Thursday, January 15, 2015

Book Review: The Testing, by Joelle Charbonneau

In the United Commonwealth, the Testing is one of the highest honors a student could receive.  In the Five Lakes Colony, Cia has dreamed of being selected for the Testing since she was a child, though no one has been selected from Five Lakes in recent memory.  When she graduates and still no one is selected, her dreams are crushed and her future is uncertain.

But when a government official arrives the next day, after transportation troubles, Cia and three of her classmates discover that they have been chosen for the Testing, and will leave their families the following day to travel to Tosu City.  After Cia’s initial excitement, she is nervous and hesitant, especially after her father tells her about nightmares he still has after he went through the Testing, even after a memory wipe, and he tells her to trust no one.

So many questions follow Cia on her journey.  What exactly is the Testing?  Why are there so many secrets surrounding the Testing?  Who can Cia trust?  Will she ever see her family again?  And what kind of future can she expect after the Testing...or will she have a future at all?

The Testing, by Joelle Charbonneau, is a fast-paced dystopian novel, along the lines of Hunger Games and Divergent.  Some similar themes include government secrets and control, contestants with the desire and ability to take out the competition, and mind games.  The other books in the trilogy, Independent Study and Graduation Day, are available as well.  If you are looking for a new dystopian thriller, give The Testing a try.