OMG, run to the nearest store and buy this new young adult book. Hunger Games watch out, you have competition! The Testing by Charbonneau is set in a post apocalyptic United States, after The Seven Wars. The colonies are trying to survive and bring the charred earth back to life. In an effort to find the best in the population to lead the decimated country back to life, The United Commonwealth in Tosu City offers a University education to those students who demonstrate good grades, knowledge of the natural world and civic mindedness . Cia Vale’s home, Five Lakes Colony, has not had any students invited to test for the University since her father went away many years ago. Cia and her childhood friend Tomas are two of the lucky students chosen for this high honor of testing for college education, but only a few pass. Is Cia smart enough to go to college and have the right instincts to succeed? Her father has only a few memories of his Testing, but he gives Cia one piece of advice: Trust no one!”
I could not put the book down and found myself guessing as to what the stages of testing are testing for, as does Cia. The Testing candidates are “told in each stage of the Testing that the students who are unwilling or unable to do what is necessary to complete the Test maybe eliminated by their actions, by the Test, or even other testers”. Yikes! Best said by the author and Cia’s father: keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Good tip but not enough of a warning. Readers beware once you have read this book you will become a follower.