Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publication: June 4th, 2013
Cia Vale is graduating and unsure of her future. She has been hoping that she would be chosen for The Testing. Every year the United Commonwealth chooses the best and the brightest to experience The Testing. Those that pass the test will go on to the university and study to become the next generation of leaders. When she finds out that she has been chosen for this honor, she is really excited, but her father warns her that it is not necessarily all that it seems and to trust no one. She soon finds that this endeavor is way more than she bargained for and her survival depends on following her father's advice.
My Thoughts: If you loved The Hunger Games, you will love this book. I always find it amazing that authors are able to have so many original ideas about how the world will look in the future. This book presented another idea of a dystopian world. I thought the author did an excellent job of really bringing up the moral dilemmas that the characters faced. Like Hunger Games, there were some young people who chose violence in order to gain an edge in the competition. In this book the selection to be part of The Testing was presented to the entire country as an honor and a privilege. Cia is honored to be selected and excited about the opportunity that presents itself. This makes the book much more dystopian in nature. Her vision was that the world she lived in was a good place. I also liked the story with her relationship with Tomas. In a harrowing situation like the one they were placed in, it is difficult to know how people will react. The seeds of doubt that Cia has about Tomas are realistic and set the stage for something bigger in the next books. It really made me think about who can be trusted. The focus on this issue of trust and betrayal will make teens think. There was also a focus on the question of violence and when it is necessary. The young people that make up the group that is being tested are divided about this issue. Some believe that the failure of leaders to choose violence led to some of the destruction of society in history. Others believe that violence should be a last resort. The results of this divide are haunting. Overall, I enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to grades 6 and up.
Read an excerpt and get access to a free prequel here.
4 out of 5 stars