The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Genre: YA Dystopia
Release Date: Jun 4 / 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
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.
The Testing sounded like the Hunger Games when I read the synopsis. I think the two are similar on some parts but I wouldn't compare them because they are two really different books as well.
I never ran into any problems with The Testing. It was a smooth ride for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The plot was never slow. Even in the testing stages that isn't about killing each other, I was still enjoying the book a lot. There was just A LOT that was holding my attention and I couldn't stop reading it (partly because of the romance and partly because of all the action).
And UGH.. speaking about romance. This one is so cute; my heart cannot take it! I love Tomas :3 He's such a cutie and he likes her so much that she didn't even notice when he made moves on her when they were kids (and she likes Tomas too so I don't know how that could've happened). IT'S LOVE.. one of those cutesy loves that make my heart flutter and cry out for their adorable-ness.
The four stages of the Testing were all very captivating. Cia definitely made some allies, friends and enemies along the way but she kept going on strong. I really admired her courage and how she never crumbled no matter how traumatic things became.
Overall, the Testing is an amazing book. Its likeness to the Hunger Games isn't why I liked it. I loved it for all its characters and how everything turned out. (Don't even compare it to the Hunger Games!) This book is a whole thing by itself, and damn, I can't wait for Independant Study!