Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Testing

The Testing  by Joelle Charbonneau

Title: The Testing

Author: Joelle Charbonneau

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia 

Published: August 1st 2013, Templar Publishing
Pages: 384

Blurb: A gripping futuristic thriller, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games.


Every year, the United Commonwealth invites top graduates from each colony to participate in The Testing. Successful candidates will go on to the University and help the government work to rebuild our war-stricken world. This process is not optional.
Disclaimer: The United Commonwealth is not responsible for candidates' psychological or physical heath during The Testing.

The Testing is used to eliminate the chosen participates who are weak and aren’t suitable to be the future leaders of The United Commonwealth. It’s used to get the total chosen number of 108 to decrease in number to around about 20 people.  The first part of The Testing uses 4 different tests that test the contestant’s knowledge of history, science, mathematics and reading and gives United Commonwealth an idea on how certain people use their brains. The second part is used to give the contestants a way to show their knowledge in a practical way and the third part is used to show how individuals work as in a team. And finally part four is used to test leadership and survival skills. Overall The Testing is a way which forces individuals to put themselves first in order to survive, to trust the right people, to be able to stand by their decisions and also to never guess on important matters.

The Testing is different to The Hunger Games because firstly The Testing has multiple winners and it’s not first come first win. Secondly the actual Testing is not all about physically surviving it’s about testing your knowledge, trusting the right people, working with people you don`t trust, following your instincts and trusting yourself. What happens in The Testing isn’t known to everybody so unlike The Hunger Games where everybody watches what happens The Testing is just a way for people to compete to get into University.

The book started out rushed with the entire Graduation Day, the people chosen for The Testing and Cia packing and leaving Five Lakes happening in the span of a couple of chapters. But then the book paces out really well with the reader actually getting to know the secondary characters and learning what Cia’s skills are. I could actually connect to the characters because I could tell them apart from each other and Cia wasn`t the character to leave any details behind.

The world Joelle Charbonneau has created is that everyone is expected to find a job and be useful to the community and this adds a lot of pressure to Cia. This is the reason she wants to be in The Testing, she doesn`t want to be like others who have been forced to take a job which they don`t enjoy doing, like her brothers. She wants to go to University to help change the Earth and help the community grow but how can she do that when the corruption isn`t just in the earth but in people too.

The element of trust is very important in the book because Cia’s “friends” or anybody could betray you at any part of The Testing. Cia has good instincts and a lot of her struggles were of her trying to follow her own instincts and trusting herself and not leaving her trust on others.

Cia was strong, clever, skilful and independent and she didn’t really show any flaws. Which made me so angry, no character/human being is perfect so why did Cia get everything right so easily. She passed the written tests, yeh she struggled but she still did plenty of the papers, she was socially able to make a group of strangers connect, she was mechanically able to solve problems, she was incredibly intelligent, she solved the problem of working as team, she could sense betrayal, she could read people, she could shoot a gun, she was a great friend, she dressed appropriately, she stored food, she choice her three things wisely, she spend her time wisely, she saved others lives, she cared for someone even when they were holding her back from winning and she was also clever enough to record her story before her memory was wiped.    

Wow – A long list of her perfection
The romance element seemed like a bit like insta-love but the two characters have known each before The Testing so you understand why they friends in the beginning – they didn`t just instantly connect. The relationship wasn’t like others where the male led the girl through the abandoned city, they were both equal in the sense they both had their own ideas which they both decided on. But they also had secrets which they kept from each other.

Cia had help from people outside of the United Commonwealth, the rebels. I see where this is going, typical! 

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