Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: This is Not a Test

Book: This is Not a Test
Author: Courtney Summers
Series: N/A
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 320
Source: Raincoast Books (Thank you so much!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 4.5/5
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?

(summary taken from Goodreads

First thing you have to know is that this book deserves 5 stars as much as any 5-star book does maybe more! The only reason my rating isn't perfect is because of the sudden ending, which I had to stare at for a bit because I couldn't believe it was over just like that. 

Otherwise, I can safely say that this book is perfect imperfection! An absolute must-read.  

This is Not a Test isn't your average zombie book. It still has zombies and thrilling scenes and an intensity that will break any scale, but it's not all about gore (which I was thankful for because I don't have the strongest stomach!). It's about six teenagers fighting for survival in the apocalypse. And I promise that once you start, you won't be able to stop!  

Sloane is the narrator and such a broken girl that I fell into a quick, fierce, and protective love for her from the very start! She's beaten by her father, and her older sister Lily (the one person that she trusted) abandoned Sloane to save herself. The other characters will break your heart too. Sweet Rhys, guilty Cary, wallowing Harrison, and the inseparable twins Grace and Trace... Damn if they're imperfect, but I loved them all so much! 

But what makes this book so BRILLIANT is how real it all is. Because when you throw six teenagers into one building surrounded by zombies, they're not going to get along. They're not going to be perfect. They're not going to always do the right things or say the right things, but you love them despite all that because you know you'd probably do the exact same! 

With brilliant writing and a brilliant premise and brilliant characters and why don't I just say it? brilliant everything else, This is Not a Test is definitely my favourite zombie book to date! There's a little bit of romance and a lot of danger, and many more things that convince me to add Courtney Summers to my favourite authors list! :) 

BUY or BORROW?: A must-buy for everyone and anyone, especially if you're a zombie fan like I just became!



  1. oOOH!! Great review, sweet Mimi!!! I LOVE Zombie books, so I am definitely going to give this one a go!! And I've heard so many great things about it... first Giselle, and now you too?? WANT!! <3 ILY Mimi doll!

  2. Awesome review Mimi!! I do like that it's not all gore. I've been thinking about pre-ording this... I really should! I'm so happy you loved this one. I'll make sure to watch out for that ending!

  3. Strange, I have never read a zombie book before =)) But this looks interesting. I'll have to check it out. Haha.

    Great review as always, Mimi :D

  4. IS IT SCARY? O.O I want to try it, but I think I don't have the guts to read horror books. I mean, the i-can't-go-to-the-restroom-because-i'm-scared kind of horror book. :))

    Great review, btw. :)

  5. This book gives me the shivers every time I read a review for it :( ZOMBIES and I DO NOT go well :/ Not that I've read/watched many zombie-related books/movies...but...the word "zombie" just...terrifies me :/ Awwwwww! It's a pity the ending was so sudden :/ I know for me, the ending of a lot of books play a huge role in determining my overall thoughts and rating for it! Eeeeeeeeee! YOUR FAVOURITE ZOMBIE BOOK!?! SHIRLEY MUST READ THIS. YAYYYYYYY! It'll be released soon :) I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS <3 heheheee FABULOUS review Mimi! Glad you LOVED this:D

  6. I am not a big Zombie fan for I read a few Revies like yours about this and I truly think I might end up liking this one. I truly like broken characters, I love following their way to get back their live. Wonderful Review, that totally sold me on this book!

    Oh and btw: I MISSSED YOU although I had so much fun at BEA, I missed my bloggy girls!

  7. I don't think I've seen one negative early review for this book! Honestly, with all the praise surrounding it, I have huge expectations for this book, but I have a feeling that I won't be disappointed.
    I love zombies, although I haven't read many books with them, but this one seems simply fabulous. I like the idea that this book isn't only about gore, but it has much more depth than that.
    The characters all sound wonderful and honestly, I can't wait to meet them ! :)
    It's a little upsetting about the ending though, especially since you don't know if it's part of a series or not.
    Nevertheless, I'm so glad that you enjoyed this book so much that it's your favorite zombie book over.
    Great review, Mimi ! :D

  8. Wasn't this brilliant!!! I freaking loved it too it was so realistic I completely agree. It was an emotional roller coaster. I usually get fed up with teen angst but this one was just so well done it was simply REAL!! And I loved the narrator! Sloane really knew how to pull us in! Great review, Mimipoo!!

  9. People keep saying that it's not about the gore, and I keep thinking: Is that supposed to be a plus? Hah. But in this case, it seems that it is. I love that so many of my friends enjoyed this! I didn't want to request it when it was on NG simply because I was buried in review copies, but I'll defintiely order one now.
    It's so great when you start feeling protective towards the narrator and Sloane seems exactly like the type. I can't wait.
    Lovely review, darling!

