This is Not a Test is the 4th novel by young-adult novelist Courtney Summers.
In the near future, teenager Sloane Price is ready for her life to end. Her mother has died, her older sister Lily has abandoned her, and her father is an abusive, violent monster. Sloane is nearly relieved when a zombie apocalypse threatens to wipe out the rest of the living humans in her town, yet is compelled to flee for safety. Sloane then spends the next several weeks locked inside of her high school with 5 other students hiding from zombies. It is there inside the high school that Sloane realizes that she still has reasons to fight for survival.
Although I was skeptical of This Is Not a Test at first because of the zombie plot (which has become quite tiring within the past few years), this novel completely blew me away. It's fast-paced and very engaging, and once I started reading, was driven to read it straight through the night and into the following morning.
This Is Not a Test is written in the first-person narrative from Sloane's point of view, and is broken up into sections and chapters of appropriate length to hold the reader's interest. Sloane's character is not as "emo" and pathetic as I expected her to be, but intelligent and broken considering her circumstances and family background. In fact, Sloane's character is the determining "make or break" factor of the book, and is so tastefully and smartly written that the book is a winner, in every aspect.
As I read This is Not a Test, I found myself itching to know the book's final outcome. In no way is this novel predictable, and the ending is oddly satisfying after a very action-packed experience.
Teenagers and adults alike will love This Is Not a Test! I highly recommend it for fans of horror and zombie-fiction. The novel is dark, horrifying, creepy, and subtly romantic all at once.
If you enjoyed reading Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, you will probably also enjoy This Is Not a Test. Although the plot subjects are vastly different from one another, I immediately thought of Zusak's novel upon finishing This is Not a Test. Other novels by Courtney Summers include Fall for Anything (2010), Some Girls Are (2010), and Cracked Up to Be (2008).
Click on any of the images of the books below to review them in more detail on Amazon.com.
What are your favorite zombie-apocalypse novels? Share your suggestions with us in the comments section below!