Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: This Is Not A Test

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Date of Release: June 19, 2012
Page Count: 322
Unique elements: No chapter numbers (time goes on forever in a zombie apocalypse)
Would appeal to: Anyone who is turned off by zombie novels, it was that good!

Favorite Quotes:
"The way she says it, the way she's beside him--I want to be between them. I want to be in the direct path of their togetherness so I can steal some of the feeling for myself."

"When this is over, society will need entertainment to get past it. We'll make movies about it, hundreds of movies, and in every one of them, we'll be the heroes and the love interests and best friends and winners and we'll watch theses movies until we are so far removed from our own history, we'll forget how it really felt to be here."

"Cary pulls Trace away from the window but Trace is made of the kind of energy people with hope have."

"They also don't tell you about how you can share your deepest secrets with someone, kiss them, and the next hour it's like there's nothing between you because not everything can mean something all the time or you'd be crushed under the weight of it."

"Time has a way of shifting funnily in situations like these. There is not enough of it or there is too much of it and it's always one when you need the other."

I'm trying something new with reviews so they're a little quicker to read. Hopefully no one will miss the Goodreads summaries!

Why you have to read this:
Hate zombies? That's okay. This has dead people walking around trying to munch on anything living, but it's about so much more. It's about survival and how people act in life or death situations.  I mean, with the impending zombie apocalypse that everyone is freaking out about, it could seriously (not really) happen-- 6 teens trapped in their high school who get in fights and need human touch and haunted by the people loved ones left behind. There's whiskey and Never Have I Ever and a gun. There's jealousy and the locking up of boys and a mysterious voice on the radio. Just the faintest touch of Lord of the Flies...there's always a power struggle when a group is trapped together without a leader. But I didn't like LOTF, and I loved this book.

It's evokes gritty, raw emotion. I gasped out loud. I cussed at least once at something I didn't see coming. I felt overwhelming sadness for different types of losses. You've got to admire an author not afraid to explore death because that's what's real.

I read this so fast because it flows so well your eyes flit across the page. The writing is so convincingly teenager that I got lost in the words and became invested in everyone, from Sloane, who tells the story, to Cary, who's done awful things in his past. At points, Sloane's sentences are stream of consciousness, and it's so natural that I recall myself thinking, I would think the exact same things.  I couldn't put it down and would have liked to devour it in one sitting without interruptions.

Trace. He's mean and stubborn and bossy. He will do anything for his sister Grace. I thought the rhyming names would be annoying, but it served to showcase their closeness. Even though he was a jerk and bully to everyone at some point, especially Cary, and I first hated him, I found myself understanding his motives; my hate lessened into plain old dislike and then pity. He was in a situation with too much sorrow. It was nice not to hate him through the whole novel.

No details are just handed over to the reader. You learn about Sloane's awful past slowly and through small memories. Without her sister, she is nothing. There's the betrayal of both her father and her sister Lily to contend with, only one of which was expected. I felt her wounds. I felt her need for it all to be over long before the end of the world arrived.

What I wasn't that crazy about:
The ending. It's a little more open than I would have liked. I have so many questions. I am left wanting more. I read the ending four times like more words would actually appear on the page. That is the only thing preventing me from giving this a five star rating. Please, Courtney Summers, save us all this anguish and torment, by creating a sequel!!

I found that Emily @ Emily's Crammed Bookshelf has started a movement. It's worth a shot. Read this-- no, DEVOUR this, because you will--and then tell me you don't want a book #2...
I need more heart achingly real drama, more spot-on character development, more of Rhys, please! He's not the typical dreamy hero, but I did find myself loving his take-charge attitude that wasn't overbearing. And he's so gentle and I was excited to see the one really vulnerable moment he experienced. Help a girl out, Courtney Summers. Actually, help out a crap ton of fans!!!


Traci @ The Reading Geek said...

Great review! I really loved this one. I love that it is about so much more than just zombies like you said. I agree about the writing flowing really well also. I finished this book in a day. I definitely have a bit of a problem with the ending too though.

Erin W. said...

Fab review! I'm getting this book very, very soon. Can't wait to read it since I'm a big fan of the author's work.

Jenn Renee said...

I am very excited to read this book. thanks for the great review. I am grateful for the warning about the ending:)

Bookworm1858 said...

I actually didn't mind that the ending was so open-it seemed fitting for the story. Saying that, I would definitely read sequel were one written.

iLuvReadingTooMuch said...

This one sounds absolutely fabulous! love the premise as well :) Great review and I'm a new follower!

Confessions of a Readaholic

Krystianna said...

I'm glad to hear that this one is good! I recently picked it up and I'm excited to read it. Thanks for the review!