Saturday, 26 October 2013

The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing (The Testing, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Cia Vale is honoured to be chosen for The Testing – a series of exams set by the United Commonwealth that selects the brightest young adults to become leaders of their war- stricken world. But when candidates start disappearing and Cia witnesses unimaginable horrors done in the United Commonwealth’s name it becomes clear that these are no ordinary exams, and Cia is forced to realise the truth: this is no longer about winning, but surviving.

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

My rating: 3.38 of 5 stars

The Testing (The Testing, #1)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
17-year-old Cia is surprised when she is chosen for ‘The Testing’ – a series of examinations performed by a select group of graduates. Nobody has been chosen for testing from her small town in 5 years, and even her older brothers have been overlooked.

Now Cia must leave to participate in ‘The Testing’. If she passes she will be awarded a place at university, the way her father was, if she fails, she dies.

Cia must now learn who she can and can’t trust, and just how far people will go to survive.
Can Cia make it through ‘The Testing’? Can she trust her fellow classmates who were chosen to go with her? And what isn’t she being told?

This was an okay story, but I found it difficult to really get into, and it just felt like something was missing for me.

Cia was an okay character, she had integrity and faith in the basic goodness of humankind, even when other people did not. She did her best to help people, and was even maybe a little too trusting at times. It was nice how she always looked for the best in people, even in the most difficult of circumstances, and she really was a good person at heart. I felt really sorry for the position she found herself in, and it couldn’t have been easy for her to watch her friends die.

The storyline in this was okay. It had elements of the hunger games – kids being picked to go to the city, battling it out against each other during tests etc., and also reminded me of ‘Maze Runner’ at points. There were some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, and plenty of backstabbing!

I liked the romance, and I liked the general idea of the story, but for some reason I found this book really difficult to get into. I’m thinking that maybe this was just me, but I didn’t really feel invested in the story until the 70% mark when things started to get a bit more exciting, and even found some of the early parts a little boring. Thankfully this did resolve, but I still didn’t love this book, it just felt like it was missing something for me, but I don’t know what.

The ending was quite interesting, and it was good to see how Cia’s family still supported her, even from afar. I might read the next one in the series, but I think I’ll probably borrow rather than buy!
Overall; an okay dystopian, but I found it difficult to get in to.
6.75 out of 10.


  1. I wasn't impressed with this so much. I really thought it was too much like THG. It was super slow and there was so much telling and barely any showing at all. I would have liked more dialogue. I will say that the second book was much better.

  2. Not too sure if this is for me. :-)

  3. Hmm, not feeling it. happy it ended good though.