The Testing (The Testing #1)
by Joelle Charbonneau
published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
genre: YA, Dystopian,
Summary (Goodreads): 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: I'll start with this; I'm very hit or miss when it comes to dystopian books. Also, I haven't read the Hunger Games so I will not be comparing this to that (probably a benefit).
This was one of my favorite books I've read so far this year. I read it in most of a day and only put it down when I had to.
When it started I was concerned that it was going to be like Divergent, but that only lasted for a couple of pages. Even though there hasn't been a candidate from Cia's area in years this is still all she dreams about growing up. We start to get a sense of her character from the moment of her and three others find out they will be going through the testing. There are moments when she does something and I found myself thinking "brilliant" and other times not so much. This made me like her character more. I dislike when everything is just perfect and no matter what the character does, it's the right thing.
There were other characters I found interesting, even when they were recognizable as the "bad guy". Tomas was one of these. I still don't really like him but am curious about things that happened when him and Cia were not in a group together.
Overall, as I said at the beginning I really enjoyed this and I'm looking forward to read book 2. I'm curious what parts Cia recorded and if something she left out causes her to trust the wrong person as she is working through it. I also want to know what exactly happened with Tomas and Will when Cia was separated from them for the night. Luckily Independent Study comes out in January.
*You can download the eBook prequel here The Testing Guide