REVIEW #129: The Testing (The Testing #1) By Joelle Charbonneau

Title: The Testing
Series: The Testing #1
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Pages: 336, Hardcover
Source: Library

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.


Once I saw The Testing compared to The Hunger Games I knew I had to read it. And I enjoyed this book every bit as much as I thought I would.  I just really enjoy books that have... well, tests! 

The anticipation over what comes next.
The surprise of what does. 
The speculation over what the test makers want.
The threat of what they do not. 
The suspicion over the other candidates' motives .
The truth of what they are.
The suspense over solving the puzzle.
The strain of doing so correctly.
The thrill over getting the right answer. 
The danger of not. 
The curiosity over who moves forward.
The loss of who doesn't.
The exhaustion when you reach your bottom. 
The adrenaline when you still rise.
The excitement of passing.
The fear of failure. 
The thirst for retribution. 

Books like these are total page-turners for me. Especially when the price of failure is your life. It really sets the stakes high. 

I actually liked the relationship/romance more so in this book than in THG but I think the story in THG was a bit more exciting. Regardless, I thought it was an awesome read and the ending definitely set the stage for some good stuff to come. I can't wait to pick up Independent Study. 



  1. I agree, it was definitely a page turner! I saw so much of The Hunger Games in this book BUT it looks like book two is taking a totally different turn so that makes me excited to pick it up!

    1. That's true! Were you able to pick it up at BEA by any chance? I was lucky and got a copy and I can't wait to start it!

  2. I really enjoyed The Testing, and thought it was great start to a new Dystopian series. I'm excited to check out Independent Study and can't wait to find out where this takes Cia. Glad you like it too. :)

  3. I keep wondering if I want to read this one or not, but people seem to be really liking it! I love the list that you made, it's awesome!

    1. If you liked THG, you will probably enjoy this one UNLESS strong similarities to THG will bother you.

  4. Great review! I loved this book, and I can't read the next one (and find out about certain unanswered questions, including some questions I have about a certain guy--don't want to spoil anything even by mentioning names).

    1. hahah yes I got you. I can't wait either ;)

  5. I'm really glad you liked The Testing. Unfortunately, I didn't :( the fact that it was so much like THG bothered me. I love THG and while I was reading it, I found myself just pointing fingers at a chapter saying "that's like Hunger Games" "Hunger Games..." I think people are either going to love it, or not so much, but I'm really happy that you did. I don't like it when I end up disliking a book. Oh btw, I don't have anything against the book, I was just stating what I thought of it.

    Leigh @ Little Book Star

    1. I understand. I saw a lot of similarities too but it didn't bother me. I was glad to get another Hunger Games like fix.

  6. I'm really curious about this one! The Hunger Games comparison makes me nervous though, as I really liked The Hunger Games series and I'm afraid I'll be biased! But if you say it's good, then I'll probably have to at least give it a try.

  7. I loved all the tricky tests too. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Testing! I thought you would. I can't wait to see what the author does in the next book and I'm super excited we don't have to wait an overly long time for it.


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