Debbie's World of Books
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Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

January 2nd, 2014 by Debbie's World of Books

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

Source: Picked up at NCBIA

Publication date: January 7, 2014

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Series: The Testing #2

Rating: ★★★★½

Summary from Goodreads.com: 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.

I absolutely loved The Testing and was so excited to pick up Independent Study.  I had a little apprehension because second books in a series often seem to suffer from a sophomore slump.  Fortunately Independent Study definitely didn’t suffer from this curse.  I was immediately hooked and could not put the book down.

I still really enjoy both Cia and Tomas’s characters and it is interesting to see the contrast in behavior from Cia’s fellow students after having their memories wiped of their testing period.  Some of the ones who were so ruthless during the testing (ahem, Will) are so likeable that it is hard to remember how cutthroat they can be.  It almost makes you wonder if they had to go through it again would they still make the same choices?

The students from the colonies now find themselves tossed in with a bunch of city students who did not have to go through the testing and they are sorted into their fields of work.  Many of them end up in fields they would not have personally chosen including Cia who is assigned government.  Again the students are thrown into a situation where you don’t know who you can trust, what is a test and what are the consequences of failing.  There are several new students who I could not tell if they would end up on Cia’s side or not which I enjoyed since it wasn’t predictable.

This book is definitely a page turner and will leave you wanting to immediately get the third book to find out what happens.  Another fantastic read from Joelle Charbonneau and The Testing series is one dystopian fans won’t want to miss!

Posted in 4 Star Books, 5 Star Books, Books, Dystopia, Young Adult

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