This is Not a Test - Courtney Summers “This is not a test. Listen closely. This is not a test."But I think she's wrong. I think this is a test.It has to be.It’s the end of the world, and Sloane Price is trapped in an abandoned high school with five other teenagers. Meanwhile, the walking dead wait outside, trying to break down the doors. A single bite from one of these creatures will turn you into a monster––into one of them. Sloane's world already ended six months ago, when her older sister left her behind with their abusive father. It seems like, out of the six people in the group, Sloane is the only one who doesn't want to live. But she has no choice but to watch the apocalypse unfold, and observe how her companions' motivations for survival shift and change as the days pass.I understand what Courtney Summers wanted to accomplish with this novel, and I think it's an interesting take on the zombie story. Most zombie books go straight for the blood-and-guts, the action sequences, and so on. This is Not a Test focuses less on the action and more on the psychological aspect of the apocalypse. It gives a possibly more realistic perspective on what would happen if there was a zombie attack––people would just wait around and hope it would pass, and eventually the waiting would drive them crazy.However, even though I liked the idea of a more psychological zombie novel, it just didn't work for me. Probably my biggest problem was that I felt little to no connection with the characters in this book. The idea would have worked a lot better for me had the characters been more fleshed-out and distinguishable from each other. As it was, I couldn't even keep track of who was who for about the entire first half of the novel. I knew who Sloane and Grace were, because they were the only girls. But the four boys were almost impossible for me to tell apart from each other. I swear, there was one of them who was barely even mentioned until like halfway through the book … and then I was like, "Wait … who the hell is that?" And then there was Sloane … jeez. I had a really hard time sympathizing with her. I understood she was depressed and everything, and I would be too if I was waiting around in an abandoned school waiting to die. But I mean, all she ever talked about was how she was so sad and wanted to kill herself. She was just so damn hopeless and it made it difficult for me to care what happened to her. It was like … if the main character doesn't give a crap about what happens, why on earth should I? She was just so doom-and-gloom like, "Nothing matters. We're all going to diiiiie. I might as well just go outside and let the zombies eat me, mehh mehhh." So … I got pretty tired of her.There was also the fact that hardly anything happens in this book. It's literally just a story about a bunch of kids sitting around in a school while the zombie apocalypse is going on outside. I thought that at some point they'd, you know, leave the school. But then about halfway through the book, when they were still in the same place as the beginning, I was like, "Oh geez, they're just going to be in this school the whole book, aren't they?" I've seen a lot of reviewers saying how this is not a "zombie book," just a "book with zombies in it." And yeah, that pretty much sums it up. This is not really a zombie book. It's actually just a more depressing and less entertaining version of The Breakfast Club. And you know the scene at the end of that movie where they all confess why they're in detention and they all end up crying and screaming at each other? That's essentially what this entire book is like. It's like that climatic scene over and over again for 300 pages. So yeah, you take The Breakfast Club and you take out all the humor and multiply the angst by a thousand, and then you add in some zombies that aren't really all that relevant … and you have the plot of this book.In the end, I just got pretty bored and frustrated with this novel. I was intrigued by the concept and I wanted to like it, but it just didn't reach its potential for me. I felt it was melodramatic and repetitive and it just couldn't hold my interest. And in the end, it was so devoid of hope that it felt pointless to me.I mean, basically everyone just randomly dies at the end. Soooo. Yeah.I liked Summers's writing style enough that I'd be interested in trying her other books. But unfortunately, this one just wasn't my cup of tea.