This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (Review)

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A Zombie Apocalypse and a group of teenagers. Said teenagers find safety in the comfort of their old school. But it’s not a story of the apocalypse itself, it’s the story of the teenagers during the zombie invasion, and how they deal, and what their life was like beforehand. Sloane decides it wasn’t much of an improvement.

Beware, some spoilers ahead.

“The thing no one tells you about surviving, about the mere act of holding out, is how many hours are nothing because nothing happens. They also don’t tell you about how you can share your deepest secrets with someone, kiss them, and the next hour it’s like there’s nothing between you because not everything can mean something all the time or you’d be crushed under the weight of it.”

I love Zombies, but I would never want to be in a zombie apocalypse, and I’m sure I would not have lasted as long as these six teenagers did. Whilst the plot went around their survival, I thought that it was much more than that and had a much deeper meaning. It was about six teenagers working out their differences and putting up with each others shit for the sake of survival. Bonds form throughout, and it’s nice to watch those develop. People come to resent each other, and there are several tests of faith and trust. You really begin to care for the characters. Until it’s all ripped away and only Sloane and Rhys are left standing. The characters were the strong point of the story, and I think Summers did a fantastic job with creating such differing personalities. Our main character, Sloane, had a hard life before the zombies – she was abused by her father, and her sister abandoned her. She was strong, but she thought herself weak, contemplating suicide numerous occasions, and even nearly going through with it. For many people, I believe that she was a relatable character. But it wasn’t just Sloane who I came to care for, Cary and Rhys became quick favourites, and so did sweet, caring Grace. At times I though Trace was out of place, but then again he had just lost his parents, and needed someone to blame. Harrison, to be truthfully honest, did not leave an strong imprint on me, and I guess he didn’t on the others either. Was that the point?

Was the zombies at the forefront of their minds, and the story? Yes, but I believe that it was also about six teenagers opening up to each other, facing their vulnerabilities, and eventually finding closure-usually through death.

It was certainly a quick read, but I think that’s because I was gripped from the start! I would seriously, and highly, recommend you give this a read

RATING: ★★★★★

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