The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Synopsis:
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.

Review:
No one has been chosen for The Testing in Cia’s small town in years. So when Cia is chosen, she is shocked but excited – until a conversation with her father who was also chosen years ago. Cia is immediately on guard and smart about what she takes with her. And though she’s careful about who to trust, she’s a caring person and often thinks of others before herself. The characters are engaging and feel real.

As I read this surprising novel, I could easily liken it to Divergent and The Hunger Games. This incredible dystopia was an exciting, post-apocalyptic thriller that I couldn’t put down. It’s intense, captivating, shocking, and emotional. As soon as I started, I had to keep reading straight through to the end, staying up late to finish. Loaded with suspense, danger, intrigue, and drama – The Testing is the first in a new trilogy that is sure to be hit. I began talking about it before I even finished. Quite simply, it’s one the best novels I’ve read this year.