Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau Book Review
It's graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can thinka bout-hope for-is whether she'll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become the possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings ("Cia, trust no one"), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from her friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance-and sheer terror-await.
The first dystopian fantasty series that I read was The Giver quartet. I read The Giver many eons ago (12 or so years ago now, I've lost track really of how long it's been!) And since that most recent book in the series only came out last year, I just finished it. I don't know what it is about such a sad genre, but there is something that draws me in. As a fan of The Giver Quartet and of The Hunger Games Trilogy, After reading the plot description for The Testing, I knew I just HAD to read it. I am glad that I did. The book is kind of slow going at the beginning, but I can tell that this series is going to be a great one. Cia and 4 other students from her colony are chosen for The Testing after a years long dry spell has plagued the colony from sending any candidates for The Testing to enter the University. At first, Cia is excited. It is everyone's dream to go to the University. Before Cia is to leave for The Testing, her father confides in her that he has nightmares about what happened when he went through The Testing, but that they are vague dreams and he can not remember exactly what happens. He also warns her to keep her guard up and not trust anyone. This is advice Cia mostly takes to heart on this journey. Along the way, there are people, adults involved in The Testing, that seem to want to help Cia, but are they just another part of The Testing or do they truly want to make sure she gets out of the process alive? The Testing consists of 4 tests. The 4th and final test is the most brutal and brings out everyone's true colors. The Testing is almost like a cross between The Giver (the memory erasing drugs) and The Hunger Games (The brutal part 4 of the test is do or die.) Although I found the first book in The Testing series to be slow, it was still engaging and did a great job of setting up book two, which will be out this fall. I have a feeling that book two is going to be a fast and easy read and I can not wait to see how things turn out for Cia. I also could not stop imagining this book as a movie. That's how good at storytelling this author is and how good of a story The Testing is as well. I can only hope that some day that might happen. I would love to see this novel come alive on the big screen! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian fantasy or young adult novels.
The Testing (#1) will be making it's big debut on June 04, 2013. You can pre-order the book on Amazon.com. In the meantime, you can download The Testing Guide, the FREE prequel for to The Testing Trilogy!
Joelle Charbonneau began telling stories as an Opera singer, but these days finds her voice through writing. She lives near Chicago with her husband and son and when she isn't writing, works as an acting and vocal coach.
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Disclosure- I was provided an advance e-copy of The Testing via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.