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The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing Guide (The Testing, #0.5)The Testing Guide by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This novella is free, which is great.

It doesn’t really add a lot in terms of the world or story, but if you just want to read a little bit more, it’s good for that purpose. I typically love novellas but don’t find this one to be a necessary read. If you are a die hard fan of the story, then downloaded it for free. There’s nothing to lose, so you can give it a try and decide for yourself.

Pages: 46

The Testing (The Testing, #1)

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great story, and I enjoyed the audio version a lot. I’ve had it on my Kindle for years, and I was afraid to start it. I thought maybe it would fall short of my hopes, but it definitely doesn’t. I judged it unfairly. I mean, I’m not obsessed with it on a Hunger Games, UTNS, or Shatter me level, but I enjoyed the whole book from start to finish.

Cia gets chosen for The Testing, but it’s not the happy, positive thing the government would lead her to believe. In fact, not even half the candidates make it through the testing, and a large number of those who don’t make it through die in a brutal or gruesome way, while testing officials stand by, doing nothing to help. Some of those who survive the final test are chosen to go on to train at the University, to one day serve as leaders of the broken down country.

I enjoyed the excitement and surprises, and Cia is a strong and interesting lead character with a great supporting cast.

Pages: 352

Independent Study (The Testing, #2)Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lately, I’ve been nervous starting the 2nd book in any series, because sometimes it’s great. Other times, they break my heart, not because they’re so emotional but because they fall a bit flat.

This book does not fall flat. It’s a great addition to the series and moves the overall story forward in a way that continues to be interesting. There is good character growth and development, and I really enjoyed some of the new characters. I immediately picked up book 3, which is always a good sign.

Pages: 336

Graduation Day (The Testing, #3)Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought this was a satisfying ending to a good series. Book 3 shows more of Cia’s internal struggles, which added another level of interest, though it occasionally felt repetitive.

There’s still plenty of action, but my only real (and minor) complaint is that it is very confusing, right up to the end, in regards to who is on what side. I know that’s intentional and serves the plot, but the only thing I struggled with a bit was that I didn’t know who I was routing for, besides Cia. People I thought were good weren’t. People I thought were bad weren’t. I usually like that, but there were just so many people who weren’t sorted to one side or the other, and kept flipping back and forth, that by the last quarter of the book, instead of being intriguing, I kind of felt overwhelmed and exhausted.

I just wanted to have a few people I knew I could hold onto and believe in. So I guess you could say there was too much mystery or too many twists for me. I don’t think I’ve ever complained about that before, so that’s a new one. Overall, I still really enjoyed this whole series, and if you like this genre, you should definitely read it or listen to the audiobook.

Pages: 304

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