“The Testing is set in the future on the Earth ravaged by wars. Humanity lives in small green oases which are man-made by soil-regeneration and genetic modification of plant life to grow in new conditions. I liked the world Joelle Charbonneau developed, it presents a scary but possible future for humanity. There is no info-dumping, instead we are presented with small significant (and insignificant) bits and facts through the whole book that in the end help us understand the society and the motives behind the Testing better.
Story is narrated by Cia. I immediately felt connection to her. Cia reminded me a lot of me when I was high school graduate (a geek, from a small community, hopes to go to The University). Because she is smart, problem-solver, compassionate, thinks before she acts and plans ahead, Cia is one of my favorite heroines in young adult novels. I wish there were more like her.
Sadly for Cia, she has no control over the decision if her education will be continued. Since college is expensive, government picks only the best to come to The Testing for The University. And believe me if you thought your exams for college entry were hard, you are going to rethink that statement after you see what Joelle Charbonneau has in store for our heroes.
As always, every time a novel is labeled as young adult dystopian, comparison to The Hunger Games is inevitable. But this time the advertisement is not lying. In many ways The Testing has some elements similar to The Hunger Games: heroine is a smart and resourceful young girl who with a group of teens is set to compete against each other in a battle of wits. But here the motives for this competition are much more reasonable to me, after all when you are choosing future world leaders and politicians, you need him to be able to endure pressure and be the best there is. In some sick way, their logic has some weird sense.
In fact, I liked The Testing more than The Hunger Games. There, I said it kill me now. Sorry but, I adored the heroine and the world was chilling but possible future for us. Something like this could truly happen people, so be careful!
I will stop singing praises about The Testing now, and if you waited for me to say something bad about this book - it's not going to happen. I would not change a thing. I can not wait to read more about Cia's adventures in a sequel Independent Study. I know that she will not give up to fight for the right cause.
"Funny, but giving up is the last thing I will do. Not after everything we have witnessed and the things we have been forced to do. Giving up would be like admitting none of it mattered. And it needs to matter. It needs to be remembered."
So, if you are in a mood for young adult dystopian novel who is set in a frighteningly possible future world with smart realistic characters, likeable heroine, cute friends to lover side romance (100% clean and young adult safe) then grab The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau. Or buy it as a birthday gift to those friends who loved The Hunger Games, there is a big chance they are going to enjoy this one too!
Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.”
“I really enjoyed THE TESTING. Ms. Charbonneau‘s writing drew me in from the moment I read the prequel THE TESTING GUIDE. I seriously wanted to know what happens next. It was a well-executed plot; and with every bit of information I gather I wanted to go on and find out everything until it’s done.
I loved Cia Vale right away. Youngest and the only girl among a brood of brothers. She’s crazy smart, level headed and disciplined. She is one of the best heroines I've ever read, which just proves that Ms. Charbonneau knows how to build her characters, and give each one a certain quality that is hard to forget.
Even the world building is fascinating. I get that this is a dystopian book, but some of the things mentioned in this recuperating world is simply amazing -they are inspiring and timely in this age of ours. As each scene was narrated, insights of how things came to be became something closer to home, and the way everything was smoothly mapped into place I can’t help but relate our present world into how we may become in the near future. Among the dystopian books I've read, I believe this one has the most relevance.
Many readers may worry and compare this with the rest of those dystopian series they have had. There is no arguing that this is also about a girl from a dystopian Earth, about challenges and adventures, about friendship and romance, about betrayal and survival. We’ve read it all before. All I am saying is that you give this one a chance, because THE TESTING maybe the BEST among the rest.
This book is coming out on June 4, 2013. You can still pre-order a copy via Amazon.
To Houghton Mifflin and Netgalley, thank you for not letting me miss this great opportunity. And to Ms. Joelle Charbonneau, congratulations on your YA debut. I can’t wait to get a copy of INDEPENDENT STUDY. ”
“Great book. Hunger Games feel but with a twist. ”Daniel Donaldson wrote this review Sunday, May 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“"4 out of 5 stars, this unique dystopian society takes a girl on the ride of her life while she learns that everything she may have wanted for her future isn't what she originally thought it would be...
I thoroughly was swept away throughout this girl power novel!"
Read more of this review and two teasers here: http://frommetoyouvideophoto.blogspot.com/2013/05/feasted-on-testing-trilogy-book-1.html”
“Cia wishes more than anything that she will be chosen for the testing procedure - leading to a university education. But the testing procedure turns out to be more than she'd bargained for. The other kids are literally cut-throat competitors, and the testing officials are cruel and calculating. Will Cia be able to hang on to the person she is and still pass the test? Does she even want to pass the test anymore? What dire consequences really do follow failure?
