I received this book from the lovely people at Hot Key Books, so a big thank you to them for sending this to me for review. As always, opinions are always my own. :)
Title: The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Series: The Testing #1
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Release Date: August 1st 2013
No. of Pages: 384
A gripping futuristic thriller, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games.
DO YOU POSSESS A WINNING COMBINATION OF THEORETICAL KNOWLEDGE, PRACTICAL SKLLS AND RAW INTELLIGENCE?
DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO LEAD OTHERS? ARE YOU WILLING TO CRUSH THOSE WHO STAND IN YOUR WAY?
Every year, the United Commonwealth invites top graduates from each colony to participate in The Testing. Successful candidates will go on to the University and help the government work to rebuild our war-stricken world. This process is not optional.Disclaimer: The United Commonwealth is not responsible for candidates' psychological or physical heath during The Testing. -(Goodreads)
3.5 stars: Page thinks this book was good, but didn't
make him fly.
You know what, I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to when I first began reading it. I was a bit unsure about whether I would like the characters or the world, but after a few chapters I spent two days not wanting to put it down again. I think I'm right to say that this got me out of a mild reading slump I was in, where I was taking years to finish even 5 star books.
But firstly, let me get this out of the way: this is extremely like The Hunger Games, and if you're looking for a unique read I would not recommend this to you. There is the love interest with a common name that's spelt differently as well as the human mutations - much like The Hunger Games. So like I said, I am not giving any brownie points out for creativeness in terms of the story. That being said it's an enjoyable book, despite all the apparent similarities. I don't feel that it has much of an emotional impact on the reader either but it's something that is fun to read and did end up interesting me, because I was constantly interested in what was going to happen next. What I think is that if you're looking for a book that you'll have a good time reading but aren't in particular need of something emotionally and structurally amazing this is a very good choice. It was exactly what I needed when I picked it up.
In terms of characters I did enjoy them. Cia, the protagonist, especially. I don't think that she was a very distinguishable character, but I did like certain traits of hers. For example, in the book she took on the challenges she was given really well. You see, there were occurrences in the book which I would have just passed over, but Cia instantly started to work out what they meant and what the implications were. I really liked that, because often her reasoning was very complex and you could tell that the author had put a lot of thought into creating these incidents and their meanings.
I did quite enjoy the love interest, Tomas's character too. His character deviated a lot from the traditional I-Love-You-and-I-will-never-do-anything-evil that I was expecting. I'm not sure I trust him just yet, but I know that I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how the darker side to his character is explored in the next book. Saying that, I'm also looking forward to seeing the development of all the characters because of how everything in the book was left off- I'm sure it'll make for interesting reading!
These are my main thoughts overall, and though this review isn't as long as usual, I hope you enjoyed it anyway. Definitely read this if you feel like a nice, easy read.
Whilst The Testing noticeably lacked originality, I really enjoyed how easy it was to just get lost in it, making it a good read!