The Testing is a clever mix between The Hunger Games and Divergent. A Dystopian novel that is a perfect combination of suspense, intrigue, deception, and heart.
Who: Malencia Vale, Cia, a bright 16-year-old who has graduated her local school a year early and has a life long dream to be chosen for the testing, a rigorous test that when passed, allows you to attend the University. Very few students from the United Commonwealth are allowed to train at the University each year; only the best and brightest are chosen.
The Gist: The excitement that Cia feels as she learns she has been chosen for the testing slowly turns to fear as her father shares details of his testing and warns her not to trust anyone. Cia travels with three other students who have been chosen from her class to the capitol, Tosu City. There are five phases to the testing: a written test, a manipulative activity, team challenge, what I would call a real life challenge, and the interview. There are 108 students competing for around 25 spots, so sadly students are eliminated at each level of the competition. Cia is not prepared for the level of brutality that the competition creates. Cia teams up with fellow schoolmate, Tomas, and together they support each other through the various phases of the test and slowly fall in love in the process. That is until phase four when Cia begins to become suspicious of Tomas. Does she follow her gut instinct and trust the boy she grew up with, or does she branch out on her own and follow her father’s advice to trust no one?
Final Thoughts: The book started off a little slow for me, but once I got past chapter 3, things picked up and never stopped. I read the whole book in 24 hours. I would have to recommend this book to older, more mature teens. It touches on mature subjects such as suicide, killing, and deception, though none of those are described in great detail. Cia is a strong female character that you cheer on through out the novel.
The Testing Playlist (a work in progress)