Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau


Title: The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Series: The Testing #1
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Books
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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.


The first thing that I heard about The Testing is that it was the next Hunger Games. I have to say I understand why there is a comparison. While The Testing and The Hunger Games share similarities, The Testing has its own unique qualities, elements, and storylines. I do not think that the comparison is a bad thing at all, because if you enjoyed the Hunger Games, there is no way you can go wrong with The Testing. 

Cia is a very smart, and observant and all she has ever wanted was to honor her family by being chosen by The Testing. No one from the Five Lakes community has been chosen for years, but all Cia wants is to be a Testing Candidate. Then her father tells her that the Testing may not be what it seems, and she should trust no one. Cia soon discovers that she should take her father’s advice to heart or she may never pass The Testing.

Cia Vale is very smart, but I think her biggest “flaw” is trusting too quickly. While loyalty is an admired quality, it is a dangerous characteristic to have when facing the dangerous and unknown situations during The Testing. Her relationship with Tomas is also an issue; it has an instant love feel to it. They barley interact except a dance the year previous, and suddenly they are thrown into the Testing and they fall in love right away. I am not saying that the circumstances could not create a relationship like Cia and Tomas’s , but Cia is far too willing to jump into a relationship after her father’s warning or maybe I am getting too cynical.

The Testing will be a hit with Hunger Games and Dystopian fans alike, and I really cannot wait to see what Cia is going to do in the next book, Independent Study. I really enjoyed The Testing, and I could see it quickly becoming the next big thing in the dystopian craze.

**Unabridged Bookshelf received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Have you read the Testing?
What were your thoughts?

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