Friday, December 21, 2012

Review: This is Not a Test

Author: Courtney Summers
Publish date: June 2012
Source: Classroom library
"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 wantto live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon 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. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?" (Goodreads)

Well, I have discovered a new favorite author! I've been meaning to read a book by Courtney Summers for a long time and this was the first of hers that we got at school, so I borrowed it and absolutely LOVED it. I cannot praise this book highly enough!

One of the things I loved most about This is Not a Test is that even though there are zombies in it, it's not a zombie book. In fact, I don't think they were even called zombies--just the infected. This book was much more about Sloane and her choices. At the beginning of the book, she has decided to kill herself, but after people became infected, she had to make a choice: give up or fight to stay alive. I really love that the book was more about that and the group dynamics at school than the zombies themselves.

I also really loved Courtney Summers's writing style. At some points it was like a punch to the gut: so real. I'm around teenagers a lot and was one not too long ago and I think her dialogue was spot on (not that I've been in a zombie apocalypse though). Her words were just full of fear and angst with a dose of hopelessness. I basically was just completely captivated and didn't want to stop reading.

I've book talked this one and it's been borrowed already! I hope my students love it as much as I did. What Summers book should I read next?

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