Friday, 11 April 2014

Review: The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau

Before I do anything I will just say...

The Hunger Games > The Testing. 
I've seen many people post on twitter "The Testing is better than The Hunger Games!" No, just... no. It IS a good book but just no. 

Ok, so let's start with the outside of this book. I purchased the
UK edition of The Testing and I have a couple lil nags about it really:

I'm fed up of people putting 'For fans of The Hunger Games' on the front of books because either the book is nothing like The Hunger Games or is basically a replica - if I wanted to read another THG then I would just re-read the damn original and not a copy cat dystopian story.2. It is pretty (very) similar to the US cover of Divergent - even down to the massive symbol on the cover.
it is a pretty cover, I guess. :) These nags are nothing to do with the author's writing or the story of course, I just had to voice them.
Now onto the actual story. 

I'ma list my nags first but note that I did actually quite
enjoy this book!
I thought the story as a whole was actually really well done and I love the author's writing style - Charbonneau is very talented indeed. Many elements of the plot were original, dark and kept me intrigued. BUT then there was the overlap to several other existing dystopian novels...

Firstly there were the colonies (Districts - The Hunger Games / Factions -Divergent).
Each group in The Testing had it's own symbol (Divergent)
Also, the graduation ceremony reminded a lot of The Reaping from The Hunger Games.
A certain character reminded me very much so of Cinna.
There is a substitute for the silver parachutes in the arena from The Hunger Games. (kind of)

Now I know I've made this book sound awful and completely unoriginal but I refuse to lie . This book DOES have many similar elements but it also has MANY original parts to it too! Some of Charbonneau's ideas blew me away and many of the twists I didn't see coming. 

I did really enjoy this novel and will definitely be picking up the sequel but I had to point out my nags.

I'd just like to add that after writing this review, I received the sequel (Independent Study) for review and I thoroughly enjoyed it!! The sequel is better than the first book and is without nags! Review to come soon.

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