The Testing is the first book in the thrilling dystopian series by Joelle Charbonneau.
In a world ravaged by the aftermath of a brutal war, what’s left of the planet is a charred wasteland. The future is in the hands of the next generation and the rest of the population rely on them to rebuild and rejuvenate the United Commonwealth. The current leaders have decided that the only way to find true leaders is to choose the most intelligent students from each Colony to compete in The Testing for one of twenty spots to get a university education. Many students aspire to be chosen for The Testing, but they don’t know the truth. The Testing is ruthless. Competitors are willing to do anything to get a position in university. Even kill for it. But the Testers are even more brutal. One wrong answer and you’ll pay the price. The ultimate price.
From Five Lakes Colony, Cia Vale has always dreamed of being chosen for The Testing. When her graduation finally comes and she is selected, she was ecstatic and eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and a future leader. But her family doesn’t share her enthusiasm. One the eve of her departure, her father hints that there is a dark side to The Testing – trust no one.
Cia finds herself thrown into a brutal game where no one can be trusted and one wrong answer means death. Can Cia make it out of The Testing alive?
The Testing reminded me a lot of The Hunger Games. It started off really interesting, but the whole time I was comparing it to The Hunger Games. Pretty much everything in this book happened at some stage in The Hunger Games. I’m not saying that I didn’t like this book; I’m just saying that The Testing is basically a copy of The Hunger Games with a different cover. From the beginning of the book, I knew this was going to be… interesting. I must admit that things were a little predictable at times (maybe because I’ve already read the Hunger Games!) and I didn’t really feel connected to the characters. Firstly, Cia was a strong, determined character, but she wasn’t very unique to me. I didn’t really feel for her and although I didn’t want her to die, I didn’t really feel like I should protect her with my life. And then we have Tomas (aka Peeta). Tomas came from the same Colony as Cia and although they’ve known each other since they were young, they only started having real feelings for each other once The Testing began. The whole time I was just thinking, THIS IS PEETA! CREATE AN ORIGINAL CHARACTER! And Tomas didn’t really stand out to me as a character. He was nice to Cia and supported her throughout The Testing, but I didn’t really feel connected to him. I’m usually swooning over the main guy in every book I read, so it was very different for me to not feel that way about Tomas. The overall plot line was interesting though. I really liked the idea of The Testing. The book was very interesting in the beginning. Towards the middle, it got a little predictable and a bit dull. But I was fascinated to see what was going to happen in the end, so I kept reading. I was glad I kept reading to the end though, because the ending was different to what I had expectance. Perhaps the author made an unexpected ending so that we’d all expect a certain ending because the rest of the book was a bit predictable and then we’d be like: WHAT?! So I liked the unexpected ending. Overall, even though this book was really similar to The Hunger Games, I’d still recommend it to people who enjoy The Hunger Games. Because if you like The Hunger Games, chances are, you’ll like this. That’s because they’re almost exactly the same. I’d give The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau a score of 7.5 out of 10. I’ll probably end up reading the second book to see how things work out. But if Katniss and Cia had a face-off, Katniss would totally win.