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Most Helpful Favorable Review
30 out of 32 people found this review helpful.
Whenever a book becomes hugely popular, there are bound to be a
The Seven Stages War has left the Earth devastated. It is in this environment the the new United Commonwealth finds itself trying to survive. To meet this goal, the UC needs to discover the best and the brightest that its various colonies have to offer. Their talents and skills, along with a coveted education at The University, are needed to rebuild the Earth. To aid this process, the government of the UC has devised The Testing.
Like the Hunger Games and others, the story in The Testing relies on Young Adult protagonists who are thrown into a do or die situation which they must navigate by using their skills and intellect. Another similarity to most of the books of this type, their is romantic interest between some of the characters. The most important similarities to the Hunger Games, though, is the author's ability to craft characters that the reader can identify with. People that you want to win and survive. In addition, the author's ability to tell the story in an engrossing, intriguing way that draws the reader in is another similarity.
To me, though, the similarities that this book had to the others, especially the Hunger Games, were less important than what it had that its differences. Although survival is a big part of this story, it is not the only attribute that is important. For example, I really liked the way that The Testing was structured. I found the author's use of testing environment that looked at the participant's academics, decision making abilities, problem solving skills, and team work skills, set this story apart. The fact that the characters needed more to accomplish their goals than just survival skills was more to my liking. In addition, I really liked the way that the author included the understanding of several scientific abilities in the main characters arsenal, and the fact that they were able to discuss these abilities amongst themselves. There were some other differences that I particularly liked as well, but most of them were things that would spoil the story if I listed them. All of these differences, though, went a long way toward allowing me to feel that this story had its own identity.
Even though I knew where this book was heading, could guess most of the twists, and was not surprised by any of the situations, I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy. In fact, I found it as enjoyable as the Hunger Games and think that the fact that the stories are so similar one of the things that I particularly enjoyed. Reading this story felt like visiting an old friend, but yet there was plenty to discover at the same time. I give it 4 stars.
posted by lsmeadows on June 5, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
I want to thank Houghton Mifflin Children's Books for sending me
Blurb from Goodreads:
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.
So, who wouldn't want to try a book that is billed as the next Hunger Games? I loved The Hunger Games, so I jumped at the chance to give this one a try. Even read the blurb of this one, which I usually don't do, to see what it was all about. I have to say the concept really intrigued me for sure. I was really excited to finally get into another dystopian, as I haven't read one that has truly pulled me in since The Hunger Games.
The cover of this book is very simple. Once you read it, you understand what is pictured. I understand the want to go with something simple, but I feel like there could have been a bit more to it. It suits the book fairly well but I really would have liked more.
I will tell you now that if you are looking for a book that very much mimics The Hunger Games, this is it. It is eerily similar to a fault, to be honest. The characters names are different, but the concept of children fighting for survival and being pitted against each other rings throughout the book. I was actually a bit disappointed in the fact that there really wasn't much of a difference and truly wonder if the author has gotten her ideas straight from those books.There is even a scene where the main character climbs into a tree to sleep; certainly I pictured Katniss in my mind (from both the book and movie) when this scene occurred!
Malencia Vale (Cia) is an interesting enough character. She's fairly strong and definitely resilient. And she shows the smarts that are needed to be part of the testing. But unlike Katniss she wants to be chosen for the testing believing the testing will help her advance to university where she will learn to heal her broken world. Of course the corrupt government has other ideas, though we are never told their true reasoning behind the testing. We do know they want to find the most fit candidates to attend the University and help heal the destruction that has occurred due to the past wars. But the underlying tone, which Cia quickly picks up on, is that there is more to it then they are telling her. She, however, doesn't try to figure out what it is. I do understand that her will is more to survive so she can cross the finish line, but it just doesn't seem like she even cares to try and figure out what lies beneath the government's plan.
Tomas Endress, well, he seems like he's hiding something from the beginning. I just didn't trust him. And, while he and Cia have some sort of history having grown up together, their attraction seems kind of forced and doesn't evolve as I would like. The relationship also seems almost out of place in the landscape Charbonneau paints. I can't picture what Tomas looks like in my mind, which drives me bonkers. I know he has a dimple, but that is all I can honestly remember after having read the entire book with him in most of the scenes! He isn't someone I would remember in the future, nothing about him stands out and makes me want to remember him, either.
