The Testing

The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau

So I was freaking thrilled when my friend Krys asked if I wanted her extra copy of The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau because it sounded awesome! We had a great discussion about how, yes, it does have a similar premise as The Hunger Games and many people will probably get hung up on that. However, The Testing stands on its own with a new spin on the idea of kids fighting because of a corrupt government and wonderful characters (and no love triangle so far!). I can confidently recommend The Testing to anyone who loved The Hunger Games and those who had certain problems with HG. The Testing comes out June 4th 2013!

Note: I read an advanced copy of The Testing, so there may be changes in the final version.
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Title: The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Length: 336 pages
Genre-ish: Dystopia YA
Rating★★★awesome writing, characters, plot, everything :D

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies–trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust. – Goodreads


  • The writing of The Testing was fast-paced and compelling. I kept finding “extra” time to read because I just couldn’t stop.
  • While The Testing is going to be compared to The Hunger Games a lot, there is not as heavy an emphasis put on kids killing each other because in The Testing, they don’t actually have to. The competition isn’t about being the last one standing, it’s about reaching the finish line. This changes the dynamic a lot because there is no longer the knowledge you will have to kill your allies, there is just the question of how far other competitors will go to be in the top 20.
  • The dystopian world that The Testing is set in is quite interesting because of how possible it is. There is talk about a world war that progressed through various stages of nuclear bombs, biological weapons and general destruction. It was startling how plausible this all seemed when characters started talking about what led up to it >.>.
  • I love plot twists and The Testing had so many plot twists and I was couldn’t wait to see what happened next. When books can surprise me not just once, but many times, I have to keep reading since that’s the only way to know what is really going on :D.
  • There were hints at a rebellion brewing in The Testing, and now I’m pumped to find out more about those rebels in the next book hopefully *fingers crossed*.


  • The one problem I had with the premise of The Testing is that the test is to decide who gets to go to University. It just doesn’t make sense to me that a destroyed country wouldn’t want any and all promising minds to reach their full potential ya know?
  • The romance proceeded a little fast for my taste, though I’m sure many of you won’t mind ;-).
  • Right away from the opening scene of looking in a mirror, The Testing reminded me of Divergent and The Hunger Games here and there.


The Testing could very well be my favorite dystopian of 2013. I loved the characters, the premise, the world (well, I wouldn’t want to live there, haha), and the plot! I’m hoping some of my hang-ups will be resolved in the next book, and I hope that the trilogy doesn’t end up following the Hunger Games too closely. However, The Testing is an excellent start to a series that has a lot of potential. I’m very excited to find out what happens next :D.