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. – Description from Goodreads.com
I was invited by Net Galley to read this book and boy, am I glad I accepted the invitation. A lot of reviewers will say this book is a rip-off of The Hunger Games, but don’t believe them. Yes, there are some similarities – dystopian setting, controlling government, and romance – but aren’t those aspects included in a lot of stories? The Testing is the first in a trilogy and is its own story.
Over a hundred teenagers are invited to participate, but less than 20% of them will pass the tests, so you have a lot of extremely competitive, conniving, and manipulative people participating and one of Cia’s biggest concerns is who to trust. I felt like the author did an excellent job with the “show don’t tell” rule, in that the actions of the characters let the reader judge who was trustworthy and who wasn’t. And sometimes you were never sure. The characterization was impressive and sometimes I found myself arguing with the characters, asking them if they were sure they were making the right decisions. Good thing no one was around to see that.
I’m not saying there aren’t any deaths in this book, but killing isn’t required to pass the tests or be the winner, as it was in The Hunger Games. If you’re a dystopian fan, definitely check out this series. Follow the link below for the free prequel!