Scare Scale: 4 out of 10
Creepy Factor: 5-6 ish
This is Not a Test
Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: YA/ End of the World
I had this one on my Scary Books in October list and since I absolutely loved All the Rage I couldn’t wait to get into it.
Sloan had been contemplating suicide when the zombie apocalypse happens (and it happens like in the first three pages of the book- Summers doesn’t waste time getting into stuff). She is left with a group of survivors to seek shelter and barricade themselves in their high school. The more they fight to survive the more Sloan contemplates the fact that she may just want to.
This turned out to be much more of a character driven novel than a fear fest which is a good thing. Summers is great at writing messy, realistic and believable characters. I didn’t like all of them but darn it when the crap does hit the fan you feel the emotions, and that’s a good thing. The setting is creepy enough. Setting it at a location most people know. I certainly found high school scary enough imagine being stuck there when the lights go. At times the zombies are obviously seeking a way in, looking for food and the characters know it which rachetes up the tension.
I kept thinking of all the windows in my high school all the long hallways and doors for scary things to hide behind. I suppose I made my own creepy factor on this one.
Downside… The book has a sequel and there are no answers to the bigger questions in this one. In fact some of the plague stuff was a bit confusing but I’ll definitely read the next one. Eventually.
I read this in a day and hope it gets a movie version.
Recommend: Yes. As a scary book it’s a bit of a let down but as a character driven and entertaining novel it succeeded big time for me.