Tuesday Reviewsday – The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

13326831 Synopsis from Amazon: 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.

I’ve been eyeing this book for a while and my husband ended up picking it up for me. It’s definitely a fun read, and you’ll enjoy it if you liked ‘The Hunger Games’ or “The Maze Runner”. Almost 100 years after a brutal war that ravaged most of the land, Cia is chosen, along with three of her peers, to participate in The Testing to see if she will be among chosen to attend the University and become a future leader of some kind. Her father tells her of his experience when he was chosen, and warns her not to trust anyone. He warns her that while he can’t quite remember exactly what happened during his tests, he still lives with nightmares of explosions and terror. But does that include Tomas, the smart, cute boy all the girls have always had an eye on? Maybe, maybe not.

Cia is a smart, capable heroine who knows, to some extent, what she’s getting into and doesn’t wait for anyone to save her. If you’re looking for a book for your kiddo to read, if they’re already read “The Hunger Games”, there’s nothing in this book that’s any worse. Most of the violence takes place off the page or matter-of-factly, without a lot of gore. While there is a little romance, it’s fairly light and not the focus. I’d recommend it for ages 10 and up if your child is more of an advanced reader.

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