Monday, May 6, 2013

The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau

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.

Cia Vale is honored to one of the very few chosen for The Testing. If she can complete the testing, she will be given the opportunity to attend the University, where she will learn how to lead and bring the country back to a revitalized state. No one has been chosen from her colony in over ten years, this year four are chosen. Knowing she probably won't see her family again, Cia is sad yet excited about her future. She quickly becomes close to Tomas, a boy from her colony and they partner up to get through the Testing together. But Cia is unprepared for the trials and tribulations she is about embark on.

The Testing starts with over a hundred candidates and it's broken into four parts. The competition is stiff and the pressure is high. If a student fails, they are never seen again. Exhausted, Cia does her best to trust no one like her father told her to, try and keep her wits about her and stop at nothing to succeed. But it is in the fourth testing that makes or breaks the students. A wasteland, they must travel miles and miles to get to the finish line and knowing there are only a few spots for the University, the students will do what ever it takes, even kill, to make sure that slot is theirs.

I almost read this book in one sitting. It was very hard for me to put down. It's fast paced and the world building is well thought out and riveting. There's a love triangle alluded to but it didn't happen in this installment. I felt that Cia was a strong, complex character who is just coming into her own. There are some unexpected moments and some plot points I look forward to being further examined in the next installment. Fans of Matched or the Hunger Games are sure to enjoy The Testing! With pressure to succeed in our society, The Testing pushes the boundaries on how far someone will go to achieve those goals. I loved it!!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. I just finished this book yesterday and don't completely agree with you.. I felt the first half of the book was VERY boring.. up to test #4.. and even that, it was a bit too similar to THG and it wasn't done as well as THG..

    glad you enjoyed it though,
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  2. I felt the same way as Juhina. I would write it off by saying that I don't like dystopian novels, but I enjoyed many other books in that genre.


The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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