This is a story that caught me off guard. I mean, come on, it's a story about a zombie apocalypse. Not exactly my cup of tea.
What makes this story work is its simplicity. Unlike many post-apocalyptic books, we don't need to know the specifics of what caused this catastrophic event to happen and it isn't the job of the heroine to save humanity and find a vaccine to fight the disease which causes humans to transform into zombies. While zombies exist, they aren't the driving force of the story. This is Not a Test is a book primarily about family, friendship, and love. It explores the morality of survival and what people are willing to do to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Sloane Price isn't a conventional heroine. Heck, there are times when she is downright unlikeable. Sloane's older sister ran away and left her alone to face the wrath of an abusive father. Sloane's home situation is horrible and she cannot envision a future worth living, so she decides to end her life. She has planned out her entire death and intends to carry it out on the day people begin turning into zombies. Against all the odds, Sloane survives the first wave of the zombie invasion and joins a group of teenagers who have managed to hide from the zombies at their high school. These teens may not want to work together, but they each play an integral part in ensuring their group's survival.
This book is amazing. It's a gritty story that begins with Sloane's very limited and often misinformed point of view, but her interactions with Grace, Trace, Harrison, Cary, and Rhys gradually changes the way she thinks about the world and her life.
This is a wonderfully morbid book. However, I wish the ending wasn't so abrupt. I doubt a sequel is in the works, but I continue to hope that Courtney Summers will expand this story and write one.