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This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test #1)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  9,711 ratings  ·  1,906 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Insurgent by Veronica RothCity of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenPandemonium by Lauren OliverRapture by Lauren Kate
YA Novels of 2012
108th out of 1,316 books — 10,510 voters
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithThirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThis is Not a Test by Courtney SummersThe Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
2012 Young Adult Standalone Challenge
4th out of 241 books — 892 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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this isn't a zombie book so much as a zombie framing device to explore damage and the difficulties of making yourself vulnerable in front of someone - of communication's pitfalls and the numbing effects of trauma.

there are people who believe that trauma builds character. these people have probably never experienced trauma. trauma does not build character, but how someone responds to trauma is the true and most telling test of character.

more often than not, trauma leads to a retreat. nobody is a
Jul 14, 2011 Courtney added it  ·  (Review from the author)
(view spoiler)
[Edited, because ZOMBIE NAILS. See below]

4.5 stars

This is not a zombie book.

This book has zombies in it. But it’s not about zombies, as such.

It’s about so much more than that.

Call them a catalyst, a threat, an inciting event – the zombies are an ominous presence that set off a chain reaction of events and lurk unnervingly around the corners of the book. But this is not even so much a book about survival, although that’s certainly one of the themes threading through the story.

For me, deep at it
When someone sees a zombie book there are two reactions: 1) Oh zombies, scary and gory! AwesomeSAUCE! or 2) Ewww zombies! Icky! - pass. So this is a warning: As far as zombie books go, This Is Not A Test has to be one of the tamest. It's not gory, nor is it an adrenaline filled story. Yes there are zombies and it can get intense at times, but funnily enough, it is not about the zombies. It's about a girl who doesn't want to live in this world anymore. She can't keep going with a dad that beats h ...more
Meg ♥
This has been said a few times, but it's certainly worth repeating. This is not really a zombie book. Although it has zombies in it, they are just the constant threat in the book, and they are minimally shown. The gore is quite minimal, too. This is just a warning for others, like myself, who aren't really into gory books, because I wouldn't want anyone to not read this book just because of that. Of course that can go both ways, however, and a zombie fan looking for an all out gore-fest may be d ...more
Emily May


I owe a huge thanks to Courtney Summers for giving me a second chance to read and review this after my netgalley rejection. It made my day and I'm so glad This Is Not a Test was all that I'd hoped it would be.

I'm going to say what I said at the start of my reviews or before I started reading: Feed, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Other Life and even the one I was sure would be the exception to the rule - The Reapers Are the Angels, and that is that zombie novels have never been my thing.
4 1/2 stars

Because I’m a fancy creative post writer, I thought I’d start this off with a quote from someone whose opinion I really trust:

Can you imagine what she's going to do with zombie survival?!! I bet it's going to be gruesome. :D

You know what? I really do love the sound of my own voice. You are so, so right, me of approximately five months ago.

Of course, this is Courtney Summers so the “gruesome” part of this book doesn’t arrive with the zombie apocalypse; it takes place within the grasp
"…I think it isn’t enough to survive for the sake of surviving…. Surviving should mean something like it means something to them. And if it doesn’t-
If it doesn’t."

Initial Final Page Thoughts.

An Exchange of E-Mails between a friend and I.

[Censored for spoilery badtimes]

Last night.
10.49 pm.


[blank] and then [blank] and omg [blank] !!!

OMG CATIE. WHAT.... WHAT.... *head implodes*

[A reply from Catie, aka, Presid
Aj the Ravenous Reader

"Now is not about gathering courage, it's about staying one step ahead of my fear."

Oh my goodness gracious! What did I just read???

I have this basic concept about how any story that has to do with zombies is old and funny. Sorry I don’t watch Walking Dead.

But I am now completely eradicating that concept from my mind because of this dark but masterfully written prose.

This is my first Courtney Summers read and I am instantly and immediately captivated by the unique writing style via her use of
This is Not a Good Book.

The summary sounded good. Six teens trapped in a school during a zombie crisis slowly go nuts on each other. The book did not deliver. What I was imagining from the summary was some sort of manhunt dog-eat-dog Lord of the Flies style breaking down of these trapped teenagers, where basic survival instincts would drive them into some crazy game of hide and seek trying to kill each other. In essence, the group of survivors themselves would be a more dangerous enemy to each o
What an outstanding.... odd book.
To be honest, I'm not even sure how to rate it.
On the one hand, I just want to praise it, recommend it, tell you it's amazing and give it 5 stars.
On the other hand, the aspect I didn't like is so macroscopic that I can't give it what it theoretically deserves.

This is the first book by Courtney Summers that I have read but rest assured I will soon get my hands on her other ones - one I actually already own, Cracked up to be. There's something really powerful in
Alienor ✘ French frowner ✘

This is not a book about zombies, this is a book with zombies.

