Sunday, April 21, 2013

ARC REVIEW: The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau

Title/Series: The Testing | The Testing #1
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Expected publication: June 4th 2013
Format: eBook | Pages: 336
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Source: NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
★★★★★ (5/5) Stars!!!

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.

 It's very difficult to please the lovers of the dystopian genre. Everyone always seems so quick to judge and compare new books with....that other series. You know the one I'm talking about. Which I find highly unfair. Those books do not make up the entire genre, and as such shouldn't be used as the score card every time something new comes along. Because while,yes, I did enjoy them quite much...I've found others that I've enjoyed even more. And if this first book in The Testing series is any indicator of what's to come with the rest of the books, they're going to be right there towards the top of my list.

I downloaded it without even looking at the blurb. I received a pre-apporval and so I pulled it up on Goodreads and checked the shelves it was on and three popped out and made my decision straight away; YA, Dystopian, Post-Apocalypse. Done. I have to read this book.

I get settled and thrust myself into Cia's world. I adored her. She was your ideal dystopian heroine. She's smart, strong, stubborn when it counts (not just to be stubborn), and always wanting to do right by people and try to help them if she can....which, for the last one, in this genre can also be a fault. She was also trusting, to a fault. And in a world where trusting the wrong person could get you killed, it made for an anxiety filled read (in a really good way!) As I'm sitting here typing this to you, having finished this first book...I'm still unsure about a couple people. And it's killing me! Ahhh!!! ...Okay, I think I'm okay.

It was a smooth read. And kept my interest from start to finish. I'm serious when I say I could. Not. Put. It. Down. And it wasn't a love story set in a post-apocalypse type of world either. Though there were hints of love here and there, this was more like an adrenaline pumping story of survival and betrayal and death. The characters are fantastic. The world is painted in a vivid picture that allows your imagination to take over and you can picture everything as it's going on. Even the cringe worthy parts. The death in this book is definitely not for the squeamish.

I'd like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for giving me this opportunity to read and review this book!! It was an amazing adventure that ended too soon and I can't wait for the next book to come out!


  1. Haha I almost feel like you're talking about me in that first paragraph. :p I agree, though. A lot of readers - myself included - have ridiculously high standards for dystopian fiction. For me, it's because a dystopia is supposed to be a solid, tight world, a "what-if?" question about tomorrow. Something that makes us think. So I admittedly get a bit ranty when it comes to a lot of the newer dystopias haha.

    This one doesn't look bad, though. I recently swore off most YA dystopia books because I hate trashing books my friends all adored, but after this review, how can I not at least consider this one? Who knows, maybe it'll restore my faith in dystopia settings.

    Fantastic review as always, Sheri! :D

    1. You are so funny! I already said this but I SWEAR it's not you. The entire Goodreads page is full of reviews that all say Hunger Games! Hunger Games! Hunger Games! Kind of my pet peeve. And I know how hard you are on dystopians but that's not bad. I'll like this? I say maybe because I never know with you!! haha Thanks Kelly. I hope you do read it because I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

  2. Great review Sheri! To tell you the truth, I didn't like the Hunger Games.
    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog & following, I really appreciate it :)

    1. Yeah Hunger Games was really one of those you REALLY liked it or you just didn't care for it at all. The genre is really my first love in books if they're done right.

      And no problem thanks for stopping and commenting! :)