Published: June 19, 2012
St. Martin's Griffin
336 pages, paperback
goodreads Summary: 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?
So it's not really a secret that I've become a Courtney Summers fan girl in the last several weeks. She is Queen of Angst, honestly. If you're feeling like you need to spew (because, you know, that's normal), just read a Summers book and your stomach WILL NOT SETTLE. So you know how with each subsequent Harry Potter movie, the Warner Brothers symbol got more and more gloomy-looking? THAT is how Courtney's books are. With each book, I tell myself "nope, not gonna cry this time," and it never works.
But this? THIS? TiNaT is rock bottom of gloomy. This establishes an entirely new calibur of depressing. And I loved it, even though I was so unsettled throughout the whole book. Sloane is such a pitiful character. I don't mean that as a dig at who she is, I just mean she's reached the end of her rope. Coming from a home of domestic abuse, losing Lily--her sister--and the only person she thought she could depend on, and now zombies? Granted they're never actually called zombies, more like "infected," but if it walks like a duck...
The hopeless desperation in TiNaT was what really got to me. Like "well, it's the end of the world. We can either throw in the towel or fight like hell to survive, though who knows what good it'll do us, really. THEY EAT PEOPLE FOR SHIZ AND GIGS." There's so much grief and loss and resignation to the fact that they're probably going to die that it probably wasn't the best idea for me to read this in the early morning hours when monsters could jump out of the closet or decapitated heads could come flying through my patio door (this is how I think at 4:00am) to send me into cardiac arrest, but you live, you learn.
I wave my Courtney Summers flag high. Sure, there are tears in my eyes and I think I may need literary anti-depressants post-book, but I will continue to read everything this woman writes, so long as she's okay with maybe paying my therapy bills.