Tuesday, June 4, 2013

THE TESTING: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

 GIVEAWAY ENDED 
THE TESTING
BY JOELLE CHARBONNEAU

ABOUT THE BOOK:
It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Joelle Charbonneau is a storyteller at heart. She has performed in a variety of operas, musical theatre and children’s theatre productions across the Chicagoland area. In addition to her stage work, Joelle has also performed with several bands and worked as a solo performer. 
While Joelle is happy to perform for an audience, she is equally delighted to teach private voice lessons and use her experience from the stage to create compelling characters in her mysteries. She is the author of the Rebecca Robbins (Minotaur Books) mysteries, the Glee Club Paige Marshall (Berkley) mysteries and The Testing trilogy (Spring 2013 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). 
PRAISE FOR THE TESTING:
"There is nothing standardized about this Testing. Charbonneau's imagination will surprise readers at every turn."—Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

"Action-packed and full of twists, The Testing will keep you guessing until the very last page—and desperate for the next book!"
—Erica O'Rourke, author of the Torn Trilogy

"The rising tension, skillfully executed scenarios, and rich characterizations all contribute to an exciting story bound to capture readers' imaginations. . . . Charbonneau works action, romance, intrigue, and a plausible dystopian premise into a near-flawless narrative."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review 


"Charbonneau jumps into the packed dystopia field with a mashup of Veronica Roth's Divergent (2011) and Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy, but she successfully makes her story her own."—Kirkus

"Charbonneau is a fantastic story teller and this book is a tribute to that background. The intrigue in The Testing passes evaluation of what a good dystopian novel should represent."
—VOYA

"The plot twists are well integrated and will keep readers on edge awaiting the next volume in this projected trilogy."
—Horn Book


SOME OTHER BOOKS BY JOELLE CHARBONNEAU:
                    

                    

                  

  
WATCH FOR THIS-
BOOK 2-JANUARY, 2014!

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
Joelle Charbonneau is an author known for her enjoyable “Cozy Mysteries”, many that I have reviewed, but she has now come out with a trilogy and THE TESTING is the first installment. It is supposedly geared toward teens and young adults, but my bet is it will sell like wildfire to everyone once the word gets out. I LOVED this book and now can not wait for the next episode, INDEPENDENT STUDY, which is set for January, 2014. THE TESTING has been compared to THE HUNGER GAMES and indeed it started out resembling it as I first began reading. I wondered if the two stories would be too similar for me to enjoy THE TESTING but I quickly saw that would definitely not be the case. As I immediately got caught up in the remarkably well developed characters and their own unique story, I could NOT put this book down!

In this intense psychological thriller, Joelle Charbonneau has set THE TESTING in our future where Earth has been decimated by the “Seven Stages War”. The population is suffering physically as well as emotionally. Major necessities, from food and water, to transportation and fuel, are hard to come by. Yet, with all of this despair, for some, there is still a profound sense of hope in others.

The protagonist, Malencia “Cia” Vale, is 16 and remains optimistic as she hangs her hopes on the “Testing” which is coming up. Cia believes that if she is selected to take part in this, her dream of changing things for her family and others could be realized. The Testing will help choose the best students for University, and from there, the future leaders of the United Commonwealth will be confirmed. However,  there is so much more to this then meets Cia’s idealistic eyes. When several are chosen from her district, she receives some unsettling advice from her father who knew a great deal about the workings of The Testing. As the young characters begin to interact, including Tomas who becomes Cia’s companion and love interest, they start to realize that all is not what it seems. Cia finds things to be much different from her initial naïve perceptions.

The likelihood that the initial testing can actually determine a person's future and beliefs is exposed. Cia finds that everything she does is a test. She develops doubts about those close to her and even her own values. Charbonneau has written a thrilling narrative with so many twists and turns, you never will guess what is coming next. The ending brings readers to a point that they can physically close the book but not emotionally let go. I found myself wanting to be with others who had read THE TESTING so we could discuss it. What a fabulous book this will be for book clubs! Waiting for the next part of the trilogy is exciting but also agonizing. Joelle Charbonneau has given readers a real gift with this first part of her trilogy and I hope everyone will be as excited about THE TESTING as I am!    

GIVEAWAY
I AM SO EXCITED TO HAVE ONE COPY
OF JOELLE CHARBONNEAU'S NEW
BOOK, THE TESTING, TO GIVE
AWAY TO ONE VERY LUCKY READER 
   
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:
+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU READ ABOVE ABOUT THE TESTING THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK, AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS 

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING AT JOELLE CHARBONNEAU'S WEBSITE HERE 

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY 

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON A CURRENT GIVEAWAY THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU MAY COMMENT SEPARATELY FOR EACH TO RECEIVE MORE ENTRIES

  GIVEAWAY ENDS AT 
6 PM, EST, JUNE 24 
(NOTE DATE CHANGE) 

Go ahead, take THE TESTING!
Readers, you can have...
direct access to the FREE prequel and more! 
(Just click on Free prequel above)



  
View our videos on YouTube Check out the book trailer 
Like us on Facebook Visit the Facebook page 
Follow us on Twitter Tweet about #TheTesting  

131 comments:

Steve Capell said...

The Testing caught my attention after reading your review. I've found many books written for young adults too become favorites for all ages and you may be right about this one as well.

Thanks for the opportunity.

steven.capell@gmail.com

holdenj said...

Sounds like a great story Karen, and a good twist on the regular dystopian lit. I downloaded the prequel, can't wait! Thanks for the chance to win!
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holdenj said...

I think it's interesting that Joelle is a voice teacher. And that her mother was a competitive roller skater (leading to the roller rink setting for a mystery!).
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debbie said...

It sounds like you really enjoyed this book. It sounds like it will be a very good trilogy. I would like to see what happens to her.
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Pamela Keener said...

I loved The Hunger Games and am anxiously waiting for another trilogy. This sounds awesome. I downloaded the prequel to my kindle.
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Victoria Zumbrum said...

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Yvonne said...

I enjoy reading The Hunger Games Trilogy and Veronica Roth's Divergent and Insurgent. What I like most about books like The Testing is that the young people step up and become the leaders of their communities.
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I was interested to find where Joelle lived because I have cousins named Charbonneau that originally lived in Canada...maybe we're related.
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thank you for the giveaway!!

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