Review of YA Dystopian, The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

If you are looking for your next Hunger Games-esk  read, this is it. Its a perfect mix of Hunger Games and Divergent. The Testing is a YA dystopian book where leaders take the brightest recent graduations through ‘The Testing’ to see if they have what it takes to become possible leaders of the United Commonwealth. During the testing students undergo logic, math, economic, and  even deadly survival challenges to test their talents. The Testing is told through 16 year old Malencia Vale aka Cia’s eyes. She discovers deadly secrets about the testing program along the way  that will change everything she thinks about her family, leaders, and friends. One thing is certain – She must trust no one.


It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.

About Joelle Charbonneau

Joelle has performed in opera and musical theater productions across Chicagoland. She now teaches private voice lessons and is the author of the New York Times best selling The Testing trilogy (The Testing, Independent Study, and Graduation Day) as well as two mystery series: The Rebecca Robbins mysteries and the Glee Club mysteries. Her YA books have appeared on the Indie Next List, on the YALSA Top 10 books for 2014 as well as the YALSA Quick Picks for reluctant readers.

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