Summary (via Goodreads): 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.
Review: This book was A LOT like the Hunger Games. Like so much so that I would find myself anticipating things that happened in THG to happen in The Testing.
Now, the premise was good. The idea of having the smart kids go through a testing – that sounds pretty cool, very epic. However, the writing was just trying to be like The Hunger Games way too much. For the majority of the time, Cia was in the wilderness (how does that judge anything?) and she was going through some of the very same things that Katniss went through in the arena.
Other than that – Cia was annoying. Well, not necessarily annoying, but she didn’t really have any strong character. She was selfless and caring, she wanted everyone to live, got everything handed to her, passed on all the tests, and figured out all the strategies her fellow Testers were throwing her way. Nothing bad really happened to her. I have no idea what was happening with Tomas. I never trusted him and it irritated me so much when Cia did, even falling in love with him. At the end…ugh, the end. Thankfully, the last cliffhanger gives me some hope for the second book. Will was my favorite character and all of the crazy stuff that happened in this book mostly belonged to him. Other than that, I didn’t really care about the other characters in the book. There were lots of little characters that floated in and out of the book. They were trying to be likable so we felt bad when they were eliminated/died but that didn’t really work either.
Overall – this plot seriously would have been better written without trying to be like the Hunger Games. It was entertaining and constantly moving, but the characters and the world could have been developed a whole lot more.