Liz Currently Loves….This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers.


Available Now from St Martins Griffin.

Source: Purchased copy.

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 want to 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?

I could not speak when I finished this one. I absolutely had no words, it was one of those books where I absolutely lived every single moment, felt every single emotion and basically got dragged along in the wake of an extremely disturbing yet absolutely compelling story.

First a warning. This novel may use as its backdrop that age old and extremely popular premise, the Zombie Apocalypse, but that event is nowhere near what this book is actually about. If you want a horror/adventure story with zombies blazing a trail through a myriad of hapless survivors, with a machete wielding wise cracking superhero type leading a small group through the wildernesss, look away now and pick up something else. Or you know, stay a while and meet a girl for whom the zombie apocalypse is merely a distraction in a world she no longer wants to be a part of..

Sloane is preparing to die on the day the world goes mad. Instead she finds herself caught up with a small group of survivors who would actually like to live, trapped in one place, hoping for rescue. She is the heart and soul of this tale as she watches and waits for her moment, struggling to understand both herself and those around her. It is truly fascinating and completely addictive reading as things start to unravel, the group starts slowly losing sanity and hope, and the danger lurking within the walls becomes untenable, so much more frightening than anything on the outside.

It is perhaps strange to call a story that is basically about despair, beautiful. And yet it was. Hauntingly so – Ms Summers uses a peculiarly wonderful prose and has an absolute talent for putting you in the heads of her characters – even the ones merely described. Sloane is on the outside looking in, she does not fear death like the others, she has completely different motivations for everything she does. It gives an added depth and honesty to proceedings, a realism and authenticity to an unlikely situation that will hit you where it hurts and make you take a moment to consider life with all its pitfalls.

I would love to say more, particularly about the pure emotional overload of certain events within the story, those times when I lost my heart, cried big fat tears and occasionally held my breath waiting to see if…if. But I cannot because to do so would give too much away and that I cannot do. I can tell you without prevarication that I loved this one, absolutely and completely. And I will be reading everything this author has ever written. If you want a zombie thriller leave this alone. If you want an absolutely alluring and bewitching tale of the human condition, of the fight to find something to hold onto, of how we as human beings cope, or not, in the face of impossible odds, then this will give you all that and more. And in a Young Adult novel as well. What more is there to say?

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Happy Reading Folks!



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