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The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau I'm suffering from a full-blown case of dystopian fatigue. As a result, I approach new books in the genre with the hope that they will offer up some kind of a fresh spin on things. The Testing didn't meet that test for me. Still, if you feel the way about dystopian fiction that I feel about contemporary/realistic YA -- namely, that you're a tireless and devoted reader of the genre -- I think you'll enjoy this book. Cia, the main character, came off as calm and detached. I tend to connect more with characters who show either greater vulnerability or more of an snarky edge. Or both. Cia wasn't a bad narrator, she just struck me as bland.Of course, Cia is chosen to be tested. She and three of her classmates are taken to Tosu City to undergo a series of tests. They're assigned a mentor. They meet their competitors. Then they sit at desks and take tests with paper with pencils. Fortunately, in subsequent rounds, the candidates get to do other stuff. Like test plants and soil. And then - finally - get down to the real-world leadership and decision-making tests.When the testing moves into its final stages, the book shifts to survival in the wilderness sort of stuff. Just like in the Hunger Games, Cia will have to battle injury and the elements and decide which of her competitors she can trust. This was definitely the strongest part of the book.As in other dystopian books which feature plots that put groups of kids in deadly competition with one another, that part of the premise didn't entirely hold together for me. In the Hunger Games, the Reaping served as a cruel means by which the government punishes and controls its citizens. In this book, it didn't really add up. Yes, I understand that the United Commonwealth wants their best and the brightest to attend the university, but what is the logic behind such callous disregard for the almost-best-and-brightest, many of whom seem to end up dead?Will you be surprised if I tell you there are two guys Cia finds herself drawn to, one of whom may not be trustworthy? However, as Cia learns in the beginning of the book, her memory will be erased if she survives the testing, so even if she figures out which guy she likes, she's not going to remember.Here's a little test for you to take: are you dying for new dystopian books to read? Does the idea of a group of kids pitted against one another still makes your heart beat a little faster? Then you should definitely put The Testing on your to-read list.Read my full review and find other great YA books on my blog: YA Romantics*I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher for review*