I've always loved to read and enjoy a wide variety of genres. My favorites tend to be humor, mysteries, thrillers, chick lit, fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, young adult, children's books and most combinations of those previously mentioned.
I've been enjoying the dystopian genre for awhile but I wasn't sure what could be different about this story. I was pleasantly surprised. There were many parallels to other YA titles that are popular now (The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, Divergent) but I liked those books and that's what interested me in this one. The idea of young people competing through a variety of tests is a common element but this still had twists that kept it interesting. There was plenty of action and suspense that helped the story flow and made it easy to read.
The characters were diverse although a bit predictable. Some of them appear to be "bad" people but is it their true nature or just their circumstances? Most of them are desperate to succeed, some at any expense, but failure could cost them their life. My feelings about many of the characters shifted throughout the story but I liked their mysterious nature and I'm curious to see what will happen to them throughout the series.
Cia is the main character, a strong and mature young woman who learns from others but doesn't depend on them for everything. She loves her family and friends, has developed good morals, but everything she's always believed in is suddenly turned upside down. She has quickly learned she must keep an open mind and doubt everything and everyone. Her very life depends on it. Although at times she is almost too perfect she is still very likable. Of course there is potential romance thrown in and huge conflicts they must overcome as well.
I enjoyed the writer's style and look forward to the rest of the trilogy. These Testing candidates have the potential to change their world and face enormous obstacles. This won't be an easy fix!
Independent Study (book 2) coming 1/14
Graduation Day (book 3) coming 6/14
The Testing Trilogy
Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Books for Children and NetGalley (ebook) for an arc in exchange for my honest review.