THIS IS NOT A TEST, by Courtney Summers
Reviewed by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Here's the official description:
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?
There's been a lot in the press recently about adults reading YA. Since I started added YA novels to my writing resume about a half dozen years ago, I'd say I read 50/50 between adult and YA fiction. One problem adults that don't read a lot of YA have is: How to find the ones that work well for an adult readership too? And then when it comes to the zombie apocalypse, finding the right book becomes exponentially harder.
I have to admit, I don't have the zombie gene. I don't get the attraction. I don't watch that show on TV that my husband loves; I don't even like running across pictures of that show in my TV Guide!
And yet, I love Courtney Summers's writing and I loved THIS IS NOT A TEST. Perhaps it's that Ms. Summers is wise enough to leave most of the grossness outside the hermetic shelter she places her characters in so that what remains is sheer gripping psychological drama? Or maybe it's that Ms. Summers rocks so much, she rocks anything she attempts? Whatever the reason, I absolutely loved this book, my 12-year-old daughter loved this book, and I'm confident you'll love this book. Really, it's the only zombie-apocalypse book you'll ever need.
Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of 26 books for adults, teens and children, the most recent of which is the romantic comedy for adults, PURSUING THE TIMES. You can read more about her work at www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBaratzL