Published: June 4th, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifllin
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.
The Testing was a really enjoyable thrill ride that kept me on the edge of my seat and threw a few surprises at me. Ms. Charbonneau has created a very interesting dystopian world with believable and engaging characters.
Cia is 17, young, naïve, trusting and very smart. She has such a good heart. Tomas was a favorite of mine. Something I really liked was that he isn't 'hot stuff'. He's thoughtful and caring but he's willing to do what's necessary. Then we have Will - I wasn't too sure about him, but he definitely had that vibe about him that makes you wonder if he is exactly what he seems. Roman on the other hand is exactly what you see - ready to do anything to win.
There is a wonderful mystery within the story - just who has the crossbow? Why does Michal appear to be helping Cia? Who is the strange gray haired man Cia meets out on the testing ground. Why are their memories of the Testing taken away? All of these questions and only some of them answered. By the end of the story, we still don't really know why the candidates have been tested in such a bizarre way - maybe we'll find out in book number 2
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. One of the best dystopians in the last little while and a definite must for Hunger Games fans. This one really does measure up.