Teen Book Review

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The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau tells the story of Cia Vale, a citizen of the Five Lakes Colony, governed by the United Commonwealth. The Seven Stages War resulted in biological mutations and the destruction of much of Earth’s ecosystems. Resources are low, and many colonies are on the brink of starvation. Who will lead the tired souls of the Commonwealth to prosperity? The answer is found through the Testing.


After reaching adulthood, only a select few are able to continue their education. These chosen candidates will go to the University and be the future leaders of the United Commonwealth. The Testing is designed to narrow down the chosen number candidates, usually around one hundred, to a mere twenty. Competition is high, and a wrong answer can result in dire consequences.
Cia is chosen for the Testing, much to the dismay of her father, who passed the Testing. He warns her of the dangers that await, and tell her to trust no one. But surely she can trust Tomas, a handsome boy from her colony that she has known since childhood, right?
The Testing is a dystopian thriller, very similar to novels such as the Hunger Games. The novel is interesting, but I couldn’t help but compare it to the Hunger Games as I was reading it. I believe the Testing could have been written better at some parts, and sometimes I felt the author gave too much information. However, Cia feels like a genuine character to me, as well as Tomas. Despite its faults, I still enjoyed this turn-pager, and I would recommend it to any fan of dystopian novels.

Review by Caroline

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