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The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Saturday, June 29, 2013 Geraldine 2 Comments

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.

This book, written by Joelle Charbonneau, had piqued my interest for a while now. I haven't been able to get around to reading it; been a bit busy lately with loads of study, but when I finally picked it up, I couldn't stop reading, and when I pulled myself away, it was to do necessary things :/

Really, I just have mixed impressions with this book. The thing that really bothered me was that it was stark clear how this book was modeled on The Hunger Games. Many elements of this story were similar or exactly alike to The Hunger Games.Sure, there is a slight variation, with the competition not being called "The Hunger Games", but "The Testing", and the fact that there were many more colonies, but the general idea remained. The main character is a girl, Malencia 'Cia' Vale (HELLO, KATNISS!!), and her love interest is Tomas Endress (HELLO PEETA!!!).

Though it is quite similar to The Hunger Games, I did like this book, based on some factors. I loved how people were selected for the Testing based on their merits, and not randomly picked out. Plus, there were also more components of the competition of the Testing, than there were in the Hunger Games. Components that involved intellectual thinking, instead of just survival. These parts were what made me so interested in this book. They all had their risks and Charbonneau writes about these tests in such a way, that the adrenalin just pumps through my bloodstream.

The ending killed me. I just couldn't believe that it would end in that way. Cia's character was so different to what I had become accustomed to. That annoyed me so much; it was as if I was experiencing the novel from another point of view! And I HATE reading different POV books! But then, Charbonneau makes it all right, and decides to torture me by sewing in the validity of Tomas's character. ERGH!!!!

Charbonneau's characters were really appealing and I liked each and everyone of them, dependent on what Charbonneau made me feel. For example Cia's character throughout the book is well-defined; she's smart, and not just school-smart, she's also street-smart. She's not perfect, but she tries her hardest to be. This combination really appealed to me. However, Charbonneau made me HATE Ryme, just by demonstrating how annoying she was.

Despite how this book sounds like a ripoff off The Hunger Games, I found this book to be really hooking and enjoyable. It stimulated some thought and ideas for me. Some of which may or may not be disturbing (i.e., I want to learn how to identify poisonous plants now...), but it is motivation for me to do something, nevertheless!

Read this book, if you want another version of The Hunger Games. It is really good and interesting! I'd rate it 4 stars out of 5, if The Hunger Games never existed, but since it does, 3.5 stars. It's on par with The Hunger Games on how awesome it is!

Keep reading and loving books,

Geraldine

(I got a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)

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