The Testing

The Testing (The Testing, #1)The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Genre: Sci-fi, Dystopia, YA
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Series: Book One of The Testing Trilogy

This review does not contain spoilers.

This was published as a part of my Alphabetical Books Goal.

I was sent this by the publisher two years ago, but this does not impact my review. It is my honest opinion.

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 and 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.

I liked this more than I thought I would. When I first picked it up I was sure that I would hate it – after all, it basically sounds like the plot of the Hunger Games, and even back when I read it I was already sick of the Dystopian Genre. However, I forced myself to go into it with an open mind and was pleasantly surprised: I didn’t manage to guess all the plot twists! (After I’ve read a few books in a genre I tend to be able to guess a lot of the plot. It’s a struggle for those of us who read too much.)

Cia Vale, the main character, was very-well written. She had just as many strengths as she did flaws, which is always a nice change from the Perfect Female Characters that are becoming more and more common.

The main reason I gave it three stars, is because I really didn’t get into it as much as I do to some of what I read. I’m not a huge fan of dystopia itself, and it was too similar to other Dystopian novels like Divergent or The Hunger Games in terms of the “train a kid to fight to the death” or “only the strongest can survive in the bleak future.” But if you love dystopia more than me, or don’t feel its as over done as I do, you might find yourself liking it more.


Until very recently I had forgotten about this book, but when I was going through my shelf for things to read for my Alphabet Goal I saw this and remembered it. I re-read parts of it while writing the review and now I want to go out and read more books in the series.

I think fans of Dystopia will get the most enjoyment out of this book (obviously), but any lover of action/adventure will too.


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