Rated Reads

This Is Not a Test

by Courtney Summers

Rated: High

Somehow I missed that this book is about zombies. I just need to get that out there, first of all. I needed to be ready for that and I wasn’t.

Now that that is out in the open, I can tell you that the main character in this zombie story is Sloane, a high schooler who has lived an incredibly challenging life anyway. Abuse and loss have already brought Sloane to the brink of serious depression when suddenly life is invaded by … yes. Zombies. Flesh-eating undead that, with one bite, can create even more undead. And Sloane has managed to find a safe haven in her high school with several other teens. Within its walls they are temporarily safe from the army of zombies outside but they know they can’t stay forever, and somehow what happened on the outside keeps making its way in.

So, there is serious creepiness in this book – some parts are actually quite intense and scary. There is also a lot of crazy violence. And obscene language. The plot is rather Lord of the Flies-ish, which is intriguing but also full of contention and fear and people’s biggest nightmares becoming actual reality. It is a harsh, harsh story. Sloane has so much baggage to work through that throwing zombies on top of it puts her pretty much over the edge. While I didn’t love the general darkness of the book, I did actually appreciate Sloane’s reaction to her abusive past and how much it affected her psyche.

Not for the faint of heart, this book.

Rated: High for more f-words than I could count as well as extensive use of other moderate and mild language, steamy teen make-out sessions that border on sex, masturbation, underage drinking and child abuse.

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

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  • This Is Not a Test
  • by Courtney Summers
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: