grip on my heart because I become so invested in them and get so worried about the characters and nervous. Combine both of those anxieties and it is a wonder that I’m not in the hospital for a heart attack. Seriously, when I wasn’t worried about Sloane’s mental health and if she was going to do something dumb, I got scared about the zombies. Reading This Is Not A Test was like doing cardio for me. No joke.
Look, if you’ve read a Courtney Summers book before, you should already know that you are in great hands. If you’re uninitiated, maybe you should let This Is Not A Test be your first – it’s dramatic, pulse pounding, exciting and you’ll come to really care about the characters in different ways. It’s got all the trappings of her contemporary novels, just dressed in a zombie suit, so don’t let the zombies put you off, k?
Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley.
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This Is Not A Test releases June 19th. You can preorder by clicking the button below: