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The Testing 2: Independent Study (The Testing Trilogy) by [Charbonneau, Joelle]
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The Testing 2: Independent Study (The Testing Trilogy) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Product Description


"Fast-paced and full of crosses and double-crosses, right to the cliffhanger ending."
--"Booklist" "A tense, paranoid story in which layers of treachery, deceit, and danger are peeled away one by one. . . . Charbonneau makes excellent use of her dystopian theme in a twisty story that hits its mark."
--"Publishers Weekly" "[A] compelling mix of new lies, double crosses, and increasingly menacing government figures focused on destroying Cia."
--"Kirkus" "Fans of "The Testing" will be thrilled with this new installment and will be anxiously waiting for the story's conclusion."
--"School Library Journal"
"Charbonneau has created an elegantly organized plot that will keep the reader engaged and wondering how this richly layered plot will unfold. . . . The tension and conflict will have readers at the edge of their seats as the imagery and complexities of the characters and plot design are exposed."

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. After graduating from Millikin University with a Bachelors Degree in Vocal performance she continued onto DePaul University for her Masters Degree in Opera Performance, and from there went on to perform across the Chicagoland area in a variety of operas and musicals. Joelle still sings professionally, but most of her time is spent with her husband and son while dreaming up new stories. Follow Joelle at www.joellecharbonneau.com or on Twitter: @jcharbonneau.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1503 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Templar Fiction (1 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,013 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was definitely an interesting development from the first book. I really loved The Testing; most of all for Cia's intelligence, and after reading lots of negative reviews for this sequel I really was dubious about what I might think of Independent Study. But I guess I'm the minority, because I thought this was a solid middle book.

This second tale takes place immediately after the events of The Testing and shows Cia, Tomas and Will embark on their journey at the University. There are more tests to determine who is smart enough to stay, pass Induction and progress through an Internship in their chosen field of work. But of course, there are lots of twists and turns including the introduction of students from Tosu City. The students who haven't had to struggle through The Testing, killing their comrades and the poverty of smaller cities.

I liked that the testing element remainded. Although it's really typical, and as such hugely unoriginal, for this genre, I think this author does a good job of making the tests pretty exciting. You just don't know if they're going to be brutal tests, tests of genuine competence or tests within tests. What I like so much about such an overdone concept in this case is that Cia is such a fantastic main character that she's just miles ahead of me, figuring stuff out and narrowly escaping nasty situations by outwitting her murderous assessors. I think intelligent characters are fantastic - so much better than the lucky, boring heroes that seem to be commonplace at the moment. She's definitely earning her stripes as a strong female lead.

I also enjoyed the fact that this author chose not to make the romance between Cia and Tomas a big deal.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not my usual genre but I read the free sample and got hooked it, wanting to know what would happen next, and since the kindle edition was only 99p on Amazon's "Today's Deals" I thought why not go for it? Stretch myself out of my comfort zone and all that. So far as I read, the plot is good and full of suspense. I suspect, however, that it would turn out to be very repetitive - daring-do challenge after challenge, each one superbly overcome by our brilliant heroine, leading up to a final crescendo where she triumphs, perhaps with a touch of schadenfruede, ready to go into the final book of the trilogy. It seemed safe to assume that anyone who appeared to be a friend at the start of the book would turn out to be a treacherous foe by the end.

However, I didn't finish the book. The writing style was simply dreadful. No character development. A multitude of characters introduced by a description of their hair colour and style. I wanted to know what happened in the story but not enough to cope with the writing style, and so I gave up. Ms Charbonneau would do better if she removed all adjectives from her writing. She needs to show the story and its characters, not tell us.

I don't know why dystopian fiction is so often linked to poor writing style. It can be done well. I read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" when my daughter was doing it as a set book in her uni studies, and that was haunting and memorable (to use some adjectives myself!).
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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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