Rating: ***** Suggested Age: 13
Summary: “In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas—and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.” (Summary found on Goodreads).
Joelle Charbonneau, to my surprise, continued The Testing series well with Independent Study. Usually, I find that the second book in a trilogy is boring, but I was pleasantly surprised this time. I could hardly put it down and can’t wait to read the next one! I loved that it took a unique turn. Now I can’t compare it to The Hunger Games or any other book because its plot line took a twist that relates to no other dystopian book that I have ever read before (despite the fact that there’s a rebellion going on, those are in pretty much every dystopia). This novel is a bit violent and the characters in the story are placed in risky situations. Though, this series isn’t as great as other dystopias, like Divergent, it’s still extremely good. I definitely recommend The Testing and Independent Study to anyone who is a fan of dystopians. I hope Graduation Day (the conclusion) does not disappoint me.