Kim's Reviews > This is Not a Test

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
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's review
Jun 24, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: made-me-sad, good-books-break-the-rules

This book is a test of courage and patience for readers.
For one thing, I am not a fan of horror novels. There's something cowardly about me that just simply can't stomach the grotesqueness of such genre - the only streak of courage in me lies in my courage to admit my cowardice. I read books for pure entertainment, and I don't find having sleepless nights or quivering from head to toe very entertaining. The only reason why I don't have a "Made Me Scared" bookshelf is because if i did the number of books on this shelf should be zero.
With the blurb making me think that this book was some sort of thriller-cum-suspense of sorts, this book has stayed on my to-read shelf for a long time before I finally decided to give this book a go.
Thriller my arse.
Don't get me wrong: This book was in a weird, sick, twisted way, good. If I were a fan of horror books, I might give this book a hundred stars out of five. Unfortunately, I am not a fan. But due to the rational, just part of my brain, I am trying very hard you have no idea trust me not to trash this book's ratings any lower than it deserves.
This book was very similar to the movie I Am Legend's plot, but here, there are 6 people instead of one, and you know what, in a way that's a bad thing. Both books pull off the eeriness of solitude in their own way. Here, desperation for survival has never gotten any more horrific (trust me I used the correct term), the students here become distrusting and hard-hearted to each other, sometimes I wonder what the point of living is when their circumstances are not any better than the zombies themselves. Survival here is, to me, way too overrated, by the middle of the book, it kinda drives them all insane. But then again, their determination and independence here is really laudable and lovely to read, even if their goal is, well, survival.
Enter the zombies. Well, what can I say? Their description here make those in that videogame Left 4 Dead look like fluffy bunny rabbits. Although they don't appear often in the book, their image have struck fear in the hearts of the (living) characters (and readers!) from page one. In this book, insanely, their absence is somehow more terrifying than their presence - when the zombies don't appear, there' always this ominous feeling that they're about to any time - even when they don't eventually (then again that's perhaps just me being paranoid).
The characters, despite there being 6 of them, stand out in their own way. Between them, there are conflict, suspense, and even the lousiest cheesiest ever romance, though I can't blame them given their situation but honestly, in this book making out is the least morbid element.
Oh the ending - what can I say - I hated the ending!!! I am a HUGE fan of happy endings - definitely none here in this book. The "none" applies to both the words "happy" and "ending". That is the worst part. Readers have no clue whether the (view spoiler)survivors make it in the end. Personally I think they don't - the circumstances render salvation impossible in my opinion. Perhaps there's a sequel. But there is NO way I'm going through this horror again.
On the whole, it was a good read. It puts a lot, especially what most of us have now - food, shelter, education, human company - into perspective, definitely. Not for the light-hearted.
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