Review: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

This is Not a Test
Courtney Summers
Series: None
Release Date: June 19th, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Number of Pages: 336
Source: Amazon
Rating: 5 of 5 stars

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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 want to 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?
I’m bringing nothing new to the table in writing this review, because everything I could possibly say about this book and more has already been said, but it’s worth a try from me.

I don’t want to write this review. I simply want to scream, “I love this book!” off a rooftop (or, you know, write it in my review space) and hope it encourages you to pick it up and hopefully love it as well. But I don’t know… I feel like I need to write a review for this book, but I know it will never come close to portraying how thoroughly amazing this book is, so please, just bear with me if you’re reading this review.

This is Not a Test was one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year, and when glowing reviews from friends of my had started to roll in, my anticipation for this book only grew. Sadly, This is Not a Test was removed from NetGalley shortly before I started using NetGalley, so I was forced to wait a few months to read This is Not a Test. When it finally appeared on my Kindle the day of its release, I was extremely anxious to read it, but also nervous, not wanting my months of waiting and anticipation to only lead to disappointment. I can say—and very happily, might I add—that it did not.

I really, really love this book. I finished it not very long ago (maybe an hour?), and I had to pry myself from the seat in which I was sitting when I finished this book to write my review. As I turned the last page in This is Not a Test, I wasn’t sure whether I should sigh, or cry my eyes out. Ultimately, I ended up doing both.

This is Not a Test is the story of six teenagers, finding refuge in their high school in the outbreak of a zombie apocalypse. Having been beaten by her father and abandoned by her sister, Sloane—the main character—no longer feels the need or want to continue living. As friendships—and hatred—are formed among the six refugees, how far will one go to ensure their fellow refugees are safe?

It takes a very skilled author to have a reader go through and experience the grief and sorrow their characters are going through, and Courtney Summers does just that. All of the characters are real, they’re flawed, they’re emotional, and you’re praying they’re all just going to make it out of the apocalypse alive along with them. Summers has created such amazing and believable characters that you’ll find yourself caring very much for each and every one of them, even the ones you don’t want to care much for. She’s able to make you cry for a character you never really liked; make you cry for everything the characters have gone through, and Courtney Summers' talent as an author is immeasurable in that skill, and many others. This was my first book by Courtney Summers, but I can assure you that it won't be my last.

This is Not a Test is a book I will be thinking about long after I turn the last page, and it will likely be the same for you as well. I can only hope that everyone I recommend this book to feels the same way I do about it, if not more, because This is Not a Test is amazing, heartfelt, and special, and it’s so much more than just another zombie book.


  1. Did you have any issues with the protagonist being suicidal in an apocalypse--meaning she kept trying to off herself to zombies? I thought it was well written and a good read, but that was one thing that bothered me...

  2. I think it would have annoyed me had she offered herself more frequently, but most of her suicidal inclinations were thoughts of suicide, with the exception of one or two occurrences at most. In fact, I hadn't really took notice of that, but I'm glad you liked it!


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