Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 5044
Has the same geeky vibes and adrenaline rush of The Testing
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau was definitely one of the top ten books I have read in 2013 and, without a doubt, the best ya dystopian novel. The Testing had frighteningly possible future world with smart realistic characters, likable heroine and cute friends to lovers love story.

Independent Study, as a sequel to The Testing, introduces us to the life on college in the Commonwealth described trough the narration of Cia. Connection I felt to Cia in The Testing, was quickly restored and, again, I was admiring her and cheering for her every step of the way. Cia is smart, resourceful, fair and geek – everything a good heroine in my opinion should be. And she’s so realistic – not always perfect, sometimes doubts herself, but never boring and determined to succeed.
"I don’t know if I am ready to be a leader or if I can stop the war that threatens all I love, but as I hurry up to my rooms and close the door behind me, I know I will do everything to keep the hope out of our country and those who struggled for it alive."

Since the testing for University was so deadly, I kinda expected that now the focus will be on studying and developing talents in the best candidates that were picked. But no, strangely, weird practice of exams that can have more serious consequences than failing the subject, continues. You wonder if they are even going to stop or there can be only one student/future leader left?

Surprisingly, I (again) believed in the whole concept of killing of the weakest candidates. Government officials and Cia have some great explanations about leadership and what’s expected from leaders. Here are just a couple of my favorite quotes about this subject:
- "Because sometimes the best leaders are the ones who have no interest in leading. Those are often the ones who are most interested in doing what is right, not what is popular."
- "Those who depend fully on another person’s knowledge to decide what is possible are easily manipulated. The most effective leaders utilize experts from all fields, but rely on none when it comes to making a decision."
- "Leaders – reals leaders – must think of others before themselves. They need to consider the consequences of their actions and only sacrifice lives when the needs of many outweigh the needs of the few."

Although, the plot of Independent Study was not much different than The Testing, as I expected, still it was thrilling ride full of action, tough decision and surprises. I am eagerly waiting for Graduation Day!

IN THE END…
In The Testing series, Joelle Charbonneau offers us a glorification of hard work, compassion and good leadership. For all young adult dystopian fans who like their heroines smart, resourceful and fighting against government, this is a must read!

Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review.
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