Friday 26 April 2013

The Testing Review


The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Book Synopsis

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.

Lisa's Review - 4.5 out of 5 stars

Before starting this book, I took a peek at some other reviews, and the ones I saw said how similar this was to The Hunger Games. For the first few chapters I then found myself comparing, but after that I forgot about it and The Testing came into its own. Yes, there are similarities - the struggle to survive in a world that was destroyed by war, the hunger, the devastation, trying to make it in a world less than perfect. But then it becomes more.

The main character, 17-year-old Cia, is desperate to become a Testing candidate. Passing the Testing means she can go on to the University. But after Graduating, Cia, and 3 of her other fellow graduates soon begin to realise the Testing is not as straightforward as it seems.

I soon became to love Cia, and desperately wanted her to survive through all the horrific stages of the Testing. When she left home, her father warns her to trust no-one, but during her journey, we see that Cia's downfall is being too trusting, and I could only hope that as I turned the pages, she wasn't let down by the people that she befriends, especially her love interest, Tomas.

I loved the way the book was written, the detailing into their surroundings, the way the back story of how the Seven Stages War ravaged the country, the development of the characters as the story progressed, and the fact that some of the twists and turns were so unexpected.

Putting down this book once I started was a struggle, I found myself wondering what was going to happen next whenever I wasn't reading. In fact I actually cried out loud when I read the last words, I didn't want the story to end and I was sad to get to the end. I am now going to spend the next few months desperately waiting for the next book to come in this series! I will admit to not knowing of  Joelle Charbonneau before reading the book, but before finishing The Testing I had scoped out some of her other books and I can't wait to read more of her work.

Author Bio

Joelle Charbonneau has performed in opera and musical theatre productions across Chicagoland.  She now teaches private voice lessons and uses her stage experience to create compelling characters in her books.  She is the author of two mystery series:  The Rebecca Robbins mysteries (Minotaur Books) and the Glee Club mysteries (Berkley).  Joelle’s also the author of The Testing young adult trilogy that debuts with THE TESTING.  Learn more at

Free! Click the banner below to get the  prequel to The Testing, free, and also an excerpt and trailer!!



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