The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

More than anything Cia wants to attend University like her father.  She knows she has the potential to be one of the country’s greatest leaders and is eager to prove it.  But before she can even hope to attend University, she must first be chosen for the Testing—a rigorous process meant to wean out those that are not strong enough to help their country strive once again.

On her graduation day, an official arrives to announce that Cia and three other students from her colony are to come to Tosu City for the Testing.  However, her celebration is cut short by her father’s ominous warning: trust no one during the Testing.  Like any University student, he does not remember much from his own Testing, but what little he does remember are flashes of desperate survival, treacherous students, and death.

Empowered with this knowledge, Cia warily enters an alliance with Tomas, another student from Five Lakes Colony and a childhood friend.  But how much can she really trust Tomas?  When only twenty students from over a hundred will move onto University from the Testing, everyone will do whatever it takes to pass.

The Testing is Joelle Charbonneau’s first foray into Young Adult dystopian fiction.  While reminiscent of The Hunger Games, Charbonneau does a good job of establishing a distinct world for her characters.  Naturally, The Testing is book one of a trilogy.  Book two, The Testing: Independent Study, is set for a January 2014 release date.