Customer Reviews for

This Is Not a Test

Average Rating 4.5
( 67 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Easily best book of the year

This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year! Seriously, it was superb. It was terrifying and raw, and as far as I am concerned, a definite foreshadow of the future. It is not a question of “if”, but rather “when”.

This first chapter had such an eeri...
This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year! Seriously, it was superb. It was terrifying and raw, and as far as I am concerned, a definite foreshadow of the future. It is not a question of “if”, but rather “when”.

This first chapter had such an eerie quietness; it was almost like the silence was a character in the book. Do you know what I mean? Like it was thick with silence.

Then there is chaos at the front door. Pandemonium outside. Confusion and blood. Her dad is in a fight with a woman who is clearly deranged. Isn’t she?

There are six teenagers and they’ve made their way to the high school. Rhys, Cary, Trace & Grace (twins), Harrison and of course, Sloane. Somehow, someway they’ve made it past the hordes of infected “people” and they’ve barricaded themselves in the high school. Pretty darn smart if you ask me. You’ve got food, water, entertainment, every facility you could just about hope for. Except Sloane doesn’t want to really survive. She’s been a survivor her whole life, and so much has happened in a short amount of time that her will is just sort of short circuited. You really feel for her. This is a first person point of view, which doesn’t always agree well with me. But in this story it fits the whole urgent-but-waiting theme perfectly. There are a few action scenes, but this book is not battle after battle with the undead. It’s more psychological than that. There are some battles, but it’s not really about the infected, it’s about the survivors.

Part two of this book explores a lot of group mentality issues and how you deal with the zombie apocalypse (my words, not the author’s) as an individual and as a group. It is so interesting how quickly the author immerses you into this story, that you find yourself yelling at the pages. “Don’t go there!!” and “Turn around!!!!” If you find a survivor who isn’t a part of your original core group, well, they are not really a survivor at all then, are they? You can’t trust them, can you? Do you take them in and embrace the addition of another living breathing person, or do you toss them out and make them fend for themselves because you just don’t really know their intentions, do you?

Part three will shake the foundation of everything you’ve come to believe about this story. It is a game changer, and dynamics definitely shift. It’s hard to know what is real and what is not when everything in your life for weeks now seems like something out of someone’s imagination and not the real thing. Courtney Summers does such a perfect job at illustrating the characters with her words, and not just the glamorous good stuff. We get to see all sides of this group. We see how they break down and how they build up, how they handle living now that everything they know has been chewed to pieces.

And Part four, well, part four I’d call hope. Hope to die, hope to live, who the hell knows what you are hoping for. For every person it is different. Personally I was hoping it would never end, the book that is. Put this book on your to-be-read this. Follow it. It’s not just a zombie story; it’s a look at what happens when all hell breaks loose.

posted by FictionalCandy on June 20, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

This book was a little too young adult for me. The book really

This book was a little too young adult for me. The book really played on the tensions and interactions of the teen group during the zombie apocalypse rather than the actual apocalypse itself. As a result I didn’t really connect or like the characters, although the aut...
This book was a little too young adult for me. The book really played on the tensions and interactions of the teen group during the zombie apocalypse rather than the actual apocalypse itself. As a result I didn’t really connect or like the characters, although the author does do a good job of making you feel sorry for/know where, Sloan, the main character is coming from. It was an interesting but didn’t have the normal action you would see in a normal zombie book.

posted by Drewano on May 23, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2
  • Posted June 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Easily best book of the year

    This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year! Seriously, it was superb. It was terrifying and raw, and as far as I am concerned, a definite foreshadow of the future. It is not a question of “if”, but rather “when”.

    This first chapter had such an eerie quietness; it was almost like the silence was a character in the book. Do you know what I mean? Like it was thick with silence.

    Then there is chaos at the front door. Pandemonium outside. Confusion and blood. Her dad is in a fight with a woman who is clearly deranged. Isn’t she?

    There are six teenagers and they’ve made their way to the high school. Rhys, Cary, Trace & Grace (twins), Harrison and of course, Sloane. Somehow, someway they’ve made it past the hordes of infected “people” and they’ve barricaded themselves in the high school. Pretty darn smart if you ask me. You’ve got food, water, entertainment, every facility you could just about hope for. Except Sloane doesn’t want to really survive. She’s been a survivor her whole life, and so much has happened in a short amount of time that her will is just sort of short circuited. You really feel for her. This is a first person point of view, which doesn’t always agree well with me. But in this story it fits the whole urgent-but-waiting theme perfectly. There are a few action scenes, but this book is not battle after battle with the undead. It’s more psychological than that. There are some battles, but it’s not really about the infected, it’s about the survivors.

