Monday, 27 August 2012

YA Book Club: This Is Not A Test

[Created by Tracey Neithercott...click above for more!]

All the feelings, you guys.

All the feelings.



THIS IS NOT A TEST is incredible. It's a zombie story, but it's not really about zombies. It's about what happens to people when they're put in a crazy, unbelievable, life-threatening situation.

Six kids are trapped in their high school, hiding out from all the dead people who keep coming back to life. Not all of them want to be there. Not all of them want to be stuck with the people in there with them. Sloane Price doesn't really care about anything but her sister and who even knows where she is?

Courtney Summers creates these characters who you want to like but you can't. Or you do, but you're not sure why. You start off liking them, or hating them; and then they do something to make you hate them, or like them; and repeat. And then you never know what they're going to do next: who's going to turn on who, who's going to go crazy(er). It will stay with you after you read it, take up a space in your brain, thinking what would you do? Trapped in a building, unable to go outside because, y'know, zombies; not knowing what's going to happen in the next day or week or year, wondering if maybe it wouldn't just be easier to die; doing things you never thought you were capable of because it's a different world now...

This book is tense, fast, sexy (don't ask me how that's even possible because I have no idea)...did I say tense? Parts literally had my heart pounding, wondering what was going to happen next, how everything was going to unfold. And can I just say how much I adore the ending? I adore the ending.

Courtney Summers makes me think that I can write whatever the fuck I want to but also that I should not write anything ever because I'll never be as good as Courtney Summers. Especially at zombies.

Have you read THIS IS NOT A TEST? What did you think?

10 comments:

  1. lol @ "Courtney Summers makes me think that I can write whatever the fuck I want to but also that I should not write anything ever because I'll never be as good as Courtney Summers."

    Too true.

    And I loved the ending, too. Appropriately gory/hopeful. I was worried about getting things wrapped up with a bow, and I'm so glad that she didn't go that route. Now we need a Cary-centric spin-off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I'd totally read that. I love ambiguous endings, especially in a story like this. I like being left to wonder what might happen next :)

      Delete
  2. I've heard so many good things about this book! I can't wait to read it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must read it! I set aside a Sunday especially because I knew that once I started I would not be able to stop!

      Delete
  3. I agree with Crystal - total LOL moment!!!
    And I found myself wavering the entire time on who I liked the most and who I didn't - and then it would flip. And then I would put the book down and think, "what the HELL just happened?". And then I would wonder what I would do if I were stuck in this book. Man, I love Zombies. And man I love a good book that makes me think. So THIS IS NOT A TEST? Yeah, it really worked for me.
    Plus, I really loved the cover. And all the blood spattered chapter heading pages.
    Great review, Becky, great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I LOVE the cover! Something about the way she's in motion, but you can't see her face, and the way she's holding herself...oh, I just love it.

      Delete
  4. Such a great review. I love how Summers kept surprising me when it came to the characters. None were all good (well, Harrison is debatable, but in my opinion he was the weakest character of all) and even when we learned the bad I had a hard time hating them because, well, look what they went through. The character whose bad side I most felt for was Cary and what happened with Trace and Grace's parents/Harrison. I know I was supposed to like him less for that, but it just felt so real and his heartbreak over it all was so deep that the dark part of his character actually made me love him even more. Well done, Summers.

    Thanks for joining in the book club!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree with you about Cary. I could tell how guilty he felt and he had done an awful thing, but I could see why he did it as well. I just felt sorry for him :( Looking forward to the next book club selection!

      Delete
  5. Wonderful review!!!
    And hahaha I had to laugh at your last sentence :P
    Those characters are indeed flawed but likable and even their darkest action is heartbreaking.
    As you mention as well: "It will stay with you after you read it"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, well it's true! I love that Courtney Summers writes these characters who you waver between liking and hating, and she never lets you go completely one way or the other. It's a skill :)

      Delete