Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers

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I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Please Remain Calm by Courtney SummersPlease Remain Calm by Courtney Summers
Series: This Is Not a Test, #2
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on January 20th 2015
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Buy on Amazon

In this gripping sequel to THIS IS NOT A TEST, Rhys and Sloane are headed for a safe haven when they get separated along the way. Rhys is determined to reunite with Sloane until he discovers people who might need him more--people who offer him the closest he'll get to everything he's lost, if they can just hold on long enough.

Rhys thinks he has what it takes to survive and find the girl he lost, but in a world overrun by the dead, there are no guarantees and the next leg of his journey will test him in unimaginable ways ...



I could leave my review at that, really >.< Courtney Summers has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Her books are just so well written -enthralling and character driven. My first book by her was This is Not a Test, which I absolutely loved, so I was stoked when I heard she was coming out with a sequel. This is a novella, though, but it’s on the long side with about 100 pages or so (mine was an eBook so I’m approximating). Still, there’s no lack of intensity and general Summersness I’ve come to love!

Please Remain Calm begins right where we left off in This is Not a Test, but this time we’re in Rhys’s perspective. After hearing there was a safe haven not so far away, they left the safety of the school to try and find it. This book is basically their journey to there amongst zombies and whatever else they may or may not find – and where they end up might not be quite where you expect (it never is!). This is a survivalist story through and through. As with book 1, what Summers does best is the fear of the unknown – the knowledge that at any moment now… All it takes is one wrong tiny step. It makes the book completely unpredictable and absolutely terrifying. We also get to see how ravaged and death-ridden their world has become during this trek. It’s terribly creepy. *shudders*

Even though this is a short book, the characterization is still flawless, and the emotional depth is there and very real! Our main characters get separated along the way, then we meet some side characters who, in such a short time, make their way into our hearts. And in true Courtney Summers’ style, the ending makes you feel both elated and startled. Her endings have always been blunt; you never get the true closure you want, but they’re memorable and realistic. But… IF ONLY THERE WAS 1 MORE PAGE! GAAAAH! Still, it’s why I love her. We don’t get all the answers in life (it’s what I tell myself to survive her endings). In the end, even though it’s a short read, it’s one helluva ride!


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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23 Responses to “Review: Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers”

  1. Pili

    I still haven’t read This Is Not A Test but I have it in my list of books to read this year, since it’s been in my TBR pile a while… so glad that there’s a sequel!
    Thank you for the warnings about the blunt endings Giselle, is good to be prepared in advance!

  2. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I didn’t realize that this would be a sequel to This Is Not a Test, which I still haven’t read. The characterizations really appeal to me. I’m glad the author once again managed to surprise you so much, Giselle.
    Lovely review!

  3. JennRenee

    I am excited to see a book from Rhys point of view. yay. I am so glad you liked it. I don’t normally ok so I have yet to read novella from a series. I am not sure why, I guess i just don’t think about them. I really do need to read them, maybe starting with this one.

  4. Soma Rostam

    I have read I think two books by Courtney Summers, yeah. I loved This Is Not A Test, it was so interesting! And I didn’t know that she was gonna publish anything else about that world she created but now I am super excited to read this novella!
    Definitely adding it to my TBR
    Your reader,
    Soma R.

    • Giselle

      Oh yeah I didn’t remember all the details of book 1 either. It does recap anything you need to know for this one. The story of this one itself really stands on its own. It’s nice to know and love the characters already, though 🙂

  5. Jasprit

    I’m thrilled to see your 5 star rating Giselle, like you I was a huge fan of Summers’ This is Not a Test, so was ecstatic to hear about the release of Please Remain Calm. I’m glad that this book had you sitting on the edge of your seat throughout. I formed such a strong connection with some of these characters, so I’m excited to see what Summers will throw our way this! Fab review! 🙂

  6. Nova @ Out of Time

    I saw the first book in my library and the idea intrigued me so much! Whoa, this review is full of so much love. I’m probably going to go get the book now so I can read the second one and fully understand how you’re feeling <3

  7. Rashika

    You should totally do a feature where you review books using exclamations. Then you could actually say AAAAAHHHH and leave it at that 😛 It would be so awesome too! :DDD

    Goddamnit, Giselle. Stop making me reconsider my choices to not read certain books. It means more books on my TBR pile and my TBR pile is way past being able to handle just ‘one more book’ 😛 (We’re talking about the metaphorical one but… you should see my desk too).

    Blagh. I am glad this was a great follow-up to This is Not a Test, Giselle and I am glad you loved it!

    Fabulous review, hon <3

  8. Cambrie

    Love your review! This book sounds AMAZING. Quite honestly, I’ve never read anything by this author, or heard of this series. I’m going to pick it up quite soon, without a doubt. You have me sold!
    – Cambrie xoxo

  9. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    AHHHHH!!!!! I am so so so happy that this one got 5 stars from you! I am so excited about reading this–I think I’ll go and buy it off the kindle store sometime this week to read it. I mean, it’s only 96 pages so it won’t take long at all and IT’S A SEQUEL TO THIS IS NOT A TEST FOR GODS SAKE. *tries to calm self*

    Lovely review, Giselle <33

  10. Madiha @ Symphony of Words

    That’s absolutely wonderful, Giselle! It’s great to have read a 5-star novel, no matter how many times you may have done so. Courtney Summers has been on my radar for a while now, but after this stunning review, I’m definitely going to be looking into her books 🙂

  11. Carina Olsen

    Great review sweetie. <3 I'm so glad you loved this short story 😀 I cannot wait to read it next week. <3 SO EXCITED. But worried about the ending! Ack! Thank you for sharing about it 🙂

  12. Olivia

    Wow, 5 stars! This must be really good then! I love it when the novella which matches the story also adds up to being as equally good as the rest of the books. I will be adding the first book in the series to my TBR now!

  13. A.P.Bullard

    Oh, wow. This sounds really good!
    I saw this book awhile back, but wasn’t too sure if it was worth the download. I’ll definitely be checking it out after reading your review!

    Happy Reading!
    Triskele Reviews