Friday, July 12, 2013

Review and Giveaway: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Date: June 4, 2013
Format: ARC
Source: publisher
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.)
Pages: 325
Reading time: three days

From GoodReads: 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.

My review: The atmosphere of The Testing is much the same as more "classic" YA dystopias; its beginning reminded me of The Giver, and it quickly morphed into The Hunger Games. But even though the plot almost constantly reminded me of The Hunger Games and I didn't find much unique about the story itself, this was a very enjoyable read (well, as enjoyable as gritty post-apocalyptic dystopian reads involving gruesome deaths and betrayals can be).

The storyline is tight, with no plot holes, and the characterizations are consistent. I especially appreciated how the characters weren't always sure of the consequences of their actions or whether they were even capable of beating the system at all; so often it seems the heroes of dystopias are rather unrealistically able to jump wholeheartedly into resistance and never look back. The plot was engrossing and exciting, with few of its details foreseeable. I'm impatient to see what the rest of this trilogy has in store!

Giveaway: I have one extra ARC of The Testing up for grabs! U.S. addresses only, please (since I'm paying for shipping). Ends 7/31/13.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great review - I thought it was incredibly similar to THG but still really enjoyed this one. Definitely some of the best characters I've read in any dystopia recently.

    1. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this, given its similarity to The Hunger Games. Usually I don't much like copy-cats, but if anything, I liked The Testing more, perhaps because it has no hype surrounding it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. This sounds like a fabulous read, especially since you compared it to The Giver--I LOVE that read. Thanks for the great review. Also, I emailed you! You are the winner of The Rose Throne. Let me know if you didn't get my email!

    1. I got your email - thanks for the book and for stopping by! I'm not really sure what about the beginning of The Testing reminded me of The Giver. The general feel of Cia's world before she heads off for the testing just seemed similar.