Let’s be honest, this is going to be a strange kind of review. I liked The Testing, it was a page-turner for me but I can’t honestly rate it any more than a 3 star due to its sheer unoriginality.The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 4 June 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: Kindle Freebie
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It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization.
When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.
First Line of The Testing:
My Thoughts on The Testing:
I was trying so hard not to compare this book to The Hunger Games but when you have a book that starts with a large crowd gathered in a town square to see what teenagers are sent to The Testing, it’s hard not to!
And any book that is held to the same standard as The Hunger Games is going to fall far short. It wasn’t just the start that was the same, you also had Cia who was brave, intelligent and the hunter/gatherer for food. Tomas is another candidate from the same area, bonds quickly with Cia and cooks the food. Hmmhh, see where this is going?
Now it’s not totally the same or I would have DNF’d in a heartbeat but there are huge, striking similarities that were a bit distracting for me. I loved the actual Testing procedures and the huge amount of detail we got about them. This was fascinating and I nearly felt like I was taking the tests myself; I definitely felt the tension and fear of failing them. They got nervous adrenaline pumping through my veins in that way that only tests can.
The language in the book is very straightforward. No purple prose here! But it was nearly too much in the other direction as it felt very basic. I always highlight favourite quotes or quotes that make me think but here, nada!
The world building logic is odd! But I’m holding judgement on that as this is only book 1 in a trilogy and what seems peculiar now may be explained in future books. But selecting the crème de la crème of each region and then subjecting them to the consequences of The Testing seems very short sighted. But like I say I feel there are lots more details to be revealed yet.
I also have to admit I never really felt the romance between Cia and Tomas. I kept thinking I was meant to see how much they loved each other but I wasn’t convinced. I’m not sure Cia or Tomas were either and I’m looking forward to see what happens in the next book.
The next book? Yes, I’m going for it! Even with the issues I had I still enjoyed The Testing. I’m so curious about is in store for Cia next and I hope/feel some of my issues may be resolved in Independent Study.
Overall despite lots of issues I still got caught up in this book. The pace worked really well for me and I enjoyed second guessing the tests.
|Did I feel it?|
Who should read The Testing?
I’d recommend this to fans of dystopia novels. If the unoriginal concept will drive you crazy, then stay away. However if you are looking for a book with an intelligent, engaging main character and a snappy pace, then give this one a go.