As for the supporting characters, they seem to just be there. Again, I feel no connection with any of them. I don't feel any emotion for them at all. And I have no idea what any of them truly looks like. I would have also liked to see more about the relationship between Cia and her brothers. I thought for sure, after reading the prequel, that we would get a bit more about Zeen (her oldest brother) and why it is that he and Cia are so close. But I don't really get anything at all about their relationship. And he actually disappears during what I would have thought would be the most important time for Charbonneau to have him in the book. I can tell that Cia has a good repore with her father. He trusts her and reveals secrets to her he feels she is sure to keep. This is the only relationship in the book that truly struck my interest.
So, as you can tell, I wan't completely thrilled with the cast of this book. I will tell you why I could not connect with them: this book is almost all narration from the main character's point of view. I understand the need to build a world, but Charbonneau has long paragraphs of narrative that completely take me out of the story. There is barely any dialogue between characters. This caused my inability to understand their relationships with one another. Everything I learn about them is from Cia's POV. I really would have liked to see them through dialogue and interaction. But it just was not there. When dialogue does appear, for the most part it is short and quipped, which would not be so bad except it would maybe consist of three or four lines before once again going back into long narratives from the MC's POV.
Another point of contention was the speeches that were made by the governmental officials They were LONG. It totally took me out of the story. I actually had a very hard time finishing some of them and would often have to back track to understand what the character was talking about. It was very distracting.
Remember the kids in The Hunger Games traveled by trains to Capital City? Well in The Testing it is a smaller group of kids traveling in some kind of hover craft type vehicle on their way to the capital city. Again, the similarity is still there. As if there is a cookie cutter outline and Charbonneau has taken it and added her ideas.
And I'm not feeling the total dystopian landscape that really needs to exist to understand how the people might be suffering. The children get schooling, everyone seems to be well fed, they are not dirty, they live well enough and people seem to have jobs. I just don't get how the destruction has decimated these people's lives.
So, these kids are thrown into a race to a finish line, meeting up with each other along the way, and often getting into violent confrontations. Yup, certainly reminded me of The Hunger Games. However, in The Hunger Games, the characters had reason to be violent and even kill one another. The Testing officials tell the candidates whoever makes it back will be interviewed for their final admission to university. They really don't give the candidates much of a reason to be killing each other. Sure, by offing their competition there are less of them to finish thus decreasing the risk of not being chosen for university. However, I just didn't feel like there was enough reason for them to be picking each other off.
Finally, and I cannot say this enough, there are barely any specifics given in this story. It just kind of chugs along as the kids move through the barren dystopian landscape and try to survive. Since there are no real relationships formed, we hardly get an idea of their fear or any other emotion
posted by Brooke-The-Cover-Contessa on July 4, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 4, 2013
If you¿ve read any other reviews about The Testing, you¿ve proba
If you’ve read any other reviews about The Testing, you’ve probably already heard the comparison between it and The Hunger Games trilogy. It was one of the very first things I heard about it. “If you liked The Hunger Games, you’ll like The Testing.” Well, I like The Hunger Games, but I didn’t think it was fair to try to compare this book to it. It’s bound to happen, though. There’s so many similarities that it would be hard not to compare the two. While there are similarities between the two, there are enough differences between the two that it doesn’t seem like you are reading the same story over again with different names and whatnot. I’ll say I agree with the statement, though. If you liked The Hunger Games trilogy, there’s a very good chance you’ll enjoy The Testing. I know I did.
I felt like the first few chapters moved a bit slowly. Since they are building up some of the background to the good stuff, I don’t feel like it really brings the story down. Once the story picks up, a few chapters in, it doesn’t stop. When the story picked up for me, the book was really hard to put down. It sucked me in and didn’t let me go, even when the book ended (mostly because the story isn’t over). I’m really looking forward to reading the next book and finding out more about The Testing.
***This book was received in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.***
10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 13, 2013
<3 I love this book!!!!!!
Anyone who enjoyed Suzanne Collin's The Hunger Games or Veronica Roth's Divergent will love The Testing. It is extremely refreshing that there is no love triangle business. Cia's voice is clear and the characters are believable. The plot is good and fairly fast-paced and action-packed, and you will find yourself cheering for Cia all the way. This novel us for someone with a taste for adventure as well as a touch of love & betrayal.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 3, 2013
Posted December 31, 2013
Kept me reading all night
This book was really good. There were so many twists that I
had to keep reading to find out what happens next. I really like that the main character was very observant. I recommend this book.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 27, 2014
Posted January 1, 2014
If you liked the hunger ganes this is the book for you! Att first I was concerned it would be too much like the hunger games, but it really wasn't all that similar. Anyway it was a great book and I'm counting the days until the next comes out.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 27, 2013
I Also Recommend:
Must Read for Divergent and Hunger Games fans!
