05 April 2013

The Testing; Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing (The Testing, #1)The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For once, the blurbage doesn't lie: this is definitely a Hunger Games-alike, right down to candidates from districtscolonies competingbeing Tested. Cia is our Katniss here, albeit one from an intact family; Peeta and Gale here are Tomas and Will, one from her colony and one met during the Testing. It's clear that there's something very wrong with the Tests, where the penalty for a mistake is death, but Cia's natural smarts and a few helpful hints get her (and her friends) through. Then there's the Fourth Test, which is so very like the Hunger Games in that the competitors are encouraged to kill each other to ensure they get into the University (You thought the SATs and APs were hard? Nope, all this is essentially a college entrance exam).

Of course, the question of how things are being manipulated, why the Tests are so lethal, and how exactly these people will make it through to the end (of the book and the series) - if they'll make it to the end - are all raised and to some extent answered in ways that felt like déjà lu. With any luck, the second book will take us out of such familiar territory and explore something new. Those people who can't get enough of the Hunger Games/Legend/Divergent genre will love this addition.

ARC provided by publisher.

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