Review: The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing (The Testing, #1) Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: June 4, 2013 by Houghton Miffin Books for Children
Series: #1 (The Testing)
Length: 336 pages
Source: Houghton Miffin Books for Children (ARC)

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.

review

This book has so much potential. To be straightforward, I was really disappointed with The Testing. First of all it is so much, by so much, I mean SO MUCH. LIKE. THE. HUNGER. GAMES. LEGIT.  I could not read a chapter without comparing it to Suzanne Collin’s book, and it bothered me so much. See, if you’re a Hunger Games fan, and you’re hungover and want to read a book that is exactly like The Hunger Games, then go on. Read this book. But if you loved the Hunger Games, but you DON’T want to read another book that is like that, then don’t.

I really like the concept, I do. I like how they have 18 colonies and every time the students graduate from high school, only the selected students will be chosen to go to the university at Tosu City which is like the most advanced city/colony. Then those students will be tested and there are 4 levels to the test. The first test is about these insane questions about the history, math, science, etc. It’s a big packet and they are only given 4 hours to complete it. There are also other tests that required teamwork. Only the best and smartest will proceed to the next test. The ones who fail, the readers won’t know what happens to them. The last test is like The Hunger Games. Only, it wasn’t really action packed and the twist, well, you could see them coming which isn’t really a twist.

That does not sound like The Hunger Games at all, or any other books that I have ever read, and that is why I gave it a go. I was WRONG. This book just did not work out for me. I could not relate to ANY of the characters, and the book was just TELLING the story and was not SHOWING. There wasn’t a movie playing in my head when I was reading it. There was also some inconsistencies, like, why would the head of the Tosu City would want to eliminate the other smart people who failed on the test if the colony needs more people? Obviously they were smart enough because they were selected to have the opportunity to attend the university.

Overall, if you REALLY want to read it, then go! Or, if you want to read a book that is similar to The Hunger Games AND you think you won’t be bothered by the similarities, then GO! Other than that, I don’t really recommend it.

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