“Things don’t always work out the way we hope. You just have to pick yourself up and find a new direction to go in.”


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 and 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.

Personal Experiences

I thought that this was one of the best dystopian books ever written. It was very interesting to me how modern dystopian (The Testing) is very different from older dystopian (The Giver). I liked her take on how a dystopian world should be. The Testing is kinda similar to The Maze Runner in some ways, but in many ways it is completely different.


“The best leaders make mistakes and then learn from them. The best leaders never make the same mistakes again. The only way you can learn is if you understand the mistakes that were made.”

“Leaders are forced to kill all the time. Then they have to learn to live with the decisions they make. Just like I’m going to learn to live with mine.”

“[…] the biggest failures typically come before the biggest breakthroughs. That no matter what, I should never get discouraged. Learn from my mistakes and all will be well.”

“Maybe that’s the mark of a real leader. Admitting a mistake has been made and finding a way to stop it at all costs.”

“Boys and dating haven’t been on my priority list. And they certainly can’t be now.”

“All leaders have to live with disappointment at some point or another. If I have to learn that lesson early, I won’t enjoy it, but I will do my best not to let you down.”

“Tell a girl you love her and she automatically gets bossy. Well, I guess I can’t complain since you’re asking me to take off my pants.”

“The Testing is no longer filled with excitement for the opportunity to help the Commonwealth rebuild. The Testing is now about staying alive.”

“You’re lucky both you and your boyfriend were chosen,” she says with quiet sincerity. “Tomas isn’t my boyfriend.” I feel the blush on my cheeks. “You could have fooled me.” She gives me a wide smile. “I think he’s in love with you.” “He’s just watching out for me. You know, since we’re from the same colony,” I say, but I can’t help the thrill I feel at her words.”

Where to find The Testing?

Indie Bound*


*If you are unaware, I have a video on how to use Indie Bound as a resource on how to find books

**Also, if you have a Windows Phone, there is a really good EPUB reader app called Bookviser Reader. You can check out their website here.

Happy Reading . . .

Cite this article as: Serene Haroon, "The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charboneau," in {sereneharoon.com}, July 20, 2016, http://sereneharoon.com/2016/07/the-testing-the-testing-1-by-joelle-charboneau/.

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