Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing (The Testing, #1)The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Book for Children
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
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.
My Thoughts:
The Testing is The Hunger Games with a twist.  Is this a good thing?   Not exactly, but I will say that this is the first book I have liked that has resembled THG and that gives me hope for the rest of the series.

The beginning of the book starts off with Cia graduating and becoming an adult.  Every year a select few are given this opportunity and along with graduation comes the chance to be chosen for The Testing.  Cia wants this more than anything else, but she knows that it has been years since anyone has been chosen from her colony so the odds are against her.  The Testing is known to be competitive and only the best go on to the University to train to help make their world stronger and better for the future.  Cia's father was chosen and he is one of the leading botanists in the world.  When Cia finds out that she is indeed chosen for this honor along with four other candidates from her colony she knows she will have to work extra hard to prove herself.  The Testing promises to weed out the weak and when Cia realizes the extent the officials are willing to go to she knows more than just her education is at risk.  Hoping to save herself as well as those she loves she sets on her path to take four tests each with its own set of life or death rules.

The Testing doesn't start off like The Hunger Games, even though I guess you could argue that the graduation day was like The reaping, but the difference is that no one knows the cruelty that awaits in the city.  And okay yes the whole travel time between Cia's colony and the City does feel very similar to when Katniss rode the train, but I promise there are differences thrown in.  The biggest difference would be that the candidates start their version of the games inside of a building and not in the field they do of course get to the field eventually.  Okay so maybe there aren't as many differences as I once thought now that I am trying to name then, but this was a good story and I really think that the sequel will be better since it seems to finally veer off THG path.  While you read this I know you are going to say that happened in THG and this happened in THG, but give it till the end.  The end is where it finally takes a turn and things get interesting.

I was shocked at the similarities especially one that you see towards the end.  It didn't feel like a rip off though and like I said this story does have its own little twists throughout and the major one being the end.  The sequel promises to give us more insight into why the testing is in place and I am dying to know more about the politics involved.  If you can get past the screaming similarities then any dystopia lover will love this book.  It is an intense ride that will make you beg for the sequel.

3 snowflakes    



  1. I just got a copy of this in the mail! I am finishing up a few things then I'm gonna start it!