[Review #101] The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau Cover - Review Title: The Testing
Series: The Testing
Book one
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Genre: Dystopian
Young Adult


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 in 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.


When I read the synopsis of The Testing, I definitely thought it had a Hunger Games vibe. I mean the cover even reminds you of The Hunger Games. In fact it was probably made that way so everyone that loves The Hunger Games would pick this up. Well. It worked. I decided to give this one a go because I had high hopes that it would be similar to The Hunger Games, yet it would also be appropriately different and it would hold its own.

It didn’t. Hold its own I mean. It did however try its best to replicate The Hunger Games. Yet it failed in that too. It was too much like The Hunger Games that I got bored rather easily because there was nothing new. It wasn’t even as half as good as The Hunger Games, it felt a lot more shallow and not as well thought out.

The point of ‘The Testing’ is so the government can find strong leaders that will do what they have to do, and I guess also be easily influenced by their decisions, regardless of what that means. Thing is, why would they be okay with killing off the smartest people in their world? Where’s the logical sense in that? Sure the weaker out of the smartest would be weeded out. But then they would also be dead. Very unhelpful.

I felt like the beginning of this book started off slowly. It took too long to establish Cia’s world and her life before the testing, I got bored easily. Yet I pushed on. I felt a little excited at the potential of the first round of tests but once it got to stage four of the tests which happened to be the survival bit, I got bored again. I felt like I had seen it all before. I didn’t feel like Cia had enough of a reason to be out there trying to stay alive. She wasn’t doing it for anyone, the stakes weren’t high enough, there was never any real danger. I didn’t feel like Cia was in any real trouble, as since before she left she had been prepared for this stage thanks to her dad’s warnings. It would have been a lot more exciting if she had had no idea what the testing entailed.

I kind of skimmed this part  but when I continued reading I felt like I hadn’t missed a thing. Nothing seemed to happen in the space of those pages. Obviously things did happen. Cia rehashed everything near the end anyway so I found out what did happen in the space of a page or two rather than chapters. And it didn’t really phase me.

Overall, go in to The Testing with low expectations and you may just like it. If you’re one of the crazy people that hasn’t read The Hunger Games or seen The Hunger Games movie yet, then there’s a chance you will like this. If you know you will love anything The Hunger Games then you also may like this. If you want something a little different yet also exciting then this may not be the one for you, but you’ll never know unless you give it a go right?

Miss J

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4 thoughts on “[Review #101] The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

  1. I read the synopsis and thought it had The Hunger Games all over it, so I decided to pass. A friend of mine, however, read it and said it was annoyingly replicating THG. I mean, where is the creativity?! I’m glad I passed on this one, but how does this even get published?

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