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.
I was hesitant to read Courtney Summer’s This is Not a Test because I’m not a fan of zombies. However, This is Not a Test keeps zombies to a minimum, with them mainly appearing in flashbacks and in the denouement. I can see how zombie fans would be disappointed with the lack of action and epic fight scenes, but I was fine with it because the all of characters were rendered with such complexity, from their inner motivations to their flaws. I was skeptical how Summers could make being stuck in a school last 300 pages, but she did–and beautifully too. This is Not a Test is a wonderful, poignant character-driven story and what happens when you are stuck in a school with five less-than-perfect people in a hopeless situation, which may be more evil than the rancid zombies looming outside.