For Christmas this year, Sinéad gave me a book which she had picked up and thought that I would like. She also thought that she would like it, so I was given strict instructions that I was to have it read by the time I finished my Christmas holidays, in order not to bring it to London (thereby leaving it in Leixlip for her to read). Being a wonderful sister, I complied with her instructions, and finished the Testing before I headed back to London.
Less than a month later, I decided I hadn’t had enough, and wanted to read Independent Study, too. This one, Sinéad was less impressed about, as I had to post it to her in order for her to catch up. She now has both of them in Leixlip, so when Graduation Day comes out in June, I’m not sure how she’s going to react. In any case.
The reason Sinéad thought I would like The Testing was that it was a dystopian book which looked very similar to the Hunger Games – a totalitarian society split into colonies (or factions, or districts, whatever you want to call them), a heroine from an outer colony, a difficult and testing process which requires a huge dollop of courage, cleverness and a large amount of luck, a partner from the home district… I can see why she thought I’d like it.
The Testing, of course, differs from the Hunger Games in that Cia, our protagonist, very much wants to participate. I don’t think anybody would really want to participate in the Hunger Games – except maybe Cato.
If I say any more than that, I’ll probably spoil some major plot points, so I’ll leave it at that for now. I really enjoyed The Testing. It was very similar to The Hunger Games, but that’s not a bad thing – I really enjoyed The Hunger Games too (although I don’t think I’ve mentioned them on this blog before), so that didn’t put me off. Cia is incredibly smart, pretty, fit and a little bit of a Mary Sue, if I’m honest. She doesn’t often put a foot wrong, which can grate occasionally, but maybe she’ll have some disastrous happenings in the third book. I live in hope of some sort of PTSD!
That might make me sound a little sadistic, but it’s because Cia’s characterisation is my only main complaint – I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the books, and even the little backstory which was given in the online novella The Testing Guide. I’m looking forward to Graduation Day, due out next month, and definitely would rank it among the higher ranges of modern dystopia!