Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Title: The Testing
Series: The Testing #1
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (June 4, 2013)
Genre: YA Dystopian

Format Read: Ebook ARC
Length: Novel
Source: NetGalley

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 think about—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 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 friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.

Teaser: “Are you ready to be done with school and get out into the real world with the rest of us slobs?” [pg. 2 of PDF ARC. This teaser made me laugh.] 

Review: Malencia “Cia” Vale desires to be a part of The Testing, but the dangers involved may prove to be more than she and the other candidates can handle in Joelle Charbonneau’s The Testing.

Intelligent and kind-hearted, Cia Vale must find a way to put her naivety aside without losing who she is. Her budding relationship with Tomas is sweet, and I enjoyed how they looked out after each other. Cia has a wonderful relationship with her family too. Her brothers were so much fun to read about. Each character added to the story with how they treated The Testing and their fellow candidates. Charbonneau dug deep into their psyche and morality on who would rise above the horrors awaiting them.

The worldbuilding, although reminiscent of The Hunger Games, is complex and well thought out. Charbonneau built the history, the landscape, even how the creatures would’ve changed. The Testing itself was intriguing at how it starts like an ordinary exam, which turns out to be extraordinary and very dangerous. Each moment in the story speeds along in this well-written novel with plenty of twists and turns. 

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau left me craving for book two.

Five Bookworms = I loved it!