My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Description: Keep 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 Thoughts: I'll be completely honest. This is not the most original plot ever (though, neither is most of the dystopian genre) and there were parts that read like a textbook or how-to-guide. But I still enjoyed it.
Perhaps it was because I enjoy watching survival shows, but I what I liked the most about this book was that the character actually knew how to survive. She didn't just stumble around and magically make it the end of the testing, she knew what she could eat, and drink, and made good shelter, ect. Sure, she probably knew way more than any normal human being who has not spent their entire life living in the wilderness, but at least I could believe that she had kept herself alive.
On the flip side, she was way too smart at times. I mean, I pick up on the things I see too, but this girl thought that making a sustainable energy source for her house was fun. And she knew all about plants because her family engineered them. She also manages to use a gun with complete accuracy without having shot one before.
In the end, I liked this book. Not because the characters seemed like anyone I would know in real life (The Testing was like being in a school populated with Sir Isaac Newton's and Albert Einstein's and principled by Caesar) but because the characters had the skill sets to survive. (However odd of a reason that is.) There was also a theme of betrayal that I thought original to this story and will keep me reading to the next book.
*Note to Readers: This book does contain the "A" word once.*