The Testing

The Testing
By Joelle Charbonneau

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Product Description

It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #4939 in Books
  • Brand: Harcourt Brace and Company
  • Published on: 2015-01-06
  • Released on: 2015-01-06
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.25" h x .87" w x 5.50" l, 1.00 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 352 pages


  • Harcourt Brace and Company

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Like almost every 16-year-old in the United Commonwealth, Cia Vale hopes to be called for the Testing, her ticket out of rural Five Lakes Colony and into the University in Tosu City. Cia's father was selected, but only vaguely remembers the experience in nightmares. Her four older brothers were passed over. Just when she has resigned herself to life as a mechanic or farmer, she gets word that she is one of four students selected from Five Lakes and is expected to board the skimmer to Tosu City the next day, most likely never to return. The bulk of the book is taken up with the Testing-devious exercises to identify those with superior leadership skills as society has suffered through Seven Stages of War and desperately needs to repair the damage to living creatures and the environment. The mental and physical trials will weed out 80 percent of the candidates, leaving several maimed or dead. Cia teams up with Tomas for both practical and romantic reasons. She is independent and smart for the most part, and Tomas seems almost too good to be true. There are double-crosses, mutant life-forms, and booby traps to navigate before 20 hearty souls receive word that they have passed. Cia's story is expected to span a trilogy. The influence of The Hunger Games is obvious, and The Testing will satisfy readers who want similar dystopian adventures.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist
Mystery writer Charbonneau throws her hat into the YA dystopian ring with this series opener that bears more than a slight resemblance to The Hunger Games. Sixteen-year-old newly graduated Cia Vale is selected to take part in The Testing, a process that offers the only chance at a college education and training to become part of the next generation of leaders. Cia has spent years preparing for this—it’s her chance to help the United Commonwealth recover from the devastating Seven Stages War. Cia’s father, who took part in The Testing himself, warns her to trust no one. Charbonneau is treading familiar ground as she sets her young heroine against a government machine that is focused, brutal, and duplicitous. Though the story moves quickly, readers might be confused as to the reasons behind the government’s methods. Why the brutality against students? There is no indication that the citizens are oppressed, and they’re unaware of how gruesome The Testing is. The ending will ensure interest in the next installment, but hopefully book two will deliver some answers. Grades 7-12. --Kara Dean


VOYA Top Shelf for Middle School Readers 2013 list




The Testing is a chilling and devious dystopian thriller that all fans of The Hunger Games will simply devour. Joelle Charbonneau writes with guts and nerve but also great compassion and heart. Highly recommended.”—Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of Rot & Ruin and Flesh & Bone


"I galloped through this excellent read; I was in suspense the whole time."—Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse series


"There is nothing standardized about this Testing. Charbonneau's imagination will surprise readers at every turn."—Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness


"Action-packed and full of twists, The Testing will keep you guessing until the very last page—and desperate for the next book!"—Erica O'Rourke, author of the Torn Trilogy


* "The rising tension, skillfully executed scenarios, and rich characterizations all contribute to an exciting story bound to capture readers' imaginations. . . . Charbonneau works action, romance, intrigue, and a plausible dystopian premise into a near-flawless narrative."—Publishers Weekly, starred review


"Charbonneau jumps into the packed dystopia field with a mashup of Veronica Roth's Divergent and Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy, but she successfully makes her story her own."—Kirkus


"Charbonneau is a fantastic story teller and this book is a tribute to that background. The intrigue in The Testing passes evaluation of what a good dystopian novel should represent."—VOYA, 4Q 5P M J S


"The plot twists are well integrated and will keep readers on edge awaiting the next volume."—Horn Book


"The influence of The Hunger Games is obvious, and The Testing will satisfy readers who want similar dystopian adventures." —SLJ

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
5First Book Good, The Other Two Lacking!
By Sany123
Although I am WELL ABOVE, VERY VERY WELL ABOVE the age of Young Adult readers, I still enjoy reading YA Dystopian novels. This first book was very good. it kept my interest so well, I read it in 2 days, even though I had ALOT of other things to fit into those two days. Without giving any spoilers away, this series of 3 books starts over a hundred years after catastrophic wars and environmental disasters occur, as well they might the way things are going now! So the brightest young people of each graduating class in the colonies (who are "reclaiming and rebuilding" the earth) are sent to the only major city left to go through Testing. Testing DOES include written exams, but it also includes "life or death" situations to weed out those who aren't strong enough to be leaders of the next generation. I bought all the novels of the series at the same time, so I didn't have to wait until I ordered and received the other two. I may as well say here what I thought about the next (and last) two. This series has been compared by many, many reviewers and critics as being too much like "The Hunger Games". I've never read those books nor watched the movies, so I can't judge if that's true. However, I DID read the Divergent series, and like that series, the next two books pretty much follow into the same category-where a group of teenagers are accepted by the highest leaders of the land, work within their midst, having discovered some time back that these teens did not accept the laws of the land and rebelled against these laws. In all the dystopian Young Adult series I've read, it's the same thing. The first of the series is good and draws the reader in, but the next two books get more and more unrealistic and become somewhat stupid and boring. It was the same here. At least in this series the Protagonist didn't sacrifice her life for some unknown reason, but the ending was still disappointing-although nowhere near that other series (Divergent). However, as I already mentioned at the beginning, I'm not a Young Adult, and I haven't been for a LONG, LONG time. So it might be me and not the young people in the book or the author.