And I'm so okay with that. I mean, to be frank, I'm not into zombies. Like, at all. Usually, they never manage to :
a) Scare me
b) Interest me

That's just gross to me. Therefore I end bored more often than not, except if I take it as a parody, changing myself into this annoying buddy who can't help but laugh at awkward moments. If it wasn't for all the reviews I read which pointed that it wasn't really a zombie horror book, I'd probabl
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤
I am so sad.
I am so sad it makes me heavier than the sum of my parts. I shift, restless, but it doesn't help. It's like-time. All this time in here is on me, has its hooks in me. Maybe if I sleep more, I'll wake up and I'll feel different, but I can't. The storm is really happening now and it makes the room feel emptier. Makes me feel emptier.

Okay, okay so.....I had some SERIOUS doubts on this one. Not because I don't trust my wonderful Alien friend (Anna), and not because I don't love dystopi
In the past I have read some good zombie themed books The forest of hands and teeth, Feed, but This is not a test has by far outdone all of these. Where can I start with this amazing book? It put me through a tumult of emotions; my nerves were always on edge, I had a constant aching in my chest. Basically I was a complete wreck after finishing it. It was one of the most powerful, thrilling yet gruelling books I’ve ever read.

This is not a test follows six teenagers, Sloane, Rhys, Cary, Harrison,
2.5 stars

Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

'The radio crackles the prerecorded voice of that woman at us over and over...
'This is not a test. Listen closely. This is not a test.'
But I think she's wrong. I think this is a test.
It has to be.'

The Storyline
'This is not a Test' includes a group of sorrowful teenagers trying to survive (some of them at least) and a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies.

Sloane Price has survived the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. She's joined up wi
Jun 28, 2012 Maggie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Maggie by: Literally everybody
I get the hype.

This Is Not a Test reminded me of Lord of the Flies meets The Walking Dead -- the first season when you're actually cheering for the humans and not the zombies -- with a dash of The Breakfast Club. Not only was this my first Courtney Summers book, this was also my first zombie book. Verdict? I'd like more of both please.

Sloane, a physically and emotionally abused girl, finds herself barricaded inside her high school along with five other students. While they know each other, they
Marg K.
I can’t even begin to describe how much I’ve been looking forward to reading This Is Not a Test. I love post-apocalyptic fiction, especially when it involves zombies, and I had seen a lot of really positive reviews of the book. Truth be told, once I started reading, I wasn’t as entertained & enamored with it as I had hoped to be, but I did (for the most part) enjoy it.

Listen, Courtney Summers can most certainly write well. No question about it. Her prose is beautiful and gritty and emotive.
Kathe L
If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. When my brother asked me what I did today, I told him I started this amazing book at 4 p.m and finished it 10 minutes ago and that today was a perfect day. I feel as happy reading a book all day as I am happy staying all afternoon with a dear friend. I could tell you 11/02 was a normal day, that I went to college, talked to friends, drank coffee, studied a little, played just dance and slept. But what I will remember of today is this wonderfu ...more
It only took me a few pages to remember how much I love Summers' unique style of writing: punchy, direct, achey, intense. Minimal words conveying maximum impact.

It took me only one chapter to be hooked. By the end of chapter one, I needed to read chapter two. By the end of chapter two, I needed to read chapter three. By the end of … and so on.

This is Not a Test is compulsively readable. Tightly plotted. Intense. Addictive. The drama in the pages never seems melodramatic, in spite of the premise.
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
There comes a time in everyone's life when we finally "wake up" and figure out that we don't need to be a product of our screwed up past. For some, it takes months, for other's it takes years (I should know). If you don't come to this realization, there are consequences... for some drugs, for others..suicide, or other forms of escape.

Sloane wants to die. Not because of the zombies. Before there were zombies, there was a scarier monster in Sloane's life. She was being abused by her dad, and was
Sep 05, 2012 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: zombie fans
Recommended to Carol. by: Trudi
The gnashing of teeth. The desperate creation of McGyver implements and traps. The fighting to survive. It's been too long since I read a zombie novel and I've been missing the sense of butt-kicking hopefulness they can bring. Unfortunately, while Summers is stellar at character development, this isn't the book to assuage the craving for fighting the undead and affirming life. This is Holden Caufield meets Lord of the Flies. Nihlistic and dream-like--Summers has challenged us with a narrator cle ...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
I have a text message.

It's the end of the world and I have a text message.

Why am I not surprised? Of course the end of the world would happen and everyone would be doing whatever they could in order to hold onto the last charge on their phone, just in case that one important text message comes through.

