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Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories

Lifelong Texan, love reading from many genres thanks to early childhood readalongs with my Dad, love cooking for my family, working in my yard, playing with my cats and since being diagnosed in late 2012 with RRMS finding ways to keep body and mind active is even more important.

The Testing

The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau BOOK SYNOPSISKeep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same? The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career. Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one. But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.My Thoughts1st thought upon finding out about this book when contacted by Netgalley letting me know that it was available for review requests in early April of 2013 was that it sounded like a fascinating addition to the YA Dystopian genre in the style of a few other authors whose works I had enjoyed in the past couple of years. There was only one drawback it had to be read on my computer screen as galley was not being allowed to be downloaded to requestor's Kindle readers and the galley was only going to be available to read for a short period before it expired. I almost hesitated at that point and am so happy that instead hit the request button and got myself the chance to immerse in the world and characters created by author Joelle Charbonneau as from page one was able to connect with Cia and her mixture of anxiety and happiness upon becoming an adult and graduating from school with the future chance of being chosen to be "Tested". The background given in the scenes with her father prior to Cia leaving for Tosu City set the tone for the upcoming travails that she and her 4 fellow Five Lakes Colony graduates will face but do not even begin to touch upon just how devastating emotionally and physically the actual "Testing" ends up being.There are over 100 total graduates who were accepted by the United Commonwealth to be a part of the "Testing" and at the end only 20 candidates remain to attend the University, due in part to being eliminated through their deaths or not passing the final acceptance after making their way back to Tosu City.As we go through the testing as a reader and watch as each candidate is eliminated in one manner or another the brutal reality of just what the United Commonwealth is capable of becomes apparent early on and the closer we get to finishing the book we feel Cia's angst clearly as she has to make such awful decisions just to survive and make it to the end of "The Testing". What takes place within the time period where she first arrives at Tosu City and the time period where she has to literally fight to return there from the wasteland that the candidates were taken to as the final setting for their final "tests" is not only very emotionally draining to the reader but it is also full of riveting scenes of action that will keep you reading frantically to see who survives and finishes to return victoriously to gain their dream of a college education. The ending of the book is one that will leave you with questions and it is very apparent that the next in the series, Independent Study, is a must read!You will either love or hate this story but you will not remain indifferent to it as you read it and if like myself you invest the time to grow to know the characters you will definitely wish to know if things work out for Cia and Tomas and what happens to them once "The Testing" is over!For a chance to get a sneak peak excerpt from the book and to read the short prequel The Testing Guide which introduces us to Cia at age 10 just follow this link to The Testing Trilogy site and you can download a copy in digital format.Chills were running up and down my spine as I read the last page, I need the next book Independent Study ASAP!!!!![EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]