    Part two of this book explores a lot of group mentality issues and how you deal with the zombie apocalypse (my words, not the author’s) as an individual and as a group. It is so interesting how quickly the author immerses you into this story, that you find yourself yelling at the pages. “Don’t go there!!” and “Turn around!!!!” If you find a survivor who isn’t a part of your original core group, well, they are not really a survivor at all then, are they? You can’t trust them, can you? Do you take them in and embrace the addition of another living breathing person, or do you toss them out and make them fend for themselves because you just don’t really know their intentions, do you?

    Part three will shake the foundation of everything you’ve come to believe about this story. It is a game changer, and dynamics definitely shift. It’s hard to know what is real and what is not when everything in your life for weeks now seems like something out of someone’s imagination and not the real thing. Courtney Summers does such a perfect job at illustrating the characters with her words, and not just the glamorous good stuff. We get to see all sides of this group. We see how they break down and how they build up, how they handle living now that everything they know has been chewed to pieces.

    And Part four, well, part four I’d call hope. Hope to die, hope to live, who the hell knows what you are hoping for. For every person it is different. Personally I was hoping it would never end, the book that is. Put this book on your to-be-read this. Follow it. It’s not just a zombie story; it’s a look at what happens when all hell breaks loose.

    15 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    THIS IS NOT A TEST is the story of a girl during a breakout of a

    THIS IS NOT A TEST is the story of a girl during a breakout of a zombie apocalypse. Most zombie books are about survivors of a zombie apocalypse, not the very beginning of one. Sloane doesn't know what's going on. She's not clued in to the fact that those are zombies running around outside her house. She's a poor, abused soul who doesn't understand that the world she so desperately wants out of is ending.

    In this day of mega zombie movies, video games, and The Walking Dead, it's unusual to see a take on zombies where the characters aren't hip on the zombie phenomenon. It was refreshing to see how realistically Summers approached such a campy topic. It's not so much a zombie story, as it is a story about people who are trying to survive something horrible. The zombies were scary, yes, but the people were scarier. Everyone, everyone, did horrible things in order to survive.

    The book was so full of despair and desperation, that it was almost addicting. It hooked me in a way that I've never been hooked before. I can honestly say that I did not enjoy reading it. It was horrible and depressing and your worst nightmare written down. But it's beautiful because of how horrible it is. And it will drag you in until you just can't look away. You have to finish it, even if it terrifies you. So I didn't enjoy reading it, but I had to read it. I couldn't not. It was too good.

    The detail that Summers uses in her writing brings out the true horror of Sloane's situation. This is definitely not a book for the faint of heart. There is gore, adult content, violence and adult language, so if that offends you this might not be the book for you. There are a few sexual situations, nothing very graphic, but still. If you're uncomfortable with subjects like sex, depression, suicide and death, than like I said, this one is probably not for you.

    The first word I thought when I finished the book was, "wow". THIS IS NOT A TEST is one of those books where you don't know how it could possibly ever end on a happy note, or even on a good note. And it doesn't. The government doesn't come and save everyone, the zombies don't go away. Sloane doesn't wake up and it was all a horrible nightmare. It's hell, and she's living it, and your living it with her. But in the end, somehow, someway, Courtney Summers manages to give you a little bit of hope when the world she's created is so hopeless. This is definitely Summers at her best.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Raw and powerful story of survival

    Courtney Summers delivers a unique take on zombies in her genre-bending book.

    Sloane's home life sucks with her abusive father. Sloane had her sister Lily to turn to, to love her, to support her, and to suffer with. They made a plan to escape their house together when Sloane turned 18. Except Lily breaks the promise, leaving Sloane to fend for herself. The abuse is so much that Sloane has no reason to have hope anymore. In the initial scenes of the book, it's evident how brutal her life has been, and she immediately garners sympathy. Even though what she wants to do isn't necessarily sympathetic, it's understandable. And when the zombies arrive, Sloane is elated; it's her chance to die.

    Then we're tossed into Cortege High School, where Sloane and five fellow students have barricaded themselves. It's frantic and desperate, at least to those five; Sloane is annoyed. Her plans were ruined, and now that she's been dragged to safety, she's even more frustrated. The thing is, she can't seem to find a way away from these people who want to live, and even when she has the chance to end her own suffering, she doesn't.

    Sloane is one of the most interesting characters I've read, but she's very challenging. She is obedient in every sense of the word. Because of her father, there's a sense of reluctance in her. She allows herself to be dragged to safety (where it would be easy for her to not), and she doesn't actively seek out her options for dying when she has the chance. Rather, she continues to follow what she believes is the right thing to do. To stay alive. Anything she could feel for herself has been taken away, physically and emotionally. That's part of why she's unable to actually go through with ending her life. Amid all of this, Sloane is likable; there's just enough hope inside her and just enough desire to move forward to make readers pull for her and believe she can survive.

