Thursday, July 4, 2013
"The Testing" by Joelle Charbonneau
From Goodreads: "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."
Something that should be said of me? I hate when books are compared to best-sellers. Why? Because I feel that oftentimes there are very few to any similarities to the books (for instance, "The Selection" by Kiera Cass being marketed as "The Bachelor" meets "The Hunger Games")- that they are simply marketed as such for the sake of doing so. However, after having finished this book I cannot help but break my cardinal rule- comparing this book to one of the world's most popular YA books, "The Hunger Games".
I can't help but feel that the author knew that this book was going to be compared to "The Hunger Games" and yet she did nothing to rectify the fact/ make it march to the beat of its own drum. For instance, the world being divided into various districts (each of which is well known for excelling at something), creatures whose eyes shine humanity, mentors coming out of the most unlikely places, parcels from patrons which are quite literally the difference between life and death, and so forth. I think that had this book been more unique that it could very likely rise to the ranks of such best-sellers as the "The Hunger Games".
Another complaint I had about this book is Cia's voice- I found it to be devoid of any emotion. I thought that she was simply stating facts rather than truly engaging with anything around her- while reading her thoughts I couldn't help but be reminded of a tinny robot-voice narrating the book.
That being said, there were a number of twists in this book which truly made it for me- making me gasp aloud while reading of them/ keeping me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Furthermore, I did enjoy the relationships that the characters were able to form- that between Michal/Cia and Cia/Tomas (preferring them tenfold over Peta and Katniss) especially.
All in all, while this book wasn't quite as unique as I had hoped that it would be, I did like it enough to finish it. I think that this book is perfect for those suffering from "The Hunger Games" withdrawal and will appeal to male and female readers alike! Furthermore, despite my complaints I do think that I will continue on with this series- if only just to see how it wraps up.
I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.