Book Review: The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau

Posted June 12, 2013 by Melissa in Book Review | 11 Comments

Title: The Testing

Series: The Testing #1
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Pages: 336

Age Group: Young Adult

Genre: Post Apocalyptic

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 978-0547959108
Publication Date: June 4th 2013
Available Formats: Hardcover, E-Book, Audio

Add the book: Goodreads  
Buy the book:  Amazon   | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Source: Publisher for Review


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.

My Thoughts

This is one of those books that I completely enjoyed despite all evidence pointing to the contrary! 

I’ve been on a huge Young Adult/Post Apocalyptic kick for over a year now and have not tired of the genre.  I do however expect that each book I read will have something unique to offer, regardless of the fact that they all tend to follow the same formula. It’s that unique “something” that allows each book to stand on it’s own and be enjoyableand hopefully memorable.

It did not take me long to realize that The Testing was pure Hunger Games.   The plot, the romance…there were so many parallels that honestly it felt at times like the same story only unfortunately…of a slightly subpar level.  

I really had trouble finding any genuinely unique element or twist that would make this book stand out in the crowd. The characters were likeable but didn’t wow me in any way.  I found it hard to truly connect to any of them though I certainly empathized with them and rooted for them as the novel progressed.

That said, despite all odds, I was completely enthralled with this book.  I could not put it down, I needed to know what would happen next, how it all would end…and I truly can not wait to get my hands on the next book in the series!  Perhaps it is due to the author’s incredibly engaging writing style? Perhaps due to the mood I was in when I picked this one up? I don’t know.  All I do know is that somehow a total Hunger Games copy still managed to completely engage me and make me want more.

Guess you’ll each just have to judge this one for yourselves!

Was It Worth My Time?

A Very Solid 4 Timepieces

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11 responses to “Book Review: The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau

  1. Great review! My best-friends mom is a librarian and she was able to stag me the first and the second book at the TXLA so I will be reading these soon!

  2. Yep, I have heard repeatedly that this is a total HG knock off. A lot of people don’t like that,but I am happy to see that you did. I don’t know if I will read it or not.

  3. candacerobinson

    I have read mostly negative things about this one but I’m glad you were able to enjoy it even though you saw that those certain things could be issues for some. Sometimes it doesn’t matter, a book is enjoyable even when you know its similar to another or something.

  4. Mariana_BookTravels

    I liked the summary, but people is saying some things about the story that is really getting me worried about the book. I liked your review, some books we really need to work on the story until the end.

  5. Pabkins

    I knew reading the description that this one was another Hunger Games. I’m still going to give it a shot – but probably not anytime soon. Glad you liked it though!

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