Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mini Review - This Is Not a Test

I've come to realize that I suck at reviews.  I'm pretty sure I've realized this before.  I think I used to be good at analyzing books back in college, but reviewing a book and analyzing it are two different things.

Still, I love posting about books that really struck a chord with me.  So from now on, I'm not going to try to review a book.  I'm going to just do a mini-review.  Here's my first one:

THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers

Overall Impressions:  Love the voice and the setup. It was a zombie book with very few zombies, which was quite refreshing. Compared to other entries in this category, TinaT was a dark, beautifully written, original addition to zombie literature.

Favorite Bits:  Cary.  The narrator, Sloane, was wonderful and dark.  I really liked her, and Summers did a magnificent job of creating her, but it was Cary who really blew me away.  Such an honest character...the kind you don't normally see in YA.  No punches pulled there.

Least Favorite Bits: The pacing.  Slow at times, I felt my attention wandering a bit in the middle.  But this is a minor quibble.  Trace and Grace were also slightly 2D.  The characterization I wanted for them (especially Trace) came too near the end for me to really care.  Again, a minor quibble.

Writing: This is my second Courtney Summers book and I was not let down. Her spare descriptions are often cruel and harsh, but can also be haunting.  I caught myself, more than once, returning to a well written phrase.  As well as being beautiful, the writing was also insightful.  These were not adults speaking through the mouths of teens, but teens speaking for themselves.  Really well done.

Why This Book? Because most zombie books are non-stop running and screaming and dying, with occasional (and inappropriate) stops for smooching.  TinaT is refreshing in that it really captures how I think a zombie apocalypse would go down, without pulling any punches.

Verdict:  Instant favorite.  Definitely a great read.  Just don't read it in the dark.


Keep it clean, keep it classy, and jokes are always appreciated.