This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
Published: June 19th, 2012 (St. Martin's Griffin)
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Buy the book: Bookdepository
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?
After being excited for a really long time (I featured this book in On My Wishlist recently) so I may have squealed a bit when I saw it was up on NetGalley. And then again when I was approved. While This Is Not A Test made for a solid good read, I felt oddly disconnected from the story because of the main character's way of distancing herself of just about everything, resulting in a three star rating.
Summers has created a believable and creepy world, where the apocalypse is happening and zombies are roaming the streets to find life to destroy and eat. The story is fast paced at all the right paces, with intrigue and personal relationships on the edge of collapsing when the story tends to slow down in the middle. While the middle of the story could get a bit boring because the characters were just hiding out, the events happening between the characters kept me intrigued to keep reading, so that's what I did.
The main character, Sloane, is a girl whose life collapsed when her sister left their home and left Sloane with their father. Although I understand why she was in the state of mind that she was, it made it really hard for me to connect with the story. In the end, I didn't and I felt so seperated from the story, so unable to feel with the characters, that it bothered me. I like to be sucked into the story, to feel what the characters feel, even if it's only for a couple of moments. With this book, I had zero.
This Is Not A Test is a solid good read in terms of writing and plot developing, but the characters fell flat for me and that's what made me like the book okay, instead of loving it. However, I really liked Summers' writing style, so I'll be sure to check out more of her work - and hopefully I'll be sucked into the story a little more.