Friday, June 14, 2013

The Testing (2013)

The Testing. Joelle Charbonneau. 2013. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 344 pages.

I definitely enjoyed this YA dystopia. The novel opens with a big celebration, a day the whole community comes together to celebrate their survival and continued hope for the future. Each member of the graduating class will need to contribute their all in order to help the community thrive. The world has been devastated, and things that were once easy are now a struggle, an achievement. The community has to have a pioneering spirit. Cia, our heroine, has always been proud of her parents and her brothers. Has always enjoyed working with them, learning with them, she values their knowledge and hopes to continue on--in one way or another--with making the Five Lakes Colony something great.

When the novel opens, Cia and her classmates are nervous. Will anyone in the community be chosen for further education? Will any be chosen for the testing? Will any get a chance to go to university and be assigned essentially a new life--if their studies are successful. Being chosen may mean settling down in another colony, another city far, far away and never seeing your family again. But it also may mean that you are a part of a greater community, a community that values restoring life and balance to the planet. Does Cia want to be chosen? Perhaps she wants to be considered smart enough to be chosen.

After a disappointing graduation day--no one was chosen--life settles down into a routine, but not for long! A few days later, visitors to the colony reveal that FOUR graduates have been selected. This news is quite a surprise! But Cia's father does NOT seem pleased with the news. And he will dare to tell her the truth--what he knows of it anyway, for he too was once chosen. Will this information be enough to help Cia in her darkest moments?

I found this one compelling from the start. I definitely found all stages of the testing fascinating. 

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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