Saturday, February 28, 2015
Review: This Is Not a Test
This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book blew my mind. And it made me feel empty.
This is the apocalypse and six teenagers manage to survive the zombie plague that seems to be overcoming the world. They barricade themselves in their high school while trying to figure out how stay alive. However, not all of those six teenagers are grateful of being alive. There's Sloane Price, a girl who has had her own apocalypse not long since and cannot wait for the dead to feed on her.
When I started this book, I thought it was going to be a slaughter of humans and zombies...but it was not. And don't get me wrong, I'm not disappointed. If anything, I only liked it better. This is a story about survival. But then again, it is not only about surviving from the zombies. They also have to survive to themselves.
You would think that after they manage to secure the school, everything is perfect and the only thing that is left for them to do is to finding out how to kill all the zombies and get back to their normal lives, nonetheless, you wouldn't even think about the conflicts existing between the characters, because, you know, we live in a perfectly harmonious world in which everyone agrees with everyone. But that is not the case in this book.
We get to see how complicated it really is to survive...and that surviving does not only mean to be alive. What does it matter that you're alive if you have nothing left for you to want to live? That is a question analyzed in this book. And that is the inner conflict Sloane is trying to get through. She fights to find the answer to that question...and she fights for her to find her own reason to survive, because that's what everyone seems to be trying to do.
The set of character in this book is one of the most interesting and realistic I have read about. First, we have Sloane, the narrator, which I said to be a conflicted girl with no reason to live. Her life was already torn apart when the zombies came, so this apocalypse really didn't worsened anything. I could understand her and I felt bad for her. Sometimes, I have to confess, I feel just like she did, so I could sympathize with her. The other teenagers trapped with her have also their struggles and their own reasons to live, and her discovering those reasons made me feel very sad, too.
I loved the writing. It was stunning. And sad. The writing is impregnated with a sad tone throughout the story. But it was a great writing. Everything felt so vivid I could almost say I was with them. If a book has a slightly boring plot but has an amazing writing, I would be glued to it just because of the writing. This book kept me glued all the time, both because of the writing and what has happening.
This book was beautiful, raw, depressing and soul-crushing. And I loved it. I hope it doesn't tell bad things from me the fact that my favorite books are the soul-destroying type of books, but that's the truth and I can't deny it. This book ripped me and builded me again. I don't think a book had done this to me since I finished The Final Descent, which was also pessimistic in tone and everything. A point in your favor, Ms. Summers.
This was my first Courtney Summers' book, and after readingThis Is Not a Test I can say for sure that I will continue reading her books. I hope she doesn't disappoint me and that all of her books are as good or better than this one. I'll be craving for your books, Ms. Summers, did you hear that?
Please read this, you will not regret it. And remember, this is not a test, though this book certainly felt like a test to my mind...