Saturday, June 8, 2013

Review: The Testing, by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing (The Testing #1)
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

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.
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Kat's Review
When I received the invitation to review this book, I almost didn't take it because I had so many books on my list to read.  I'm glad I didn't miss out!  While I know that the comparisons to the Hunger Games are inevitable, this book is different enough to stand on its own. 
The book started a bit slow, and it took me a while to figure out the dystopian society being described, but once Cia Vale is chosen for the Testing and arrives at the testing facility, things pick up quickly.  Cia is warned by her father not to trust anyone, and so she enters the facility wary of everyone and everything, noticing cameras in the corners and the cut-throat attitudes of many of her peers.  Unsure of how to behave, she tries to trust her instincts and hopes it's enough. 
The purpose of the testing is to see which candidates are leadership material.  They are put through a series of mental and physical challenges, weeding out candidates on a daily basis.  Cia goes against her father's advice and decides to trust a select few candidates, unable to tuck her humanity away entirely.  It's when the candidates are set out into the wilderness to find their way back does she begin to realize just how dangerous her fellow candidates can be. 
I haven't read any other books by this author, so I didn't go into this one with any expectations.  Despite a slow start, the pace increased quickly.  Some elements were predictable, but there were quite a few things that took me by surprise and kept me wondering how everything would work itself out.  Cia was a reasonable, strong main character, who stays strong under even under difficult circumstances.  I liked that although she trusted others, she wasn't a pushover and didn't rely on anyone else for her own survival. 
I loved the way this book ended.  I don't like to give away spoilers, so I won't, but it left me wanting to read the sequel already.  I don't want to talk about how long it will be before that is actually released. 
Rating: A Good Read
I really enjoyed this one, and found myself riveted by the end.  It's a dystopian, which everyone has an opinion about these days.  If you like the genre, this is a good book to add to your collection.
I received a complimentary copy of this title from NetGalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.
Purchase:  AMAZON

1 comment:

  1. I got the "invitation" for this one, too, and accepted before realizing that you couldn't send it to a Kindle. I hate to read sitting at my desk, but was able to order it through my library. Good to know that this one has a slow start. I tend to set aside books if they aren't catching my attention. Great review!
    -Natalie @Natflix&Books


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