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Jasprit

Jasprit

This is Not a Test - Courtney Summers In the past I have read some good zombie themed books The forest of hands and teeth, Feed, but This is not a test has by far outdone all of these. Where can I start with this amazing book? It put me through a tumult of emotions; my nerves were always on edge, I had a constant aching in my chest. Basically I was a complete wreck after finishing it. It was one of the most powerful, thrilling yet gruelling books I’ve ever read. This is not a test follows six teenagers, Sloane, Rhys, Cary, Harrison, Trace and Grace who have managed to escape for the time being from ravaged flesh hungry zombies. The place they called home Cortege under came an unexpected attack. Everything’s come to a complete standstill and now the town is largely occupied by the dead. People have lost family members all over the place. Sloane and the others manage to find a safe place for the time being, their local school, they barricade all possible entrances to the building and cover up all the windows. They have enough food and water supplies to last them a while, until help arrives but how long can they wait it out?This is not a test had the best opening scene that I have ever come across; what a way to get thrown into a book. It opens in a depressing scene of Sloane dealing with her dad after the aftermath of a brutal beating. Out of nowhere they hear someone pounding on their door screaming for help, Sloane’s dad grudgingly goes out to investigate, they discover that their entire street is in uproar, they’re surrounded by the sound of people screaming and rushing by, sirens wailing. A woman covered in blood approaches their house, her dad slams the door in her face but she smashes her way in, trapping them inside... Oh how I enjoyed being thrown into the middle of the chaos from the get go, it was seriously nail biting stuff.The great thing about this book was that it wasn’t just a zombie themed book, but much more than that. It cuts you so deep with the stories of the six teenagers stuck in the school. Each having a heartfelt story which brings them to the school in the first place, Sloane is just empty, empty now that her sister Lily has ran away. Lily and Sloane were there for each other through their dad’s vicious beatings. They had planned to run away together but Lily just disappeared one day out of the blue leaving her a note and having to deal with her dad all by herself. Sloane’s worried has Lily managed to make it away on time? Is she safe? Without Lily by her side Sloane’s life is just pointless. Cary the school’s pot dealer seemed to be quite close to Lily before she ran away. Since escaping the only thing that’s been on most people’s minds is that was it Cary’s fault that Trace and Grace’s parents aren’t here anymore? Did he genuinely not realise the alley was not clear of zombies before directing them towards it? Or did he do it on purpose? Harrison, being the new kid doesn’t really know anyone, he feels helpless and scared all the time. And he’s really emotional at coming to terms with everything’s that happening around them. Trace blames Cary for leading his parents into an alley full of zombies, he’s constantly hot headed, but the only reason he’s not lashing out as much is because he still has his twin sister Grace. Grace, despite just having to witness her parents being killed, is dealing with it much better than Trace. She has been a comforting presence within the group, constantly reassuring Harrison, trying to keep everyone calm and keeping Trace in line when he’s about to fly off on one. And finally Rhys he’s been quite calm and controlled, so has kind of taken charge of the group. He also seems to be more clued up compared to the others about the zombies, but how does he know so much? A lot of them didn’t really trust one another, but the fact that they were stuck together, meant that they had to depend on one another in order to survive. They really became like a tight knit family, I’d grown so close to each one of these characters in such a small amount of time. I just knew that I wouldn’t be able to cope if anything happened to them. What made this book so good that I gave it 5 stars? That was definitely down to the story building, it was just immense, the plot twists came out from nowhere, they smack you upside the head, that by the time you’re getting your head around one you’re flabbergasted by something else, blow by blow this booked chipped away at my already feeble heart until I could no longer take it. So many times I had to stop reading. I wanted to carry on reading but was so scared of what was going to happen.Courtney Summers seriously where have you been all my life? I’ve heard so many great things about your contemporary books but then you rock up with this? With all the contemporaries I’ve been devouring I so needed this. This was just a true literary gem. Courtney Summer’s writing was intense, gripping and heart wrenching and at times and it completely floored me! The shock tactics were brutal yet jaw dropping. This book truly deserves a million stars.This is not a test is a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout, I recommend that if you read this book, lock yourself away and read it because it’s one of those books that once you start you won’t be able to put back down.If there’s anything you want to take from my review it’s this READ THIS BOOK NOW! That is all.A big thank you to Net galley and St. Martin’s Press for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing book.