Joelle Charbonneau’s The Testing is a Hunger Games-esque charge into adulthood and…college. You’ll never guess all the twists and turns comin atcha.
Book Review: Book Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Title & Author: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Dystopia
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Series: The Testing #1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
How I Got the Book: Bought
The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.
Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies–trust no one.
But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.”
Missed the Buzz
I don’t know how I managed it, but I completely missed hearing about The Testing. After my friend Anne asked me if I’d read it (and I hadn’t at the time), I looked into it. In need of a new book, I decided to dig in.
What I found was The Hunger Games mixed with college admissions. If you’re hearing “dystopia” and deciding to run, I totally understand. The genre has EXPLODED in the past few years with more books than ever in this setting.
But, I will say, if you run, you may regret it. I found The Testing to be an interesting and new take on dystopia. It’s futuristic like Divergent – set after the world almost eliminates itself – with the free-for-all attitude of The Hunger Games.
This book really kept me on my toes – I never knew quite what to expect. Cia is given her tests in fits and starts, and so is the reader. Discovering everything along with Cia (first-person vs. third-person omniscient) added extra flair and non-TMI-ish.
There are so many surprises that there was no way I could guess what would happen next. Plus, I appreciated the constant doubt and edginess Cia maintained. Because she never gets truly comfortable in her surroundings, neither did I. It created tension and drama in the smallest incidents.
Highly Anticipating the Sequel
As you may have realized by now, I don’t talk a lot about the fine details of what happens in my reviews. I HATE giving away too much because my opinion is that if a review outlines every detail for readers, what incentive do they have to read the book when they know everything that’s going to happen?
I’m probably overly cautious, but this book is testing my reserve (<--- I didn't do that on purpose, I swear!!). I'll just leave it at this: Charbonneau uses some very clever tricks to keep things...spicy. She certainly understands the art of creating suspense.
The next book, Independent Study, is coming out January 7, 2014, and I'm so very thankful I won't have to wait long for it. The Testing is one of those books that will demand you read the sequel RIGHT AWAY!! If you can’t wait, hold off reading the book for a week and a half, then PICK IT UP IMMEDIATELY and start reading.
Be warned: there is a third book, Graduation Day, but (mercifully) it will ALSO be published this year – June 3rd.
This is a book where you’ll want to read the sequel as soon as possible (it will be out a few weeks) because it infuses secrets with suspense in a masterful way. Although it’s another YA dystopia, it definitely holds its own among the rest. More than survival skills are needed to pass the cunning and cleverness needed for The Testing…