Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing (The Testing, #1)I read an advanced copy of this book, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Cia is chosen to attend The Testing in Tosu City, the first step in choosing future leaders of the country. However, her father, who went through the testing process himself, warns her that she should not trust anyone. His memories of The Testing have been erased, but he has flashes of disturbing dreams. Cia believes his dreams may be memories when some other students disappear, and her roommate commits suicide. She realizes the officials probably witnessed the death and could have stopped it, but didn't. Why not? After passing the first three phases of testing, Cia is left 700 miles from Tosu City, in the devastated, post-war wilderness, and must find a way to survive the trek back. She will face barren land, natural dangers, mutated animals, and attacks from other candidates in The Testing. Surviving The Testing is her only job.

The second half of the book is similar to The Hunger Games; kids are trying to survive a competition that the government is watching,  while representing their home colonies. Cia has a love interest who complicates things, and she's never fully sure who she can trust. The author creates conflicts between characters, with nature, and the government. There are people who don't agree with The Testing, but it just adds to Cia's confusion. Overall, an entertaining, interesting book.

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