Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing
(The Testing #1)

Author: Joelle Charbonneau

Publication Date: June 4, 2013

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Genre: Dystopia



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: So I had heard a lot of good things about The Testing. A lot of people say that if you like The Hunger Games, to definitely give this one a try. Well am I ever glad I did! I loved The Testing even more than THG. Now I know dystopians are getting old (they really are getting a bit overdone, even for me, the person who read a million of them last year) BUT The Testing was just so good!

Cia is a a great character who is obviously smart, since she's been picked to compete in the Testing for one of the 20 available University spots for the year. Cia is extremely excited because all she's ever wanted was a chance to attend the University. However, after her father, who was also in the Testing, tells her that he has no memories of his time in the Testing, just nightmares, she begins to worry. When she arrives for the Testing and her roommate commits suicide shortly after because of the stress, Cia wonders if maybe her father's mind created the nightmares to replace memories of students crumbling under the pressure. Soon enough, she learns the difference. Maybe the Testing is more dangerous than she thought.

While Cia is smart, she definitely has her faults, one being that she trusts too easily! She's in a competition here and really shouldn't be trusting anyone, but she does anyways, and more than once she almost comes to regret it. She has a bit of romance with a fellow competitor from her home, Tomas, which might possibly blind her to him. He seems okay for the most part, but I just couldn't trust him.

The Testing was a book that I had a hard time putting down. I can't wait for the next book to be released in the series. It's going to be a long wait. I really enjoyed Joelle Charbonneau's writing style, although at times the world building could have been improved a bit, I wasn't sure what had happened to the world for awhile. But, she made up for it with action and a story that kept me sucked in. Overall, it's a great read that I will for sure be recommending, especially if you're a fan of The Hunger Games.

*A Copy was provided for review from the publisher via NetGalley*


  1. Great review, Jenn! I picked this one up from NetGalley a long while ago and really should read it. That's too bad that the world building wasn't totally up to par, but it's nice to have a book you can't put down!

    1. Yeah, it was really good despite the world building :) I hope you get a chance to read it!

  2. This sounds entirely like the Hunger Games! Just, I'm sorry to say it, the synopsis appeals to me even more than the HG one did! The world seems so interesting - I really can't wait to get my hands on this book! Thanks for the awesome review - I guess I'd never even looked twice at this book if it weren't for your post :)


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