This Is Not A Test
Courtney Summers

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Dawn


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, everyone’s motivations to survive begin to 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? Source


Within a few pages I was engrossed in the story. I read the entire book in one sitting, it took about an hour and a half and I enjoyed every minute of it. The story, more specifically the zombies, is a bit recycled but the characters make it unique.

At first, the teens are just relieved to be safe and have food and shelter inside the school. It doesn’t take long for tension to develop between them. One character is a leader, one is an instigator, another is a bully, yet another is afraid of his own shadow. They are all compelling characters despite their flaws.

The teens are thrust into making adult decisions, decisions that could get them killed. They have a cohesive plan, BUT you cannot plan for the unexpected. Each new situation throws them for a loop and they struggle to come to terms with each other and the world around them.

My favorite character, Sloane, is heartbroken after her sister disappears. She doesn’t have a good home life. Despite that, she’s tough, self-possessed and decisive. She’s a bit misguided but it’s understandable considering she went from a horrible home life to being trapped with people from her high school. She grows up a lot, she learns from her poor choices.

The suspense, which is off the charts, kept me interested. You never know what’s coming next. If you think you know how it ends, you’re in for a big shock.