  10. OH WOW, this book is seriously an instant buy for me when it comes out! Like you, I don't have the strongest stomach, so I'm glad that this is not a usual zombie book! I usually avoid zombie books because there's nothing pretty with that creature, but this book sounds TOTALLY different! x) Plus, I keep seeing amazing reviews for this book, so I just know that I have to read this!! :)

    Gorgeous and thoughtfully written review like always, Mimi-doll! <3

  11. Love this author and her books. So this book is definitely on my to-read list. Great review!

  12. I swear every time I read a review of yours I find myself adding another book to my tbr shelf on GoodReads, ha! When I came across this book I didn't really think much of it, but this is the second 5 star review I've read today so I'm intrigued! Great review. <3

  13. THIS IS NOT A TEST sounds like a great book. The synopsis didn't appeal to me, but I've been hearing rave reviews about this and want to read it now! Thansk for the review!

  14. You're so right about just how real this book feels, I found myself at times so attached to the characters, that I couldn't bare it if anything bad happened to them, at times it was so tense, I remember going to work and I nearly screamed a couple of time and people were just giving me odd looks! A truly brilliant review! You've captured perfectly just how much of an impact this book has! :)

  15. I've never ever read a book about zombies so I am certainly intrigued by this one... the premise is really thrilling! I'm glad it felt real for you because paranormal books often feel too out-of-this-world or just ridiculously absurd. And Sloane sounds like a likeable character, I'd love to be able to 'get to know' her :D Fantastic review, Mimi <3

    I noticed you added my blog to your Blogs I Love list! THANK YOU SO MUCH *hugs*!!! <3 Your blog really inspires me and I never thought such a popular blogger like yourself would love mine too! *squeals with excitement*

  16. I like how you point out how REAL everything seems...when they're surrounded by zombies. I've been leery of this book because I'm not a zombie fan but I think I will enjoy this one as I admire Summers' writing so much in the books I've read.

  17. Great review!! To be honest, I was kind of iffy on this one, but I've definitely been convinced XD I personally love the realistic reactions of characters. Even though I may not like the reactions, they are real reactions that people would have (including me!) in that situation which is what definitely makes me actually love them. I'll definitely have to check this one out!!

    All the best ♥
    Mackenzie @ Oh, For the Love of Books!

  18. Amazing review, Mimi! I really, really want to read this one. It just sounds so...brilliant! Indeed! :) I have Courtney's first book, I believe, which I still need to read...but This is Not a Test is on my buy-very-soon list. I think I'll even pass it along to a friend. she loves zombie books, and this sounds like a very unique means of using zombies.


  19. Ooooo perfect imperfection, what a great way to describe a book Mimi! I'm not a zombie person in the least, but it seems like zombies aren't a huge part of this book outside of their constant threat, so I think I might be okay. It sounds like this one is just too brilliant to pass up, I know if you say it's awesome, I'll be a fan of it as well:)

  20. I've never read a zombie book before, but my interest has definitely been peaked. I'll have to check this one out since you loved it so Great review Mimi!

  21. Mimi, I just put up my review for this and I couldn't agree with your review more! Fantastic review!

  22. Thud thud thud...that still haunts me. This was such a different read. Riveting! I loved that the characters were flawed and imperfect, Especially Sloane with her death wish. The tension is palpable! I agree this was such a solid read but the open ending left me frustrated and there are no plans for a sequel! Drat!

  23. Ahh, you always now how to make me even more excited about a book! I've been hearing great things about this one and I like the fact that you describe this book as 'real.' You are right: you'll love the characters in your book BECAUSE they say the wrong things - and to the wrong things. Deep down, you know that you'd probably do the same thing, although it looks stupid when they do it :p

    Great review like always ^^

  24. This is the second good review I've read for this book. I like that the focus of this book is on the kids, their motivations and intentions for survival (or not), and their relationships and not the zombies. I'm curious at how they all come through, and how the situation changes them all.

    I wonder if Sloane ever changed her mind, and if so why? Sounds like a fascinating read and your review makes me want to get to know the characters and get inside their minds during this frightening experience.

  25. I always keep forgetting this is a zombie book!! And while I'm plenty happy reading gore (I know, I have issues) I'm actually pleased to hear this is more about these real characters that you care about, fighting to stay alive in this creepy dangerous future. I'm already feeling for Sloane just from how you describe her! </3

    I can't BELIEVE I have yet to read a Courtney Summers book, but This is Not a Test WILL be my first!! THANK YOU for the ever incredible review!