3.5 stars. My advice is that you go take a spin through all of the 4 and 5 star reviews first before reading mine. I'm going to be the rare fly in the ointment who isn't completely satisfied wi
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
I go back to sleep until a slow roll of thunder wakes me up.
By the time my eyes are open, a loud clap of it sounds overhead.
And then the rain, tapping against the skylights.
I am so sad.
I am so sad it makes me heavier than the sum of my
parts. I shift, restless, but it doesn’t help. It’s like— time.
All this time in here is on me, has its hooks in me. Maybe
if I sleep more, I’ll wake up and I’ll feel different, but I
can’t. The storm is really happening now and it makes the
room feel emptier. Makes me
I don't know how I'm going to do this, move through the hours like someone who wants to still be breathing when I had so firmly made up my mind to stop.
Wow. This little book has completely floored me. I was not expecting something so deep, so very melancholic yet shot through with the irrepressible human need to hope. Not just irrepressible, Summers shows us that hope is irreducible. Stripped to its basest core, hope just might be the evolutionary urge that has kept us going as a species for
I’m bringing nothing new to the table in writing this review, because everything I could possibly say about this book and more has already been said, but it’s worth a try from me.

I don’t want to write this review. I simply want to scream, “I love this book!” off a rooftop (or, you know, write it in my review space) and hope it encourages you to pick it up and hopefully love it as well. But I don’t know… I feel like I need to write a review for this book, but I know it will never come close to p
Good god, this book is brutal and unrelenting and bleak and other words that might make you say, "hey, why would I do that to myself on purpose by reading a book?"

WELL. The reason is that also this book is wonderful.

I complain a lot about this strange notion of books about dystopian futures, the end of our world as we know it, where, well, gosh, it works out OK! Sure your sad neighbor dies but you and your family are relatively unscathed. Sure, people DIE and all but not people you care all tha
Listen carefully. This is not a book. It’s a masterpiece.
Listen carefully. This doesn’t feel like a piece of fiction – it feels real.
Listen carefully. This story will leave you numb. I think I still am.
Listen carefully. This is not a test. It’s a review.

When the world as we know it is suddenly shattered by the shrill screams of zombies, the human race is in chaos. No one knows how the deadly disease came about, but they all know it spreads. In this race for survival, six teenagers fin
Holy crap did I love this book.

It reminded my a little of The Walking Dead, in that it’s set in a zombie apocalypse but the zombies are merely the backdrop for the human drama. But while The Walking Dead features a mostly adult cast (give or take an annoying kid or two), This Is Not A Test focuses on six teens as they hole up in their high school and try to figure out how to survive. Or if they even want to.

You see, the book opens with the protagonist, Sloane, contemplating suicide. But not beca
This book is insanely good. It was creepy, dark, terrifying, intense and just amazing.

Put simply this is about six teenagers who get stuck in a school after zombies take over the town. It is not clear where these zombies came from or even if the town was aware of them. Simple story not so simple characters. Each character has his/her own side story and not one of them is anywhere near happy. Sloane the main character has had a very hard life. Her father is abusive, her mother is gone, and her si
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Interactive Story 1 10 Feb 24, 2015 05:13PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: This is Not a Test By Courtney Summers - Restarting October 20th 2014 63 71 Sep 11, 2014 02:56AM  
! YA Heroines !: This Is Not A Test 11 45 Mar 20, 2013 11:15PM  
If the story continued... 6 154 Mar 18, 2013 08:46AM  
  • Exit Kingdom (Reapers, #2)
  • The Hallowed Ones (The Hallowed Ones, #1)
  • The Last Bastion of the Living
  • And All the Stars
  • Allison Hewitt Is Trapped (Zombie, #1)
  • Rage Within (Dark Inside, #2)
  • Monstrous Beauty
  • Taking on the Dead (The Famished Trilogy, #1)
  • Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)
  • When the Sea Is Rising Red (Hobverse #1)
  • Night Beach
  • The Glimpse (The Glimpse, #1)
  • The Other Life (The Other Life, #1)
  • Quicksilver (Ultraviolet, #2)
  • Shadows Cast By Stars
  • Tomorrow Land
  • Soulless
  • The End Games
COURTNEY SUMMERS was born in Belleville, Ontario in 1986 and currently resides in a small town not far from there. To date, she has authored five novels. Her first novel, Cracked Up to Be, was published when she was 22 and went on to win the 2009 CYBIL award in YA fiction. Since then, she’s published three more books–2011 YALSA Top 10 Quick Pick and White Pine Honour book, Some Girls Are, 2012 YAL ...more
More about Courtney Summers...

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This is Not a Test (2 books)
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“I wouldn't have left you like that. Not like she did to me." I swallow hard. "She always said I'd die without her and she left anyway."

"But you didn't die," He says.

"I did," I say. "I'm just waiting for the rest of me to catch up.”
“I woke up and the last piece of my heart disappeared. I opened my eyes and I felt it go.” 107 likes
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