The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Release Date: June 13th, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Childrem
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-fi
Rating: 4 STARS
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 Testing was an iffy book anticipation. It seemed like an interesting book and had enough praise for me to be interested in it but at the same time it also reminded me of the Hunger Games (NOT because it was dystopian) but being chosen for a government like thing. Throughout the story I couldn't help myself from comparing and contrasting them. I know bad idea! The beginning has similar qualities except for the fact being chosen is a GREAT honor and totally not deadly...or so you think. And then there was all this fancy stuff and the kids being underestimated because they came from the colony (kinda like the district thing in THG) However after that Joelle manages to spin her own tale and maintain its originality.
One of the aspects that I enjoyed were how cleverly the tests were done. If I was chosen for the Testing (which probably wouldn't have happened) I don't even think I would have passed the first test. It was that hard and intense. The whole idea of needing the Testing and the tests it self and why it was created was absolutely fascinating.
As for the characters, they were not anything too special. Cia was smart but a bit annoying at times. It also felt like she was perfect and was practically trained for all the tests. And it was like she only had this one flaw that a lot of the book was revolved around. It just got irritating at times. I do admire her curiosity and all her questions on everything; how things worked, people's safety, etc.
Tomas wasn't a character I hated nor LOVED. Like Cia, I didn't feel a huge connection with him and he wasn't TOO swoony either. He was a real character, more tense but omsidering their situation it's totally acceptable. There are some more questions concerning Tomas I would really loved answered in book 2 though. The romance wasn't a huge aspect of the book as the summary seemed to imply. Yes a lot of Tomas and Cia time but not as much as expected of actual moments. They are cute together and Tomas really cares for her. That much is obvious. It would have helped to see them interact before they got chosen or at least memories of them together before they graduated to get a feel for them. Although, I definitely would/do ship Cia and Michal together. But I'm not sure if he's meant to be another love interest or not and he didn't appear that much in the book either...I do hope he has a bigger role in the next book. I wouldn't mind seeing their relationship develop!
All in all, The Testing was a well written sory with flaws that could have been fixed to enrapture a reader's attention. Recommended for dystopian lovers, The Testing is a book that takes trust to a whole another level. Happy Readings!!