  26. I am definitely not a zombie fan in the least, so that's why I've been sort of avoiding this book. But it is Courtney Summers and I've heard only amazing things about her books. I love the cover for this one! So creepy, yet hauntingly beautiful. I'm so surprised to hear that this book feels real, despite its zombie concept. I'm tempted to pick this book up after reading your shining review, Mimi! :)

  27. YAY I just finished this one today because my review is supposed to go up tomorrow and I have been slacking off on the reading because of exam prep lol! However I totally agree 100% with your review!!!! I haven't read a lot of zombie books probably because I'm not a big fan but I definitely enjoyed this one. The ending was really sudden because it seemed as if the book was just starting to get really interesting when it ended! At first I didn't want to read the book because I don't love the cover but it was totally worth it! I loved the characters too!!!!!!!! Perfect review Mimi! I would have seriously bought this book if I had not already read it after reading your review :-)


  28. Holy shitake mushrooms, Mimi!!! I swear, you could write a review for a paper bag and still make it sound AH-MAZING! <33333 I've never been into zombies either, but I am 110% certain that I'm going to like this book after reading your review, which is why I just added it to my next pre-order list! Thank God there's only a few more days until this one comes out because I don't think I'd be able to wait any longer. Sloane, my heart goes out to you. Courtney Summers, why do you rock so hard?!

    Fan-TABULOUS review, Mimi-Doll! <33333 ILY for making me want to buy this... all the while hating you a book at the exact same time! :P *shakes empty wallet*

  29. Throwing six teenagers into a building where they have to work together and survive zombies is definitely going to be crazy. Lots of arguing and fighting I bet. All the characters sound wonderful and I can't wait to see how they survive. Although you have me a bit scared of the sudden ending. I don't like those either.

  30. YESSSSS. THIS IS NOT A TEST had this creepily realistic vibe going on and I really dug that. Plus...Cary. Oh man, I fell for him, really hard. And Sloane - immediately sympathetic, and I wanted to cry for her so many times. I just, I whole-heartedly agree with your review, girl!

  31. Not really a fan of zombies but I do want to give this book a shot! Especially since I keep on hearing the "this isn't your typical zombie" book thing which piques my interest. Love the point you made about it being realistic, especially with six teens stuck together. It sounds like an absolutely brilliant book and a BRILLIANT review, Mimi! x

  32. I'm a big fan of Zombie books and I'm so happy you find this book and its characters brilliant! I haven't read the book yet but by the way you describe Sloanne's experiences I think I already fell for the girl! I'm so excited to read this one! Brilliant review, Mimi!

  33. I find the perfection of characters is in their flaws ...

  34. OOOOOHH MIMI!! You know, I wasn't too interested in this book for a while...then I kept hearing rave things about it - and now your review!! :D Okay, definitely reading this!! If you can make a zombie book realistic, it's worth the read allll the way!! :D

    Great review!

    Oh, and I mentioned you in my most recent post - said a little thank you - so hurry on over to read it! :D

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

  35. I love how you picked beautiful adjectives to describe each character Mimi!!!!!!!!! This is Not a Test is definitely a new book I'll be picking up! I must get over my aversion of zombie books with a wonderful zombie book!
    Flawed characters make a story so much brighter!
    Marvelous review Mimi!

  36. I want to read this one so much it's not even funny anymore. I love flawed characters who don't get along. And I'm on the edge of my seat wondering how they will possibly survive!

  37. What's really amazing about this book is how it's stuck with me. I read it months ago now, and have read any number of things since, but I still recall this so vividly. That's a sign of how mind-blowing it is!

  38. Oh, WOW! MIMIMIIIIII! I have chills just READING YOUR REVIEW! I see 'zombie book' and I think gore and action, but this sounds... well, amazing... about the people about what survival means and EEEEEEE! I kid you not, I didn't want to read this before--I think I actually requested on NG and then cancelled the request... now? Uh, WOW. I am SO picking this one up! ♥

  39. I have liked a few zombie books, but not many. So this wasn't one I really considered reading. But I have seen a few reviews now that have me thinking that this is definitely a different kind of zombie book and one I might like. Awesome review Mimi! I will have to watch for it!

  40. This book was amazing! I devoured this book. Totally and completely ate it up! Action, suspense, fear, hope...ahhh! All of that and then some has made this book tops on my list of must reads! Courtney Summers has done a fantastic job of depicting what a zombie apocalypse would be like as a teenager...having no one else to rely on but yourself, and finding the strength to trust the survivors that you are with.

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