Friday, 13 September 2013
Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
The Testing is another book I received from a blogger event and I never got around to reading it. I really wish I had read it sooner. From the synopsis alone I knew I wanted to read this book and the minute I began I was hooked.
Malencia (Cia), is the protagonist, and our first glimpse of her is when she is getting ready for graduation, leaving school and making a start at looking for a job. At 16 she is the youngest in her class, but one of the cleverest. Throughout the ceremony and afterwards there is mention of The Testing that Cia wants her name to be called for while others are glad it's not. It's been 10 years since the last student from Five Lakes has been called for The Testing, and many don't think it will happen again this year. That is until Cia is called back the next day and is told she and some fellow students will be travelling to Tosu City for The Testing, accompanied by Michal.
The Testing is a deceiving book, it lulls you into a false sense of security, then all of a sudden the rug is pulled out from under your feet and you see what is really going on. I got to page 133 and was literally left speechless. I never expected that to happen and I stopped reading, trying to get my head around how that could happen. That was only the beginning.
The people doing the testing have no compassion towards the people being tested, and to be honest I thought some things that these students experienced were brutal, but not once did that stop me from reading. I was hooked, plain and simple. I loved the characters in the book, I cried, I laughed, and was left speechless with shock. Some of them surprised me in how they acted towards others in both ways, and some I expected them to be different to how they actually were. I fell quickly into the world and soon found myself emotionally invested in the characters and their well being, feeling a huge loss when they don't make it out of a test.
The Testing is similar to The Hunger Games in its plot, but that is the only common thing they have. The Testing takes on this plot and brings it to a whole new level, with literal life or death tests were one wrong answer can lead to anything from poisoning, to death. I went into The Testing not knowing what to expect, even having read some of Joelle's previous work it is completely different to The Testing, and I was blown away with what I read. I could not get enough of this book. I wish I had read it sooner and told the world how they need to pick this book up, and now, although the book is published and out in the world, if you haven't read it yet then you need to. I am counting down the days till the next instalment is released.