Title: The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Acquired Via: Publisher
Release Date: June 4, 2013
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.
Me: We need to have a talk, don't we?
Me: Oh, you know, how you read books and then don't review them.
Myself: I guess you better gear up for a long talk.
Me: That's no lie. What's taking so long on The Testing, though? This book was read in less than a day.
Myself: *shuffles feet*
Me: Did you not like it?
Myself: Oh no, I did like it! I have even been recommending it to people at the library, moms on Goodreads, strangers at the grocery store...
Me: Then where the hell is the review?
Myself: *sigh* The Hunger Games. I just didn't know how to navigate the water.
Me: Oh, you mean that it's basically the same premise, just different characters and locations.
Myself: No, I don't think that, but Charles Caleb Colton says it best: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I will give Charbonneau credit, though The Testing would not exist without Suzanne Collins' THG, the story stands on its own two legs... err... spine.
Me: *groans* Books should ALWAYS be laid down flat. Please don't stand them up.
Myself: Is it lay or lie?
Me: I'm taking this over. You're going to ask me questions. *rolls eyes* Cia was a more relatable main character than Katniss because she wasn't beat down and starved by an evil government. She wasn't closed off from everyone, moping around the district, being crappy to her mom, etc. She was excited about being chosen for the Testing because she wanted to better herself.
Myself: Chosen, huh?
Me: Yeah, I know, that had me, too. It wasn't based on lotteries though, I think it was more of grades.
Myself: Danger, peril and betrayal abounded?
Me: You know the drill, it's the typical dystopian novel.
Myself: Romance in the face of the aforementioned danger, peril, and betrayal?
Me: Of course, but it wasn't annoying. Just cookie-cutter.
Myself: But it was a delicious, gourmet cookie that people pay out the yin-yang for?
Me: The Testing ain't no Chips Ahoy!, that's for sure. Charbonneau through some chocolate ganache in that bad boy! And razor blades. The book still managed to be fresh, the world-building was exciting, and I cared about the characters. Plus, it was pretty damn violent.
Myself: That cookie got DEVOURED! *om nom nom*
Me: Don't do that.
Myself: But it did!
Me: I'm ready for the next one. Independent Study is supposed to be out in January.
Myself: Hooray for more cookies!
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book for reviewing purposes from the publisher, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.