DO YOU POSSESS A WINNING COMBINATION OF THEORETICAL KNOWLEDGE, PRACTICAL SKLLS AND RAW INTELLIGENCE?
DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO LEAD OTHERS? ARE YOU WILLING TO CRUSH THOSE WHO STAND IN YOUR WAY?
Every year, the United Commonwealth invites top graduates from each colony to participate in The Testing. Successful candidates will go on to the University and help the government work to rebuild our war-stricken world. This process is not optional.
Disclaimer: The United Commonwealth is not responsible for candidates' psychological or physical heath during The Testing.
The Testing is the type of book that is always going to be a good read for me. It has all of the things that I love in dystopian world books, but it also has the touch of originality that I really appreciate. Now, I'm not going to say this was the most innovative or original read in the world, because the Divergent/Hunger Games/Battle Royale influence is definitely there, but I think that the dystopian genre is so well tried and tested these days that it is so hard to find anything original, and if you want an action-packed, psychological adventure style dystopian, like this is, there is no way to avoid similarities to well-known books.
So yeah, this book is similar to other books in the genre, but it was also gripping and exciting. I read it in one sitting and couldn't bear to put it down. Cia was a strong character and I really appreciated that - to start with I thought Tomas was a little flaky but towards the end we learn some things about him that make him stand out as a stronger character. It wasn't until the very end of the book that I started to support their developing relationship, which is strange for me since usually I get dragged into romance very quickly.
That being said, we don't see a whole lot of Tomas/Cia interaction for much of the first book, and what we do see is holding hands (seriously, there is a lot of "Tomas took my hand", seriously Cia!). Thankfully there is very little romantic competition so we have (so far) avoided the inevitable love triangle.
The plot was gripping, I was dragged in from the first chapter, through Cia's hopes that she would be picked for the Testing. Then I was even further gripped when her father delivered the all-is-not-as-it-seems speech and by the time they reached the university I was hooked. From there it was a mixture of heart pounding tension and action until the very last page, I loved it.
Overall, The Testing stood up to the hype and whilst it sin't the most original YA dystopian around, it definitely kept me gripped. A heart-pounding thrill ride of a book, I'm almost nervous to read the second one as this was so good!
Overall Rating: A-
Book released 1st August 2014 by Templar
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review