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful.
4An adventure that is NOT to be missed!!
By Alicia
I've had my eye on THE TESTING long before it was released. I even received an eARC from the publisher for review. I was just sooo excited to read this, but for some crazy reason, I didn't. I kept thinking how awesome this series sounds, and how much I love dystopians, but I kept putting it off. So finally, when I received my credits from audible audio, I said what the hell, it's finally time to give THE TESTING it's fair shot. And OMG, I found myself instantly drawn into this story. The narrator was amazing, and the mystery was alluring, and I was easily able to get into the vibes. I couldn't help but to pick this audiobook up every free chance I got.


Cia has always lived a fairly good life, better then most anyway. With a big family, all brothers, and two loving successful parents that any child would appreciate. She's been preparing for the opportunity to be chosen for The Testing. But when the time comes to graduate and become an official adult, Cia's world becomes a living nightmare.

Cia's dreams have finally come true, she's officially been chosen for The Testing!! And she can't be more thrilled. She's always hoped for the opportunity to show her government just how much she can contribute in making the Commonwealth a better place for their future. And now after all her hard work, it's finally paid off. Until The Testing actually starts and Cia finally sees The Testing for what it really is, a death trap in waiting!

Cia has no choice but to go through with The Testing, or risk treason against the United Commonwealth. And that right there could mean a death sentence in itself. But Cia's not giving up, she's smart, determined, and not easily manipulated. And besides, Cia has one thing that gives her an advantage, and just might keep her alive long enough to get through The Testing. She has her fathers words, his warnings, his own experiences through The Testing. But as The Testing gets deeper, and Cia finds herself getting closer to the finish line, her fathers words ring in her ears "Trust no one." But Cia finds herself drawn to her childhood friend Tomas, and feels for some reason, he can be trusted. But what about the other Testing Candidates? Can they be trusted? Who's real, and who isn't? Who is befriending her to betray her? And who is befriending her to ally with her?

As the plot thickens, and The Testing Candidates get further into The Testing, they will have to determine who is deadly, and who is just trying survive. Because before all is said and done, they will come face to face with death, but whether or not they survive is up to them. But Cia may find that there is more cutthroats then not, and if she has any chance of surviving, she will have to do as her father said "Trust no one!" But surly, she can trust Tomas, can't she?

THE TESTING was a great addition to the Dystopian genre, that is sure to please many readers. I'm looking forward to finishing this series and seeing what happens next in Cia and Tomas's adventure!

Overall, THE TESTING was a fast-paced, action-packed, thrill-ride, that is not to be missed! If you love action, adventure, corrupt governments, rebellions, and overall, a great dystopian novel, then THE TESTING is sure to please!!!

NOTE: I received an eARC from Houghton Mifflin Books for reviewing purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way!

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
4Take a Chance on Survival
By Frostfire Imp
The Testing took me by surprise. I gobbled it up in one read. It has hopes and dreams blunted by harsh reality and conniving people. Trying to be good in a ravaged society may well be Cia's undoing.

Cia lives in a world that was broken by war, torn apart by nuclear weapons, and slowly being rebuilt by the last remnants of the human populous. All Cia wants is to be chosen for the Testing. A program created by the United Commonwealth to select potential leaders in this new world. If she can pass the Testing, she will become a student at the University in Tosu City. Only the Testing isn't what it seems. It's less about passing and more about survival. Can she trust those around her? Or is she doomed to die trying?

Here's the thing, there are a lot of dystopian, post-apocalyptic adventures out there. Each one fighting for it's space on your reading shelf. However, The Testing lets you follow a dream that turns into a nightmare and shows you that it's okay to be afraid, as long as you don't stop trying, you keep going to build something new. Something that may be wonderful. I think you might like this book if you give it a chance.

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