Monday, March 10, 2014

The Testing By Joelle Charbonneau

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Currently in Use on Aurora Lector.)
“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.” -Joelle Charbonneau, The Testing

The Testing is a dystopian novel set in a world where there was a war with seven stages. These seven stages left the world a mess, and contaminated. The ancestors of the people in this book had to fix their world and they are still trying to do so in the time period of this book.  Students graduate and when they do many hope to be chosen for the Testing which if passed will mean going on to attend the University in Tosu City and become the new world leaders, scientists, professors, etc. Malencia Vale is chosen for this Testing along with three other students from the same town. But when her father shares his fears with her, she finds that maybe the Testing and University isn't what she wanted. Unable to do anything but attend the Testing, Malencia soon finds that the punishments for failing are worse than the disappointment of failing and being reassigned to another colony.  
You will be shocked. Nothing but spoilers, and maybe not even then, could you prepare for what happens when a student gets the wrong answer.

In The Testing Joelle Charbonneau creates a world that is destroyed by war and she displays one that has not already been used in some way by other authors. She gives us a glimpse into a world first torn apart by war and now trying to rebuild itself.  The book followed characters that are far from perfect but who are trying to do what they feel right. Joelle Charbonneau displays the fight between the morally right and wrong decisions that the characters face and show that not everyone is a morally upstanding citizen. Some take pleasure in killing, and watching others kill. It shows the struggle to decide who to trust, and the consequences of a wrong decision. Joelle Charbonneau does not create the perfect characters. They all have flaws, and they all have qualities that you wish you could have. But you also get to see the dark side of these characters. She shows characters that are both good and bad, but doesn't necessarily show them as always one or the other. Not to mention the world she describes and the history she attributes to this world is very well written and interesting. I found myself wanting to know more about the history of this world then to discover more of the history of our world. Joelle Charbonneau has created a marvelous book in The Testing

Like all dystopian novels,  The Testing shows a possible future of Earth. Perhaps that is why the dystopian novel is so popular now. It's because of the fear people feel about the future that could be horrible because of actions and decisions made in our time. The Testing  by Joelle Charbonneau is an excellent representation of this genre and it's the perfect book to read if you liked The Hunger Games or Divergent. 

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