Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review & Author Interview: This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
Release Date: June 19th/12.
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: E-ARC from Publisher
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
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 wantto 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 doyou hold on to?
My thoughts:
This was my first Courtney Summers book, but I promise you, it won't be the last!

I can't believe how much I enjoyed this book, definitely my goto title for a horror/zombie fix.

The opening is so gripping! Sloane's narrative keeps the pace exciting right til the very end. The reader can tell right from the first page, that Sloane has a dark, violent past- which foreshadows the events about to come in her life. Her quiet demeanour juxtaposes the chaos surrounding her (i.e. epidemic of ravenous flesh-eating zombies).

This read is definitely not for the faint of heart. The gruesome violence and death surrounding Sloane's past and future create a melancholy atmosphere in the beginning. That is until Sloane joins forces with five other teens who actually want to survive this epidemic. Summer's writing combined with the stellar cast of six uniquely different characters, all forced into close quarters, makes for a truly action-packed read. 

Believe it or not, with all this going on Summers still manages to incorporate a romance full of hot tension.   No love triangles in this read (so I won't mention my favourite character and give it away). 

I do have a couple of issues with this read though. I'm hoping this is the first in a series because some things were kind of left up in the air for me:
1)Unanswered questions, especially concerning Mr. Baxter
2) Ending, to ambiguous for my liking (PLEASE HAVE A SEQUEL!!! :))

With all that said, I truly enjoyed THIS IS NOT A TEST. I went through it in one sitting I just couldn't stop! I think Summers has done a great job of giving the reader six very different perspectives on how one would react when forced into a life or death situation. I look forward to reading much more from her!

If you like some bite, action and gore galore in your YA, than pick up This Is Not A Test, it'll have you on the edge of your seat from cover to cover!

Happy Reading!!!

Now please join me in welcoming Courtney to the blog today!!!

1. This Is Not A Test is very different from your contemporary works, what inspired this
They say "write what you love" and I've always loved zombies, from the time I was
twelve/thirteen.  It was inevitable!  :)

2. Sloane is a very complex character, what inspired you to create her?
Thank you!  In a lot of zombie survival narratives the main character is usually someone
who has an unwavering will to live.  I was really eager and interested in exploring a
character who doesn't want to live during the zombie apocalypse.  I knew it would be a
challenge to write and I always like a challenge.

3. It's the end of the world, what's the first thing you want to do before it comes to an
Tell the people I love them that I love them.  And then probably cry!  A lot.

4. We're introduced to six very different teens in This Is Not A Test, which one would
you say you relate to the most? Least?
I think I relate most to Grace and Harrison.  Like Grace, I don't like conflict but I am
fiercely protective of the people I love.  Like Harrison, I am extremely emotional (but
hopefully less annoying!)--I'm not the best person in a crisis.  I relate least to
Rhys--I understand him but in the same situation, I'm not sure I would make the same
decisions he does.

5. If you could pick one song that best describes This Is Not A Test, which one would you
Such a hard question!  It's not so much a song that best describes THIS IS NOT A TEST,
but I think it's perfect for Sloane:  Exile, Vilify by The National.

Thank you for stopping by today Courtney!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Hayley!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like such an interesting combination of contemporary and zombies and I think that is awesome! I think this will be one of the next few books I read.