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This Is Not A Test Paperback – 9 Jul 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Griffin (9 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312656742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312656744
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.2 x 532.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 285,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

""This Is Not a Test" is both "sexy" and desolate, and it will blast a hole through your heart, yet somehow start to stitch it back together again"--Daisy Whitney, author of "The Mockingbirds" and "The Rivals"

"Courtney Summers is a ferocious talent in YA fiction. "This Is Not a Test" brought me to tears, caused me to gasp in shock in public places, and almost put a stop to my heart . . . Summers' voice is raw with emotion, and utterly right for the impending zombie apocalypse."--Nova Ren Suma, author of "Imaginary Girls"

"[Courtney Summers] blends all the perfection and simplicity that defines her writing so well with this added paranormal element for a snappy, exciting story I just couldn't stop reading, and then I got to the very end and realized that it was about so much more than just making it out alive."--Julie Cross, author of "Tempest
"
"Intriguing.... It takes some artistic guts to set a portrayal of a suicidal teenager amid attacking zombies, but Summers has a history of risky choices.... Unusual and absorbing."--"Kirkus"

"This Is Not a Test" is both "sexy" and desolate, and it will blast a hole through your heart, yet somehow start to stitch it back together again "Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds and The Rivals"

Courtney Summers is a ferocious talent in YA fiction. "This Is Not a Test" brought me to tears, caused me to gasp in shock in public places, and almost put a stop to my heart . . . Summers' voice is raw with emotion, and utterly right for the impending zombie apocalypse. "Nova Ren Suma, author of Imaginary Girls"

[Courtney Summers] blends all the perfection and simplicity that defines her writing so well with this added paranormal element for a snappy, exciting story I just couldn't stop reading, and then I got to the very end and realized that it was about so much more than just making it out alive. "Julie Cross, author of Tempest"

Intriguing.... It takes some artistic guts to set a portrayal of a suicidal teenager amid attacking zombies, but Summers has a history of risky choices.... Unusual and absorbing. "Kirkus""

This Is Not a Test is both sexy and desolate, and it will blast a hole through your heart, yet somehow start to stitch it back together again Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds and The Rivals

Courtney Summers is a ferocious talent in YA fiction. This Is Not a Test brought me to tears, caused me to gasp in shock in public places, and almost put a stop to my heart . . . Summers' voice is raw with emotion, and utterly right for the impending zombie apocalypse. Nova Ren Suma, author of Imaginary Girls

[Courtney Summers] blends all the perfection and simplicity that defines her writing so well with this added paranormal element for a snappy, exciting story I just couldn't stop reading, and then I got to the very end and realized that it was about so much more than just making it out alive. Julie Cross, author of Tempest

Intriguing.... It takes some artistic guts to set a portrayal of a suicidal teenager amid attacking zombies, but Summers has a history of risky choices.... Unusual and absorbing. Kirkus

"

"This Is Not a Test is both sexy and desolate, and it will blast a hole through your heart, yet somehow start to stitch it back together again" --Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds and The Rivals

"Courtney Summers is a ferocious talent in YA fiction. This Is Not a Test brought me to tears, caused me to gasp in shock in public places, and almost put a stop to my heart . . . Summers' voice is raw with emotion, and utterly right for the impending zombie apocalypse." --Nova Ren Suma, author of Imaginary Girls

"[Courtney Summers] blends all the perfection and simplicity that defines her writing so well with this added paranormal element for a snappy, exciting story I just couldn't stop reading, and then I got to the very end and realized that it was about so much more than just making it out alive." --Julie Cross, author of Tempest

"Intriguing.... It takes some artistic guts to set a portrayal of a suicidal teenager amid attacking zombies, but Summers has a history of risky choices.... Unusual and absorbing." --Kirkus

About the Author

Courtney Summers is the author of young adult novels including Fall for Anything, Some Girls Are, and Cracked Up to Be. She lives and writes in Canada, where she divides her time between a piano, a camera, and a word-processing program when she's not planning for the impending zombie apocalypse.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had some misconceptions before I started this book. I thought it was going to be a zombie book but really it’s a book that has zombies within the story. It’s much more than a zombie book. It’s a story about survival.

This Is Not A Test centres around six characters who are hiding in a school. It’s the end of the world and there are zombies outside who are determined to kill. The zombies will only need one bite to kill a person. Sloane has been suffering for six months and begins to wonder if it’s time to give up. Sloane has to experience the apocalypse through eyes of others that want to survive. Days pass by and life becomes even more unpredictable for the teens inside the school.

I thought this book was so intense and quite tough to read. As I expect from Courtney Summers, this book really was quite dark. I could feel Sloane’s pain through the pages. I’m not usually a fan of books containing zombies, but it really worked with this book. It wasn’t gory, but the reader certainly felt the threat throughout. It was creepy to think of them lurking outside hammering on the door. *shudders*

I absolutely loved the character of Sloane. She is incredibly complex and her pain was so tough to read about. I really feel a character like Sloane adds depth to the story. There’s so much to be found in this story, there’s grief, loss, a lot of pain and a struggle for survival. It really is a wonderful read and I’m intrigued to see how the story continues in Please Remain Calm.
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I picked this up mostly out of curiosity - the concept of NOT wanting to survive a zombie apocalypse is pretty intriguing, after all - but I'll admit I wasn't expecting much; YA doesn't usually do much for me.

I wasn't won over in the first few pages - a pet hate of mine is how most zombie apocalypses start as a normal day and rapidly go wrong - but by page 20 or so, I was hooked. The pace is nothing short of breakneck, and the scene quickly becomes incredibly tense, dramatic, and totally engrossing. Even sexy, as described in the blurb. It's all extremely tangible.

The characters are strongly established from the start and they all become more and more interesting as time passes. They're all believable, real.

Sloane, the protagonist, is a fantastic mess. She thinks and does several very questionable things, which the author is delightfully unapologetic about. It's super refreshing to witness. Sloane is also driven, I think, by in large by selfishness, in spite of her repeatedly saying she's not. However, there's something about her that's still very... Not likeable, as such, but you will definitely find yourself rooting strongly for her. You'll root for all of them, at some point or another.

The writing style is brisk and sharp, gruesome in detail and witty as hell in the dialogue. I rarely laugh out loud at books, but I did at this, more than once. I cried, too. It's heartbreaking on more than one occasion. There's plenty of emotional highs and lows in this.

The description of the protagonists' abuse by her father and her subsequent neurosis is extremely well handled. She's anxious, jumpy, and constantly on edge before there's even any danger - except, for her, there always was. Important issues like abuse and mental illness are so often portrayed badly, so I was relieved to see it being done right.

I'll definitely be reading more by this author.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No. Not really. And that's why, having bought this back in January 2013 it has taken me nearly six months to complete it.

I didn't buy this on Kindle. I bought the paperback version. I still can't make out who it is on the front cover.

But these details aren't that important. What is important, however, is a good story, with good characters, and for the first hundred pages or so, I was waiting for something definitive to happen.

I didn't like the f-word on practically every page. It made the characters more unlikable, but I stuck with it because the premise of the children stuck in the school was good. Not original - but who cares, so long as it is told well.

This, is where Miss Summers raises the story above an average yarn. The in-fighting reminded me of Lord of the Flies - a good book which was spoiled by having it rammed down our throats at school.

I have never read that story again, and I was pretty sure I wouldn't give this book a second read, because I doubted I could complete it the first time around.

Nothing seemed to be happening, but - (see spoilers below) when it really got going, it was unputdownable. I have read the remaining 220 pages this afternoon.

This is Not a Test is not so much about zombies - though their inclusion is well written and satisfyingly executed. What it is about is surviving - day by day, down to second by second.

In some cases that reflects the struggles of many people today, who battle every single moment in order to survive.

Replace zombies with bills at the door, and you will know what I mean.

Sloane is without doubt the best written character in the book. I couldn't feel much for the others until much later.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not really sure what to make of this one. It was a good read and it was well written but maybe I was expecting more zombies? Or explainations? Or a resoloution? I'm torn.

I really liked the story and couldn't put it down until I found out what happened to them all... but I didn't get closure. I'm not saying all endings have to always be neatly tied up but maybe with this one I'd have been happier and would have given 5* instead of 4*.

A handful of kids end up in a school, sheltering from the zombie hoards outside which roam their town relentlessly. Why are there zombies? I have no idea and I suspect the kids don't either but since they never ask each other those simple question's, "Why?", "Where?", "How?" I'm left wondering if maybe they do know, in which case - why don't I?

Sloane is the narrator and we get an insight into her life before the zombies came although I felt that I never really knew the whole story of what went on there either. It's frustrating. There's only one viewpoint really and I only found out what Sloane wanted me to know. Since Sloane herself was mostly fixated on her sister and her need to end it all I didn't get to know half of what I needed (wanted) to know. Enquiring minds need to know.

So, accepting that I didn't find out all that I wanted (needed), how was the story? It was good actually. Dark and sinister and creepy and scary and all the stuff you come to expect from a zombie book...just without many zombies. One or two popped up every now and then and they were the jacked up crazy kind but because I didn't see much of them they were more of a psychological fear than a physical fear. It was scary wondering where they where going to come from...if they were going to come...when they were going to come.
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