    This is a powerful character-driven novel. Despite the zombie apocalypse occurring, what matters is not the undead coming alive but the living coming alive. Secondary characters are fully developed, and they each serve distinct purposes for Sloane. Summers excels in her use of subtlety to develop the characters. There are single lines or short scenes so raw they sting, and they speak volumes to who Sloane really is (who she is, not who she's told she is or who she has come to believe she is). The pacing in the book is deliberately slow, begging the reader to pay attention to these things. The story doesn't drag, though. Summers delivers on strong writing that doesn't try too hard and works to advance these characters.

    This is an extremely physical book. Each blow can be felt, as can each of the more tender moments. The book doesn't shy away from brutality nor from being gruesome; despite being heavily vested in reality, it's still a novel about the zombie apocalypse. I felt beat up and bruised reading this; fortunately, I had the same moments of hope and promise Sloane did throughout.

    There's a definite conclusion to come away with at the end of the book, and the way it's done is savvy. Sloane has to make a series of very difficult choices that force her to confront everything she's been so eager to shy away from. She'll revisit everything with Lily and her father and come to realize her body and her choices and her life are hers. So while this is a story of survival, it's also a story about what we fight for, and why we fight for things at all.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 22, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Very good book. I loved the characters and was sorry to see it e

    Very good book. I loved the characters and was sorry to see it end.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    Grate book!

    I love it!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    Awesome

    people who dont like this book should die

    I love dthis book

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Excellent book

    Fast paced, easy to follow, good twists and turns, extremely enjoyable. Highly recommended!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014

    Sara

    I loved this book cause it was just awlsome........... i will reread it over and over again

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    Best book ever

    This is the best book but the bad thing about it is that it ends withouht telling if they make it or not I really want to know :(

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    Jaiden

    A 14 year old girl with black hair that had a rainbow streak in it. "Hi..?"

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    Kayla

    "Ethan."

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    Ethan

    ?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 30, 2012

    Don't start this book until you have a good chunk of time availa

    Don't start this book until you have a good chunk of time available because you won't want to put it down. It starts quickly and grabs you from the first chapter. I read this over a week ago and I still can't get it out of my head. In the post-zombie apocalypse, Sloane and five other teens find refuge by locking themselves in their high school. They don't know how long their lunchroom food and water will last, and the zombies are roaming the streets waiting for someone to bite. The most intense conflict, however, comes from the teens' interactions as their patience, sanity, and very will to live are put to the test. In case I hadn't mentioned it...I am not a zombie-fan. In fact, if I had realized this was a zombie book, I would have put it back. I'm so glad I didn't.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Irresistable!

    Disturbing, gritty, and above all, beautiful, This Is Not A Test will have you drawn in from the first page to the last. With characters that are real and relatable, this book is less about the horror of the apocalypse, and more about the tragedy of its survivors. All in all, this book fantastically portreys the fragile balance that is life after "the end", and it will have you on the edge of your seat just as often as it has you in tears.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I could not put this book down. I am a huge fan of apocalyptic n

    I could not put this book down. I am a huge fan of apocalyptic novels, zombies or not. I end up enjoying most of them but few leave me thinking about the story for weeks after. This is one of those books.

    "This Is Not a Test" contains so many aspects of young adult fiction and combines them wonderfully. One thing: there is no romance. I did not mind this at all; if romance were added to this story would not have as great of an impact on readers. It would have strayed away from the point the author was trying to make and would not have been realistic in this book.

    The main character Solane, states that she is ready for death after her sister left her with their abusive father. Though throughout the story Sloane makes choices that showed me that while she had hardly any hope, she was not exactly ready to die just yet.

    The book is filled with angst, gaining strained friendships and enemies, trying to hold onto hope and being very weary about trust. While the characters are locked in the school for the majority of the book, it never once felt boring. There is a good mix of Solane’s thoughts, her interactions with other characters, and thoughts about the outside world. While some readers will be disappointed the characters are not face to face with the zombies for most of the book, I think it made the zombies even more of a threat. The characters didn’t know how they came to be, how dangerous they were, and what the world was like outside for the most part. It was a very scary thought.

    I only feel like the ending was a little rushed. It seemed like many of the drastic elements happened in the very last chapters and it left me devastated. But my guess is that was what the author was aiming for and she did a good job to pull at my emotions and have me cringe. I was rooting for all of the characters, even the ones that weren’t so kind. You can’t really blame any of them for their actions because of everything they have witnessed and been through.

