Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Review | THE TESTING by Joelle Charbonneau

June 4, 2013
Houghton Mifflin
Who will be chosen to lead? The best...the brightest...the deadliest? There will be a testing. In the wake of the Seven Stages War, the government of the Unified Commonwealth devised The Testing to assess the instinct, intellect and sheer nerve among a select group of the population's young people. Candidates who pass, attend the University to become leaders of the Commonwealth; civilization's hope to transform a post-war wasteland into a peaceful and technologically advanced society. But progress comes at a price. Mechanically-inclined Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a candidate but on the eve of her departure, her father confides partial memories of his grisly experience as a candidate, still haunted by nightmares and living in fear of what he can't remember. It's not enough to pass the test, Cia will have to survive it "and "her deadly fellow candidates. To stay alive Cia will have to learn who she can trust and, if necessary, who she must kill.

I really enjoyed THE TESTING. Ms. Charbonneau‘s writing drew me in from the moment I read the prequel THE TESTING GUIDE. I seriously wanted to know what happens next. It was a well-executed plot, and with every bit of information, I gather I wanted to go on and find out everything until it’s done.

I loved Cia Vale right away. Youngest and the only girl among a brood of brothers. She’s crazy smart, level headed and disciplined. She is one of the best heroines I've ever read, which just proves that Ms. Charbonneau knows how to build her characters, and give each one a certain quality that is hard to forget.

Even the world-building is fascinating. I get that this is a dystopian book, but some of the things mentioned in this recuperating world are simply amazing -they are inspiring and timely in this age of ours. As each scene was narrated, insights of how things came to be became something closer to home, and the way everything was smoothly mapped into place I can’t help but relate our present world into how we may become in the future. Among the dystopian books I've read, I believe this one has the most relevance.

Many readers may worry and compare this with the rest of those dystopian series they have had. There is no arguing that this is also about a girl from a dystopian Earth, about challenges and adventures, about friendship and romance, about betrayal and survival. We’ve read it all before. All I am saying is that you give this one a chance because of THE TESTING maybe the BEST among the rest.

Rating: ★★★★★

Houghton Mifflin will release the book on June 4, 2013. 
You can still pre-order a copy via Amazon.

To Houghton Mifflin and Netgalley, thank you for not letting me miss this great opportunity.
This review is also available on Tumblr, Goodreads, and Shelfari.


  1. The name Cia Vale is just beautiful. I wish I'd have thought of it!

    I'll be eagerly waiting for this one in the bookstores. I love dystopian fiction!

    1. Yay! I hope Cia can hook you the same way she hooked me, Peter. :)

  2. I can't wait to read it and something fishy is going on. :D
    Thanks for the reco, mommy.