This is Not a Test - Courtney Summers
(4.5)

I opened this book not knowing anything about it, and I really do mean anything, so the the fact that holy goodness, this is a zombie book! caught my by surprise. But then again, it's not really your typical zombie book, either; it's more about the characters dealing with their difficult situation than relying on action-packed, overused zombie gimmicks to pull readers through the pages.

Trigger warnings: domestic abuse, suicide
(Seriously, if these trigger, you, tread VERY carefully!)

This book works in the same way that The Walking Dead does, in that the greatest danger might not be the zombies but the people who are trying to survive. It also asks the question: what about the people who, even before the apocalypse, didn't want to live in the first place? Aaaand, meet our protag, Sloane, one of those people.

And since she's been introduced, I'm going to talk about my biggest gripe with this novel. I completely, utterly, 100% thought that Sloane was queer. The tension between her and Grace was a thick, heavy thing. Finally, a protagonist whose queerness doesn't define the book's plot OR her character! I was cheering, I was dancing! Until . . . I continued reading and discovered that . . . she wasn't? She was simply awkward? I'm still not entirely sure what happened with this.

But moving past this, these characters were wonderfully fleshed out, real people who all reacted to the same event in very different ways. They even reacted to each other's reaction in different ways. It's what made this book shine, and what made it impossible to put down. It wasn't just drama, either. People died, and there were genuine consequences for actions. It had me on edge, even without the constant threat of zombies breaking through the school, where these characters holed up in.

I can't wait to get my hands on the second installment.