Review + FREE Download: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau


The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Age Range: 12 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (June 4, 2013)
Source: NetGalley (Thank you!)
Rating: 3 of 5 stars


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. 

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“There is nothing standardized about this Testing. Charbonneau’s imagination will surprise readers at every turn.”
—Jennifer M. Brown, children’s editor, Shelf Awareness

“Action-packed and full of twists, The Testing will keep you guessing until the very last page—and desperate for the next book!” 
—Erica O’Rourke, author of the Torn Trilogy

rising tension, skillfully executed scenarios, and rich
characterizations all contribute to an exciting story bound to capture
readers’ imaginations. . . . Charbonneau works action, romance,
intrigue, and a plausible dystopian premise into a near-flawless
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Charbonneau jumps into the packed dystopia field with a mashup of Veronica Roth’s Divergent (2011) and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, but she successfully makes her story her own.”

About the Author:

I am a storyteller at heart. I
have performed in a variety of operas, musical theatre and children’s
theatre productions across the Chicagoland area.

While I’m happy
to perform for an audience, I am equally delighted to teach private
voice lessons and use my experience from the stage to create compelling
characters on the page. I am the author of the Rebecca Robbins mystery
series (Minotaur Books), The Paige Marshall Glee Club mysteries
(Berkley) and The Testing YA triology (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).


Book Trailer

My Thoughts:

I’ve never been a huge fan of dystopian novels, but there are some good ones
out there. The Testing is okay. It’s nothing new, and most of it is
very generic.  While the plot and premise are both interesting, the
characters aren’t developed very well.  The writing lacks a distinctive
voice, and most character interactions feel forced. I am not in love with the book, but I don’t hate it either.  It falls right in the middle for me.  That being said, it
is still a well planned novel that most dystopian fans will enjoy.

Content: violence and disturbing scenes.

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  • Reply
    Adriana Garcia
    June 3, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I am most dystopian fans but you really don't seem like you liked it… at all. So this is probably a pass for me.
    The machine gun in the trailer… hilarious! It's actually a better trailer than most indie books (but it's not indie…) have.

    • Reply
      June 3, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      A lot of people really liked this book. I know I'm the odd girl out on this one. But you are right, I didn't really like it. I didn't hate it, but I felt like this story has been done before.

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