Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

This story is set in a dystopian world filled with cruelty.  You get chosen for testing because you are strong and smart and an excellent student.  You only graduate from the testing if you survive...

Houghton Mifflin and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review.  It will be published on June 4th, so make a note to grab a copy at your bookstore then.

Cia is hoping against hope she will be chosen for the testing.  She wants to be trained at the university like her father was.  No one else in her family has been chosen, not even her really smart eldest brother.  So when she gets chosen, Cia is very surprised that her father is fearful for her. They brainwash those who have been though the testing so he can't really remember why he's afraid for her, but he knows it's real.  He tells her to trust no one.  

As soon as  she gets to the school you can see why he told her that.  She thinks the cornbread her roommate brought is poisoned.  (Elimination of the competition gets you further ahead in the tests faster.)  Then she finds each test has consequences.  If you are wrong in your assumptions, you are dead.  And if you survive until the fourth and final test, you can yourself alone outside the protective walls with a task of walking back to the university.  The teachers have set traps, the mutant animals and humans are dangerous, and some of the students have turned to killers.  No place is safe and everyone is an enemy.

The rulers in this world care not about life; if you're not tough, you won't make it.  What I wonder is what is coming next.  The author has set the tone almost at despair.  Now the survivors will have to move on and learn from the university.  But what will the university be teaching them?  Some of the students have become just as cold and unapproachable as the teachers; is that what they want you to learn?  Even more scary is the fact that Cia has recorded some of what happened on the fourth test and when she listens to that it replaces the memories they wiped.  What will they do when they find out?  And why don't they want them to remember?  All said, this was an intriguing read and there's much more to this story to yet be told.  

If your child is looking for something to read after the Hunger Games, this new series should fit the bill.  Why not give a try?

Happy reading.

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