Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Testing

 The Testing (The Testing, #1)

 Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Series: The Testing, #1
Pages: 336
Challenge: Goodreads Challenge 2014, 2014 Book Bingo Challenge
Genre: Dystopian
Acquired: Library
Rating: ★★★½


Goodreads Summary:

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.


 My Thoughts:

The Testing follows Cia Vale and her life after being chosen as a testing candidate. I first got wind of this book due to its heavy comparison to The Hunger Games by Suzzane Collins. Both novels deal with candidates representing their districts, or colonies in this case, to compete in the Testing to earn one of the coveted spots to attend the University and become the world's future leaders. In that aspect the plot differs but the similarities are noticable.

Cia's character overall was a little too pristine and squeaky clean for me. She was a little too nice for me to even take her seriously. I really wanted a bad-ass, kick-butt character but instead I feel like I got a somewhat complacent and too perfect version of the character I wanted. Now with that being said, I did like her character not to confuse you; I just wanted more from her.

As far as the other characters go, Will and Tomas were very interesting characters that made the story more unpredictable. They kept the plot fast paced and exciting. Cia on the other hand slowed the plot a bit with her character being one dimensional and not complex at all. She was clever and smart in some scenes but overall her character was boring to say the least.

Action? I could have gone for more a little bit more in the action department. Although the book was a fast read (read it in a few hours) I wanted more suspense and chair- gripping moments. Maybe the plot gets better with the following books in this series. Now on to The Hunger Games comparison, this was definitely a softer version of The Hunger Games as far as "graphic" scenes or the element of thrill go. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a post- Hunger Games read due to the similarities I observed in this first book.

The way this novel ended was completely anti-climactic. I feel like it just slowly ended. No big cliffhanger. Just a slow rolling stop to the last page. I felt that it had a lot of potential to redeem itself and end on an amazing climactic cliffhanger leaving me desperately needing the next book..... but instead the story just sort of stopped.

I'm still on the fence on if I should continue with the next installment in this trilogy, I'm certainly in no rush but I am curious as to if it gets better as the trilogy progresses.

If you have read this book, let me know your thoughts below!!


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