Friday, August 14, 2020

Case Study | Why I Simultaneously Love and Hate Courtney Summers

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This is Not a Test ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Please Remain Calm ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Honestly PRC should be five stars also but I just can't get over one death in particular so I can not bring myself to give it five. I just can't. I tried. It's my own fault, really. I lulled myself into a false sense of security after one expected death and one unexpected death, and thought surely there would be no more.


So, backstory: Sadie has been all the rage for a long time now and I finally gave it a try. Holy shit, that book knocked me off my feet (review is forthcoming) and I knew from the moment I finished it that I would read everything Courtney Summers ever writes until she hangs up her evil shoes and retires. Which I hope she never does, because she is phenomenal and one of the best authors writing today, period, end of story.

Except not really, because do I ever just blather a little about a fave author, or do I blather a lot? 


So, Sadie was amazing and everyone should read it, and then I went on the hunt for all the other Summers' books my library had - which was most of them, thank goodness. I suggested the library purchase a couple older books from 2010 but I doubt they will because they're from 2010. Still hoping, though.

First, This is Not a Test. I am not into zombies and apocolypse and horror. Not in books, anyway. Movies on the other hand, I am okay if I don't see the zombies eating people - I love Dawn of the Dead, old and new.

The premise here is simple. It's the end of the world. A motley group of teens have barricaded themselves in the high school while the zombies roam around outside. Every single person they know and love is dead.

Some deaths they witnessed. Some they themselves were responsible for.

A series of unsettling and tense events unfold and the group decides to move. Radio announcements indicate a safe zone has been established and they decide to go for it. Then, they begin dropping like flies for a variety of reasons until only a couple are left. I won't say who survives, because I don't want to spoil it.

Now, Please Remain Calm. This one picks up exactly where the first one left off, and is a novella. It follows the two survivors from the high school as they race toward what they hope will be safety and protection from the horde of walking dead.

But because this is Courtney Summers we are talking about, nothing will ever be easy - or guaranteed. This includes the survival of characters you grow very attached to.

My best advice is to not get attached to any of them, but therein lies the beauty of Summers' writing and showcases her immense talent: you get attached to them anyway, EVEN AFTER YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT SHE IS CAPABLE OF!

Her writing is beautiful and harsh, bleak and hopeful. I have yet to meet a Courtney Summers' book I didn't like. Just make sure when you pick these up, you don't start caring about anyone too much. They probably die.



  1. Well, we all die eventually, don't we?

    1. Yes, that s quite true, but Courtney has a way of just completely ripping your heart out and even though you know it is probably coming because she is kind of evil, you're never fully prepared for it.


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