This book was a fantastic addition to the popular young adult dystopia genre. It took me a little while to get in to the story because there was little to distinguish it from all the other YA dystopias I've read lately, but after about 50 pages I was really sucked in and wanted to know where Charbaonneau was taking the story. I had an inkling what might happen in the end - sort of a "wow, I hope it goes in this direction, because that would make the next two books really interesting." And it DID go in that direction. So, the ending wasn't unpredictable, but it was unique, and I was in suspense for the entire book which way it would go. I hope she really works that aspect in the second and third books. To me, that's the aspect that will make this trilogy stand out from the crowd. Another thing I liked is that although there's potential for a love triangle, that aspect wasn't focused on. As I'm really tired of the triangle, the lack thereof was very refreshing. I hope the trilogy stays that way. The violence might be a bit off-putting to some young readers, but I'd say it's about the same as The Hunger Games - maybe a little less.
Overall, a fun quick read. I hope this trilogy is popular. ”
“Resources are limited in Charbonneau's world after the Seven Stages War so only a privileged few get to attend the University. Every year a group of the very best students are chosen to go through the Testing. And if very few are chosen, even fewer make it through. And the stakes are exceptionally high as not everyone survives. Cia is chosen, as was her father before her. She's always wanted this, but is warned by her father just before she leaves to trust no one. She finds it very hard to believe her father meant her childhood friend too. Does she really have to go it alone and leave people behind? This is for Hunger Games fans and adrenaline junkies everywhere, an all-action adventure that never lets up. Nothing is as it seems in The Testing, it twists and turns until the last page. It is very readable but is very like the Hunger Games. ”angela m wrote this review Thursday, July 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I wasn't prepared to read it as quickly as I did. In my mind, it was going to be like "Hunger Games" and "Divergent." And it was, very similar in idea but not in follow through. As I finished turning the pages, my one thought was: with all this type of YA literature out there- when are we going to get a heroine that doesn't need a hero?”Mary Ann Giasson wrote this review Wednesday, May 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Reviewing a digital ARC. I was specially invited to read this one by net galley. From the synopsis in the invitation, I wondered why Suzanne Collins wasn’t suing them for plagiarizing The Hunger Games. Now that I’ve read it, I don’t think they will be sued, but if anyone who liked The Hunger Games, and who didn’t, will enjoy The Testing. It is set in post-apocalyptic US. As the country tries to regrow, the best and the brightest are chosen to be tested for admission to the only university. This is an honor and privilege. Unlike the hunger games, the testing is not televised and tested end up either dead, or memory wiped, so few realize how brutal the testing is. Cia is thrilled to be chosen, but the night before she leaves her father warns her that the testing may be dangerous and the officials may not have her best interests at heart. He has nightmares about horrors he can’t quite remember. Armed with this knowledge, Cia makes wise choices, but is still unprepared for the challenges of the testing. A sequel is already in the works. (So that might be a spoiler.) Definitely a YA.”Sue E wrote this review Tuesday, April 23, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Read from April 09 to 10, 2013
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.
1st thought upon finding out about this book when contacted by Netgalley letting me know that it was available for review requests in early April of 2013 was that it sounded like a fascinating addition to the YA Dystopian genre in the style of a few other authors whose works I had enjoyed in the past couple of years. There was only one drawback it had to be read on my computer screen as galley was not being allowed to be downloaded to requestor's Kindle readers and the galley was only going to be available to read for a short period before it expired. I almost hesitated at that point and am so happy that instead hit the request button and got myself the chance to immerse in the world and characters created by author Joelle Charbonneau as from page one was able to connect with Cia and her mixture of anxiety and happiness upon becoming an adult and graduating from school with the future chance of being chosen to be "Tested".
The background given in the scenes with her father prior to Cia leaving for Tosu City set the tone for the upcoming travails that she and her 4 fellow Five Lakes Colony graduates will face but do not even begin to touch upon just how devastating emotionally and physically the actual "Testing" ends up being.
There are over 100 total graduates who were accepted by the United Commonwealth to be a part of the "Testing" and at the end only 20 candidates remain to attend the University, due in part to being eliminated through their deaths or not passing the final acceptance after making their way back to Tosu City.
As we go through the testing as a reader and watch as each candidate is eliminated in one manner or another the brutal reality of just what the United Commonwealth is capable of becomes apparent early on and the closer we get to finishing the book we feel Cia's angst clearly as she has to make such awful decisions just to survive and make it to the end of "The Testing". What takes place within the time period where she first arrives at Tosu City and the time period where she has to literally fight to return there from the wasteland that the candidates were taken to as the final setting for their final "tests" is not only very emotionally draining to the reader but it is also full of riveting scenes of action that will keep you reading frantically to see who survives and finishes to return victoriously to gain their dream of a college education. The ending of the book is one that will leave you with questions and it is very apparent that the next in the series, Independent Study , is a must read!
You will either love or hate this story but you will not remain indifferent to it as you read it and if like myself you invest the time to grow to know the characters you will definitely wish to know if things work out for Cia and Tomas and what happens to them once "The Testing" is over!
For a chance to get a sneak peak excerpt from the book and to read the short prequel The Testing Guide which introduces us to Cia at age 10 just follow this link to The Testing Trilogy site and you can download a copy in digital format.
Chills were running up and down my spine as I read the last page, I need the next book Independent Study ASAP!!!!!
[EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]”