“The Testing (The Testing #1)” by Joelle Charbonneau
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia
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.