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Independent Study: The Testing, Book 2 Hardcover – 7 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) (7 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547959206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547959207
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,534,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joelle Charbonneau is a storyteller at heart. She has performed in a variety of operas, musical theatre and children's theatre productions across the Chicagoland area. In addition to her stage work, Joelle has also performed with several bands and worked as a solo performer.

While Joelle is happy to perform for an audience, she is equally delighted to teach private voice lessons and use her experience from the stage to create compelling characters in her mysteries. Her first comic mystery, Skating Around The Law, will hit shelves under the St. Martin's Minotaur imprint on Sept. 28th, 2010. To learn more, visit Joelle at her website: www.joellecharbonneau.net

Product Description

About the Author

Ever since she can remember, Joelle has loved telling stories. As she grew up, she started performing those stories on the stage. Joelle still sings professionally, but most of her time is spent with her husband and son while dreaming up new stories. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Macey89 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In the follow up to ‘The Testing’, Cia has made it to the University. Having taken the exams that will determine the future of their careers in the United Commonwealth, Cia and the other successful testing candidates now have a whole new set of challenges to face.

Cia’s memories of her first Testing have been erased, but as she prepares for her initiation into her class, disturbing flashbacks make her question the University and all it stands for. With her dreams full of suspicions about what happens to students that fail to live up to the University idea of its ideal candidate, she is thrown into a dizzying round of intense studying, ruthless initiation processes and cut-throat competition.

When she learns about a group of rebels working against the government officials in charge of the University, Cia has to choose whether to risk her life, and the lives of the people that she cares about, by joining their cause. But who can she trust? And who is doing everything they can to make sure she’ll fail?

When a series gets off to such a strong start, I’ve often found that I’m a little disappointed in the sequel. Here, the author manages to recreate the same world with just as much tension and suspense. Yes, the pace is a little slower and events don’t take quite such as deadly a turn as in The Testing, but that makes the things that do happen even more shocking. It does also suffer a little bit from middle book syndrome – where we’re clearly building up to a larger storyline but we have to wait until the final instalment for the main action to kick off.

Despite this though, it still gets a 4/5 from me. I actually like the way that this novel is set against an academic background, although still in a dystopian world.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Helen on 8 April 2014
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I want to like this book a lot more than I do. The main character, Cia, is feisty and interesting. The society which Charbonneau established in the first book is explored further and there's still a large element of excitement and danger despite the fact that the most obviously life threatening element of her studies - the actual testing in book one - is over. Some of the antagonistically challenged characters who seem determined to trip Cia up and get her kicked out (or worse) from the university are a little flat, but that's okay. I don't mind that they retain an element of shady mystery. The way Cia struggles with her returning memories is well put together and, overall, the book is well written for this kind of YA genre based story.

However, the one big issue I had with the first book is exacerbated even further here. Okay, so students get killed during the Testing. In fact, lots of students get killed during the Testing. And then the government or education board or Dr. Barnes or whoever wipe the survivors' memories so no-one cops it. But what is never ever explained is WHY. Come on! These are the country's best and brightest. Why kill them? Why kill so many of them? Why make it so no-one remembers? The entire series is built around this premise and yet it's completely, irrationally illogical. There's no good reason why those who fail shouldn't just be sent home to hand their heads in shame. There's no reason to murder them. None. And when the entire plotline hinges on the fact that Cia and the rebels are trying to stop these killings from happening - but it's impossible to suspend your disbelief that they are actually happening - then the whole book fall flat.

It annoys me. This series has so much promise. But there needs to be rational motivation for those in charge to act like psychos or it just doesn't work...
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By Pitmanj on 20 Dec. 2014
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I loved this book, just like the last 1. So much so 3 days is all it took to finish this book. I would of finished in 2, if I wasn't working early for the last couple of days and me falling asleep to early.

Loads of people say it's rubbish looking at the goodreads reviews but this book is great ignore them I could not put this book down.
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This book was a real non-event for me. Nothing plot advancing actually happens - a large part of the book is spent on a "initiation" challenge that really doesn't add or develop the plot in any way, except for some small character development and Cia seeing a few things that looked suspicious. It felt like an enormous diversion to me, which was frustrating. The world building has already been established in the first book so this book should really have advanced the plot and been able to move forwards in an exciting way. Sadly, it didn't. The new characters introduced were rather predictable and very sketchily portrayed, and I also found Cia's feelings for Tomas quite unexplained and rather dull.

On the plus side, the world building is quite good (though the series is clearly trying to ride off the success of the Hunger Games - that's very blatant) and the twist at the end was surprising enough to be satisfying. Overall, though, this book left me feeling pretty non-plussed.
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Love this series, very well written fast paced and exciting, am really looking forward to reading 'Graduation day' when it is released on kindle.
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Well I am assuming you have read the first one and secondly if you have read the first one then you probably aren't reading this as if you felt anything like I did you impulsively brought this straight away after finishing the other one!

For those of you that need a bit of convincing the danger is hardly over in fact if anything it is more difficult and dangerous then before with Dr Barnes taking a personal interest in Cia. Everything is threatened from her family to her friends, this book is gripping and tense as it gets as Cia fights for survival and tries to ensure her friends make it too. The ending is full of suspense and ancipation for the final book, I literally cannot wait!
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