A Wholly Unique Zombie Tale

By Courtney Summers
St. Martin’s Griffin, 336 pages, $9.99

The day the dead started walking was the end of one nightmare for teenager Sloane Price, and the start of another one. Holed up with five other students in the local high school, she now spends her time trying to avoid thinking both about the present situation and her sister Lily, who ran away six months earlier. Soon Sloane finds she cannot ignore the real world and must decide whether to check out or participate in her own life.

A zombie story of the most unusual kind, This is Not a Test is the newest novel from young adult author Courtney Summers. With her simple and striking writing, the author has created an apocalyptic story that is at once haunting, terrifying and completely unforgettable. The characters are superbly written, and their pain and trauma feel tangible to the reader. It’s refreshing to have a zombie story focus more on grief and trauma reactions instead of just the zombies. Fans of Summers’ novels will delight in this new book, and those unfamiliar with her works should start reading.

Reviewed by Barbara Cothern