    The very last scenes actually shocked me. I didn’t not see them playing out like they did. The author did a good job on keeping the reader guessing. The reader is left with the same feelings as the characters at the end of the book: devastated and still leaning on that little bit of hope. A great book that I would recommend to not only apocalypse fans, but fans of young adult books in general.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    Amazing

    Worth reading

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 5, 2012

    Ultimate Favorite! I’ve been hearing many good things a


    Ultimate Favorite!

    I’ve been hearing many good things about this book. So I’ve decided to give this book a shot. I love books about zombies. The gore, action, adventure, romance are my thing. Well, the book did not disappoint me. This book is the whole package. I swear, I have many jumpy moments while reading this book. This Is Not A Test is intense, there is nothing like it.

    The story is about 6 teenagers, who are doing their best to survive a zombie apocalypse. We see the world in the eyes of Sloane, a broken girl who is about to give up. The group trap themselves inside their own school, basically barricading each exit. Will help be coming their way? Will Sloane finally use this opportunity to kill herself? You have to pick up this book to find out.

    The world building is phenomenal. It’s like watching Big Brother in the eyes of a girl. The story is very believable. Indeed, it could happen! -Cough- Hopefully, not. I was on the 3rd page and literally on the edge of my bed. As I view the apocalypse from the eyes of Sloane, I could really feel her emotions towards everything. Her fear, struggles, dedication, courage and her wish to end everything. That’s how good this book is! You could feel everything, like you are thrown inside the book to see and feel everything. Thanks to author’s way of writing! I give her 3 thumbs up for creating a heart pumping read!

    The character building is as good as the world building. Yes, the characters are very realistic. As a reader, I feel like I was one of them, paranoid and afraid. The author did a good job in making each character unique. There was an array of personalities. Sloane is hard to like at first. She is suicidal, hopeless and in denial. But she had changed Mid Part! I came to like her after her stunt. Her courage awed me. Even though, she was just using that opportunity to kill herself. Rhys is my second favorite character. He’s cool, very courageous, smart and caring. Trace and Grace gave spice to the story. They are inseparable; the story tends to revolve around the two. How them blamed Cary for their parents death, had certainly entertained me. There are more characters in this book that I like. I will leave them to you to discover about them. Again, you have to read this book to find out more.

    As for the love angle, I was literally expecting none. I mean, how can you find love amidst the chaos? You are constantly fearing for your life and expecting a zombie attack every now and then. This book surprised me! There was romance despite the apocalypse. I will not tell you Sloane’s love interest. All I can say is that, the romance melts my heart. There were some steamy scenes in this book. Why not? There are 6 teens with raging hormones trapped inside J

    Over all, this book is an excellent read. I recommend this book to mature YA readers who loves action, gore, suspense with a hint of romance. I will be stalking Ms. Courtney Summers from now on. I will see to it that I would read everything that she writes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    Must read

    How do you fight for survival when you have no will to live? Sloane has decided to die but the apocalypse has managed to ruin her plans. Now she's trapped in the last stronghold in town, her highschool, with four other students. How far would you go to save the lives of others when yours no longer has any meaning?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Everyone be quite. Do you hear that? That is the sound of EPICNE

    Everyone be quite. Do you hear that? That is the sound of EPICNESS coming from this book.
    EPPPPIIIIICCCCCNNNNNEEEEESSSSSSS!

    Why is this book so epic? Have you ever read a book that is so deadly intense, so descriptive, that your fingers are clinging to the sides of the book. That you don't want to look up, afraid that if you do you will step out of the world that is in your mind. That's it. Seriously, when I started this book I thought, "Cool.Zombies." Not even close. It not just about zombies but the life's that all the characters lived. Deep, dark skeletons just racing to show themselves, each characters is literally fighting their own demon. And that folks makes this story.

    The plot of this book is so amazing. The reader is thrown into a world that is ravished and survival is crucial. The moments of survival aren't what all in this book. Death. Lots of it. And even moments where you see, if you lost everything anyway, whats to live for? When those moments crept up on me while reading this book, I had to hold back tears. How in the world can Ms. Summer makes something seem so bad into something good? All I can say is that this author is one heck of a writer!

    This Is Not A Test boils down to an hardcore tale of inconceivable yet realistic story. By far, this is the best story that I have ever read. Its easy to get swept away in all the emotions, adrenaline rush of running, and survival. This truly epic book is thrilling. This Is Not A Test is impressive yet satisfying.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Loved it. Wish it was longer or had a sequel though.

    Loved it. Wish it was longer or had a sequel though.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2