Tuesday, September 9, 2014

REVIEW--The Testing

Good morning, readers and fashionistas!  Today's post is a review on the book The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau.  Yep, it's a dystopian book with a female protagonist in a world controlled by the government.  Oh, and it's the first in a series.  That seems to be the trend nowadays, huh?  So let's jump into my thoughts on the book!

  • First book in The Testing series
  • Dystopian
The Gist:
After the Seven Stages War, our planet is basically a charred wasteland.  So citizens must now colonize and rebuild an acceptable society.  But only the elite are chosen to enter the university to specialize in an area and hold the responsibilities of this rebuilding.  And these elite must first pass the Testing, a rigorous program of challenges and tests that result in fewer survivors than graduates.  Cia Vale is surprised yet honored when she is chosen to enter The Testing.  She is following in her father's legacy as a Testing candidate and desperately wants a college education.  But the Testing will push her farther emotionally, mentally, and physically than she has ever gone.  And she quickly learns that allies and enemies may be synonymous...

What I Loved:
  •  The ending was the perfect way to hook me into the second book.  I want to continue with Cia's story and see what decisions she makes next.
  • There was definitely unpredictability in who could be trusted.  Cia's fellow Testing candidates, the Testing officials, and the strange man that's watching Cia in the final test are all suspicious, and the fact that some are trustworthy and others aren't kept the book interesting.
What I Didn't Love:
  • Like I alluded in the beginning of this post, this is a little over-done.  In fact, at times I felt like I was reading The Hunger Games.  Especially during Cia's final test, when she's basically in an arena with her life on the line...it just seemed a little late for its time.  I think I would've loved it more if I had read it two years ago.
  • I wasn't in love with the characters that Cia liked, especially Tomas.  I was too skeptical of him to care enough for him or appreciate him.  He didn't become the "Peeta" or "Gale" that I would have wanted.  Maybe it was because Cia kept giving away secrets to him (despite her father's warnings), but I kept thinking he'd turn on her at any moment.
  • Speaking of Tomas, the romance between him and Cia felt a little unnatural.  Maybe there wasn't enough character-building for me to really invest in them.
An enjoyable read, but one that just seemed a little too familiar for me.  I just couldn't fall in love with it--it was a good read, but I know as soon as I booktalk it, students are going to raise their hands and say "isn't it like ____ book?" 

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