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 want to 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 do you hold on to?
Well this was different to what I usually read, but I think that was part of the appeal. I had heard about This Is Not A Test for so long, but when I first opened the book, I had no idea zombies were involved.
Many on reviews say this is not strictly a zombie apocalyptic story, because while they are apart of the plot, they are not CENTRAL. The story is about the teenagers and their survival. They don’t know how long they’ll be alive for before the zombies fight their way through. It was definitely gruesome in parts, but I have read some pretty gruel stories and this was tame in comparison. The characters were intriguing and tough. Some were more central than others, and Sloane was the main character. Since her twin left her to her abusive father, Sloane has just wanted to end her life. But then she runs away when the dead come to life and start attacking, and her reasons to die become less coherent. It’s quite a powerful story, and at times I thought: this is it. She’s going to kill herself. But you gradually see she’s getting stronger and finding a reason to live, even if it takes time.
I’m really glad I picked this up from the library and will look out for more books by this author.