In a future decimated by the Seven Stages War, the human race has to rebuild the world from the bottom up. Revitalization is the key to survival, and only the brightest can pull it off. University is where the leaders of the future are formed. However, in order to be one of the chosen elites who gets to attend, you must first pass the Testing.
Despite the fact that no one from her home in the small Five Lakes Colony has been chosen for years, Malencia "Cia" Vale (16) dreams of being chosen for the Testing, just like her Dad was. When suddenly four students from her graduating class of eight were chosen, herself included, Cia was beyond ready to take on the Testing. But as she will soon find out, nothing is as it seems, and no one can be trusted.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
Futuristic, post-apocalyptic novels can either be really good or really bad, and many of them don’t quite hit the mark. The Testing is the former. It is compelling, moving, and has all the right elements to create a great story. No one can see the future, but Charbonneau did a great job of making the reader see her version of it very clearly. Not only did she create a great setting, but she also presented a complex history leading up to its present time period. Setting up the background early on was helpful in getting the story flowing, and no part was too fast or too slow.
However, there were moments when the book became a bit predictable. It was less "I have seen these scenes before" in other books and more that they lacked the proper tension to make them interesting. I especially would have liked to have more suspense between Cia and the other characters, especially her love-interest Tomas. The characters themselves all had great potential, but I was hoping to see more developed interactions between them.
I would say The Testing is a great choice for readers ages 13 and up as there is violence. It is written extremely well and the author made some great writing choices to keep everything appropriate. Overall, keep this book on your recommendation list. I have just started the second book and it is as good as the first. It would be a great gift idea.
Great worldbuilding that is easily visualized will immerse readers in this futuristic world.
It is pretty violent, including suicide and several in-action deaths, and especially since the characters are all teenagers, I would be careful if this sort of thing really affects you.
This is the first book that interprets a rebuilding of society after complete destruction.
This is a science fiction novel for pleasure reading.
11 and Up
11 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age: 16
Borrow. It is well written, but is still just a one-time read.
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