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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real stand out - the next big thing!
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When I first came across The Testing I knew I had to read it. I'm a huge fan of dystopia and anything marketed as "for fans of The Hunger Games" completely grabs my attention! I was fortunate enough to get sent a copy of this book to review. The Testing follows...
Published 12 months ago by TotalTeenFiction

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars it's ok.
A very familiar read to the Hunger Games and Divergent. Not written half as well though! Just an ok read
Published 3 months ago by Andrina


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real stand out - the next big thing!, 1 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Testing (The Testing Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When I first came across The Testing I knew I had to read it. I'm a huge fan of dystopia and anything marketed as "for fans of The Hunger Games" completely grabs my attention! I was fortunate enough to get sent a copy of this book to review. The Testing follows Cia as she approaches her graduation, and with it the chance of being entered into the Testing, a brutal challenge where the chosen few compete to gain a place at university.

Having read so much YA dystopia (because it's a genre I adore so much!) I'm always a little apprehensive going into a new novel, because I worry they'll all feel similar or the best ideas have already been done. The Testing really proved to me that there is still originality out there and the ideas in this book blew me away. I loved that the focus was academic. The characters chosen for the Testing are smart and have huge potential. I love seeing Cia use her brain to move forwards in the process. Each of the challenges she faces are complex and daunting, and I think you have to give the author huge credit for dreaming up these wonderfully intricate challenges that were incredibly clever. The writing was so sharp and intelligent.

I loved the world building in The Testing and the post-apocalyptic environment the story takes place in was unique and well developed. I really enjoyed reading about the history of the United Commonwealth and how it has been ravaged by war. There was so much attention to detail. The nation is split up into colonies and Cia comes from the Five Lakes Colony which has always been a bit of an underdog and gets looked down upon by people from other colonies. I think that made me root for Cia even more because she's representing her colony throughout the story.

Cia herself is a really likeable main character. I loved seeing the relationship she has with her father and brothers, and even the tense relationship with her and her mother was really fascinating. I think one thing that really drew me to her was the value she places on friendship, which we see early on as she has to face leaving behind her friend Daileen. All throughout The Testing Cia is faced with the dilemma of deciding who to trust, and I loved her ability to really look out for people even when she should be looking out for herself. I think the first person present tense narrative really helped me feel what she did and connect with her, too.

I adored the pacing in The Testing which was just perfect.There was so much action and more twists and turns than I could count. It seemed like every chapter ended on a cliffhanger which made it impossible to put it down! The suspense keeps up all the way throughout the book but the two halves have very different feels to them. The second half of the book is a real survival story and I can see why there are comparisons to The Hunger Games after reading that. I think it will definitely appeal to fans of Suzanne Collins' trilogy.

There's a sprinkling of romance in The Testing with Cia getting close to Tomas, a fellow Testing candidate. I loved that it wasn't shoved in your face. It was a really sweet relationship with two people facing some truly trying circumstances and having to look out for one another and growing to really care for each other. Like I mentioned before, the story is full of moments where Cia has to decide who to trust and seeing the relationship between her and Tomas play out was gripping.

There were some really harrowing moments in The Testing and I think that was where it really stood out for me as a dystopian novel. The situations Cia ends up in are so brutal and the fates of some of the characters were so heartbreaking. I was taken aback many a time by the betrayal and lies and conspiracies, but I love it when a book really takes me by surprise. It felt like no matter how hard I tried to guess what would happen I was never prepared for what was around the corner!

The Testing has a fantastic ensemble of characters and I loved getting to know all of them. I loved how the Testing candidates bonded and stuck together, whilst at the same time trying to figure each other out. I loved the complex characters like Zandri and Ryme and the ones that really won my affections like Malachi.

I feel like I've said so much already but I can't finish up this review without mentioning the ending! The climax to The Testing was incredible and left me absolutely dying to read the next installment. I felt like I'd gone on a complete rollercoaster ride reading this book. I was shocked, sad and scared for the characters throughout the story. It's a story that will definitely stay with me!

The Testing is definitely a dystopia that can stand out from the crowd and hold its head high. The writing was phenomenal and the ideas were so intricate and smart. I really became wrapped up with the characters and felt the emotions they did as I read. I can't recommend this one highly enough and I'll be watching the clock waiting to get my hands on book two! The Testing is most definitely a new favourite.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 13 Mar 2014
By 
Macey89 - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Testing (The Testing Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
Of all the books that have been compared to The Hunger Games, this is the first series I’ve read that even comes close.

Seven stages of global war have devastated the planet, corrupting the land and making it hard for plants to grow and for people to thrive. To combat this, the United Commonwealth Government selects the brightest students to go forward for The Testing. If they pass, they will gain entry to the University, where they will be trained to be the next leaders of the country – tasked with rebuilding the Commonwealth by stretching the limits of medicine, biomechanical engineering and government, as well as finding new ways to grow crops and improve communications.

Cia is from Five Lakes colony, one of the most remote and least populated in the Commonwealth. So when four of her graduating class, including Cia, are selected to go forward for the testing, it’s an honour that hasn’t been seen in more than 10 years.

Having reached the Testing Centre, the candidates are whittled down one by one, so that only the smartest and the strongest remain. However, it soon becomes clear that the testing officials are more ruthless than Cia could ever have imagined. Failure or any kind is unacceptable. Any candidate that shows anything less than the intelligence, judgement and decisiveness judged to be necessary in a leader is penalised swiftly, without a chance for redemption.

As Cia attempts to make it through the five increasingly difficult and deadly stages of testing, she not only has to prove herself to those in charge, she also has to contend with rivals that are willing to do whatever it takes to pass.

Whereas other dystopian fiction books focus solely on staying alive, the characters in The Testing must excel academically, using logic, learning and their assessment of their peers to overcome challenges. On top of that, they have to have the survival skills, instincts and courage to succeed. For me, this just gives it a little something extra that marks it out from the rest in this genre. It feels like it’s something that could potentially happen if a government was ever to find itself in such a precarious situation. The consequences of global war are explored in some depth, but the main focus here is on rebuilding and creating something new.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian fantasy with an edgy twist., 5 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Testing (The Testing Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
This book is the beginning of a series which tells the story of a ravaged future world and one particular girl living in it.The heroine along with a group of others is chosen to be tested for a position at the university,with success comes a future of leadership but what she and her fellow candidates don't at first know is that failure means not dismissal but death.As the testing progresses candidates become friends and enemies,but telling one from the other is never easy.A blossoming romance adds another element to the story and contrasts to the ruthless behaviour of the authorities who have no qualms at the killing of the young candidates.Well written ,in a similar vein to books such as The Hunger Games ,this is an excellent read .I can't wait for the next instalment and would highly recommend this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you wanting more., 12 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Testing (The Testing Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
After reading the Hunger games I was drawn to this as a recommended similar title. Similar it is but also different. The storyline keeps you interested from beginning to end and I found myself thinking " just one more chapter before I stop".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 15 July 2014
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This review is from: The Testing (The Testing Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
Absolutely loved this book, couldn't put it down and am downloading the second one as soon as I finish writing this!
If you loved The Hunger Games or Divergent (minus the ending) then you'll really enjoy this book too.
Stop reading reviews and buy the book!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The testing., 2 July 2014
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This review is from: The Testing (The Testing Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
In a world where you can trust no one nothing is as it seems. This book makes you feel like your right there with them. You feel her rage and you feel her betrayal. I love this book and u just have to read it. Fan of the hunger games will love this!!!
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2.0 out of 5 stars writing by numbers, 29 Jun 2014
By 
Mirjam (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Testing (The Testing Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
This is a bland book with a ridiculous premise. It's as if the writer read The Hunger Games and thought:" what gives the most exciting and gruelling premise: children killing each other, well let's do that." The motivation for the killing is so stupid, that the killing itself is horrifying, because there is no need for. Because why kill brilliant children in a country that is marked by devastation?

Then the story. These kind of stories rely on characterisation and plot: show not tell. Style mostly isn't the greatest strength of books in this genre (hunger games, divergent). But that doesn't matter because the story is rich and there are lots of small details that make you wonder about the characters: see Katniss' ruthlessness and compassion, the story of Peeta and the bread and the role that plays in Katniss' decision making. All these small things come together in the plot and character development.

The motivation for the gruelling acts the children do, is based on quicksand, so you can't sympathise or understand the moral dilemma's. The characters themselves are therefore flat and unbelievable. And the plot is so like The Hunger Games that there are little surprises.

The obligatory romance is ridiculous and tiring because it is not motivated. Page after page you think, this is so easy there must be a trap.

The world building is non existent, so no secrets or mysteries to guess there. Why writing a dystopian novel then?

In short this book lacks imagination, intelligent world building and believable characters.

Why then two stars and not one. Well you just can't stop and that is quite an achievement!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Similar to the hunger games, 24 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Testing (The Testing Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
Loved this book. I needed to know what happened next all the time. Can't wait for book 2 to see what happens
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better then the Hunger ganes!, 20 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Testing (The Testing Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
I love this book it is another young adult dystopian but it is much more finely written and has a deeper sense of logic to it compared to the Hunger games. The fact that you quickly begin to realise these children are oblivious to what is going to happen to them gives it a much darker quality. Cia is a resourceful and strong, likable female character. The tests are interesting and filled with so much tension that this book is very hard to put down, I have already recommend it to several family members and friends, it deserves to be read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars the Testing, 15 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Testing (The Testing Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
If you liked Divergent and The Hunger Games, you'll love this. Different enough and it kept me on the edge of my seat. Can't wait to read part 2.
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The Testing (The Testing Trilogy) by Joelle Charbonneau
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