Book Review: “The Testing”

“The Testing (The Testing #1)” by Joelle Charbonneau

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Other Testing Books

GoodreadsSource: Library (I was offered a review copy but couldn’t read it on my e-reader)

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.


  • World building was a bit shaky. As usual here we have this broken world that’s supposedly us in the future. We’re only given small glimpses of what happened to led us to this point. Surprise! You shouldn’t trust the government.
  • The story felt a bit fragmented. We’re introduced to the broken world in the beginning of the book. When Cia is taken to the University that story line takes a backseat to her Testing. The Testing even felt like two parts: the academic part and the survival part. It just seemed like a lot going on.
  • I really liked the Testing aspects though. I loved that they went into depth with all the tests. [It reminded me a lot of HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone when the trio has to pass all the tests.] There was a good amount to puzzles in the test. We’re also allowed to learn a bit more about the world through the history part of the test.
  • The romance felt very forced. Cia and Tomas were getting along perfectly fine before the romance. It was like it was added only to keep certain people reading.

The bottom line? In some ways it was a bit of a stereotypical dystopia but it kept me glued to the book.


9 thoughts on “Book Review: “The Testing”

  1. I feel like it’s all too common for author’s of dystopian stories to skip over how the world today might change into the world they portray. Likewise, romance sometimes seem to just be something the author felt they had to include. Despite these pet peeves, I can enjoy a dystopian story anyway, just because it’s fascinating, so I might give this one a try. I loved HP and The Sorcerer’s Stone so I think the similarity would be particularly enjoyable.

  2. That’s pretty similar to how I felt too! It felt very typical dystopian, but I really enjoyed the elements of the testing itself. I was definitely interested until the end but now that the sequel is coming out, I’m finding myself not sure if I want to read it or not.

  3. I really liked this one. I wasn’t expecting much going in, but was pleasantly surprised by it. Loved your comparison to HP! I felt the tests were the most interesting part for me. I’m looking forward to the sequels.

  4. Pingback: Book Review: “Graduation Day” | The Cheap Reader

What are your thoughts? (Comments are moderated. Yours will be up as soon as I read it!)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s