My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually wantto live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?
All I knew going into this book was that it was about a group of teenagers barricading themselves into a high school during a zombie apocalypse. What I wasn't prepared for was how cleverly psychologically deep it is. It is extremely moving and brought me to tears!
This is not a Test is terrifying and raw. It is so tense throughout, and, for a book where there is not a lot of action it is so gripping, just because of the constant tension and desperation. It is a book about surviving, and what people have to hold on to when the world falls apart.
Sloane is definitely not your average heroine. She is very brave but also very detached and cold, but I loved her distinct voice. Sloane is so damaged and broken at the start of the novel that she is considering ending it all. Dealing with an abusive father and mourning the desertion of her sister- her rock- she feels dead already.
“She always said I'd die without her and she left anyway."
"But you didn't." he says.
"I did," I say. "I'm just waiting for the rest of me to catch up.”
And that's when the zombie apocalypse strikes. The zombies are almost a sideline story to the battle Sloane is waging against herself.
As she and a small band of young survivors struggle to cope alone, barricaded into their high school, arguing about what to do, and how to protect themselves from the dead pounding on the doors, Sloane's priorities change, and it only becomes important to her that she ends her life doing something noble and sacrificing herself for new friends.
It's so fantastically written I could quote a load of sentences from the book that really stunned me. This is a harsh and dark story- and this book will play mind games with you! I really enjoyed the twists and turns, not knowing who to trust, the complicated love/hate relationships between the characters, and especially just how emotionally wringing it is.