The Testing

Author: Joelle Charbonneau 
Pages: 336 
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin 
Format: Hardcover (ARC) 
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary (from 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. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Summary: Cia has lived a sheltered life in one of the prosperous sectors of her war-torn world. Ruled by a governing body known as the United Commonwealth, Cia knows that one of the only ways to ensure security and success is to be chosen for The Testing - an honour she's dreamed of her entire life. 

Amazingly enough, she is one of the only students chosen. But Cia is unable to celebrate: just as she is preparing to leave everything she's ever known behind, she's left with a few chilling parting words from her father - a graduate of The Testing. Trust no oneAnd whether or not Cia chooses to follow this advice could mean the difference between life and death.

My Thoughts: This novel was one of the better dystopians I've read this year. Fast-paced and action-packed, I never found myself waiting for something to happen. And although it might've been a little predictable at times, the writing was done extremely well. 

I really loved the creepy, suspenseful atmosphere of the novel. Somehow the author managed to make it feel extremely believable - I never felt like actions were forced or unnatural. This was definitely one of the first dystopians I've read that even slightly reminded me of Suzanne Collins' novels, but it was still quite original. It was different enough that it was refreshing, but still similar enough that I could see the similarities and not wonder why it was recommended to fans of The Hunger Games.

Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to fans of dystopian YA and romance. I can't wait for the next installment!

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