Series: The Testing #1
Published by Houghton Mifflin on June 4th 2013
Genres: dystopia, YA
Source: the library
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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 and 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, overall thoughts. I liked it, and I see why everyone compares this series to the Hunger Games – the testing theme especially seems very Hunger Games-ish, and some of the world building is similar in feel, as well. Of course we have the female, teenaged main character, who magically (and instantly) falls in love with the male lead character. I didn’t see any chemistry between Cia and Tomas, and the romance seemed forced to me, but whatever.
Cia is way, way too perfect, and that really affected how I felt about the book overall. She’s always the smartest one in whatever group of people she’s in, she always has the right instincts, never says the wrong thing, never stumbles just a little bit, or feels ackward. No one is any one thing, everyone has good and bad in them, positive and negative traits, and perfection is simply boring. Large parts of the book dragged for me. Luckily the book was still a quick read, even with all that.
A few months later, revisiting this book and this world, even though I’m only giving the book 3 stars, I did like the world building enough that I do think I’ll try to read the rest of the series, though I’m not going to make a big effort to do so.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: