Published on August 30th, 2014 | by Natasha Shaikh0
The Testing is the first in a scholarly dystopian trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau that gives you a peek at a deadly twist to school.
Cia Vale is determined to be chosen for the “Testing” so that she can attend the University in the United Commonwealth. When her determination is realized, Cia expects her family to celebrate, but is instead greeted with sadness and reluctant congratulations. Her father reveals that the Testing is not what it seems and her life could be in danger.
At first the Testing for the poorer colonies like Five Lakes (Cia’s home) is standard with written examinations and practical group projects, but the final stage of evaluation involves a rather deadly game of survival of the smartest and fittest. Cia, together with her childhood friend Tomas, try to survive the Testing even if they are not sure they can trust each other anymore.
The Testing takes a surprising stance by allowing an aware teenager to take on forces she may be able to fight back by sheer calculation.The trilogy does not fall into the traditional model of the unaware citizen in a dystopian society—instead, Cia is self-aware and knows full well this awareness should never be voiced.
Why You’ll Love It
It combines the thrill and brutality of Battle Royale and The Hunger Games, but has the same message and clever complications of Red Rising. The Testing is about more than just a girl falling in love—it’s also about the complication of politics versus education, where to draw moral boundaries, and whether there really is a difference between people of different classes. Oh, also the entire trilogy is already out.
Choice Quote: “Tell a girl you love her and she automatically gets bossy. Well, I guess I can’t complain since you’re asking me to take off my pants.”
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The Testing is published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.