I absolutely loved this book! This was on my suggested list when I finished the Divergent Trilogy and I am so glad I picked it up! You get to read about Cia's adventures of trying to pass The Testing in order to get in the post-apocalyptic nation's University, but it isn't as simple or easy as it seems. In fact, we learn rather quickly that being chosen for The Testing is far from it, endangering lives just to ensure only the brightest and ruthless leaders come out of it. It involves smarts, survival, trust, and a tiny bit of romance that will keep readers turning the pages. Love, love, love this book and can't wait for the next installment!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 25, 2013
Posted June 23, 2013
Posted June 10, 2013
The Testing The Testing A psychological adventure, with many twi
The Testing The Testing
A psychological adventure, with many twists and turns. This post-apocalyptic world shows how we could survive after a nuclear and chemical war that devastates all of nature. Corrupting all nature, forcing men and women to adapt or change the environment. This book is a cross between Orson Scott Cards, Enders game and Hunger games. Like both this story has great characters and a way of writing that captures the imagination of the reader. The heart felt twists, are conflicted with the psychological manipulations. This is a great book to share with students, especially gifted students.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 3, 2013
Love this book, I can't wait for the 2nd one If you loved the hu
Love this book, I can't wait for the 2nd one
If you loved the hunger games and other Dystopian novels you will LOVE this !
1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 14, 2014
Posted March 2, 2014
This is an amazing read. I was instantly intrigued by this story
This is an amazing read. I was instantly intrigued by this story and when I read the last sentence in this book I couldn't wait to read the second book, Independent Study. I am on pins and needles waiting until June when Graduate the 3rd book in this amazing trilogy is released!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 8, 2014
Posted February 22, 2014
Posted February 19, 2014
I Also Recommend:
I FREAKING LOVED IT!!!!!! <3 <3 <3
I FREAKING LOVED IT!!!!!! I could NOT put it down!!! I mean it was just amazing! It was thrilling, exciting, mysterious, action-packed, just pulsing with awesomeness! Like do you want to know the definition of "a page turner"? Well this is it!! It was just OMG so good I can't telling you how great this book was! It was action-packed and FULL of twist after twist, it crackled with suspense that I couldn't sleep at night, cause I was wondering why this happen and why that happened!! Filled with passion and betrayal set against a scarred and brutal world. I am going to close this love feast with this The Testing is a page turner and will keep you guessing until the very last page. And I am DESPERATE for the next one!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Just have to read the last book on my list and then Barnes & Noble¿ HERE I COME!!!!
Oh and fans of The Hunger Games¿ will devour this book!!! Trust Me!!!
Posted February 19, 2014
Posted February 18, 2014
When I review a book, I take notes like crazy. If it's on my Kin
When I review a book, I take notes like crazy. If it's on my Kindle, there are tons of highlights and notes everywhere and same goes with an actual book but it's post-its. I keep track of great passages or kick butt quotes and don't forget the critiques that I may have. But while reading The Testing, I only had one and I'll get to that later but the point is that I didn't have time to make notes. I had to force myself to slow down in order to enjoy this book. My mind really wanted to skim page after page just so that I could see how it ended.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The only note that I had about this book was "Hunger Games meets Divergent meets I Am Legend". And thinking back, I don't know for sure that this combo is correct. It's similar to Hunger Games because it involves our youth and the shaping of a new nation while crippling our country at the same time. And it's like Divergent because of the dystopian landscape ... can you imagine a war and weather ravaged earth? Well, you could if you read this book because the author described it perfectly. And lastly it's like the Will Smith movie, I Am Legend because ... well ... you'll have to find out that one on your own. As much as I want to tell you, you really need to read it for yourself! But I will tell you the similarities are not because of those creepy creatures in the movie ... no creepy creatures in this.
And that's it. That's all I have for you. I won't go on a long diatribe about the character development or descriptions. I don't have things that rubbed me the wrong way. And I don't have any weirdo descriptions for the book that I usually like using. The book is awesome. I actually read this about a month ago and I was waiting for those final feelings to set in about the book before I reviewed it ... but that never happened. I read The Testing then immediately read the next book in the series and I feel like I have one foot hanging off of a cliff and I don't know whether to take that step forward or to back up. I'm just hanging. I'm assuming that it will be that way until the third and final installment comes out this year.
I did love this book ... dare I say ... better than Divergent?!? I don't know. Some days I think that I liked it more than The Hunger Games and some days I don't ... same goes with Divergent. While they are so similar, they are vastly different. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games and Divergent, you'll enjoy this series. Heck, I think that just about everyone will enjoy this series. Even if it is $10 a book. It's worth it. I promise.
Posted February 17, 2014
Posted February 16, 2014