Monday, September 1, 2014

Graduation day by Joelle Charbonneau

Graduation day is the third book in the Testing series and follows on from The Testing and Independent study so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** if you have not already read the first two books.  This is a series where it really pays to read the books in order.

Cia Vale has already faced so many challenges that it seems impossible that there could be more for her to face - but that is exactly what she must do if she is to uncover all the secrets, all the lies, and make a real change.  For months she has worked hard to maintain her place in the University, and to connect the pieces of a rebellion together, discovering who is really on her side and who is fighting for their own cause.   The one thing that gives her hope is that President Collindar seems determined to bring changes to the Testing, a change that will affect hundreds of young people from the Colonies - but at what cost.

Graduation day is the last book in the Testing series and brings to a close what has been an interesting and thought provoking series - not your typical dystopian thriller series, rather a reflective look at what happens when the people in power have more control than they should have.  Through Cia's eyes, and the eyes of her friends and fellow students we have discovered secrets and mysteries that make the ideal world they live in more of a shiny apple with a rotten core than a true utopia created from war and ruin.  Reviewing Graduation day without ruining the little secrets and twists and turns is challenging, so I will just say that the end is a satisfying close to what has been an emotional roller coaster ride of joy and horror as Cia seems to attain her dream and then realises what that dream really entails.  It has been a story of friendship, loyalty, trust, betrayal, and disaster - in other worlds just like real life.

I was looking forward to finishing the series as I have enjoyed the first two books and got really involved with the characters, so I was a little disappointed by how disengaged I was with both the story and the characters.  At times it felt like I had seen it and read it before, or that Cia and her friends were acting out bad parts in a bad play - this may be more a reflection of my current reading mood where I am discarding large numbers of books because they are just not grabbing me - but it could also be a reflection of a story that was not edited or polished sufficiently.  It will be interesting to see if Charbonneau continues to write books for teens, especially in this genre, as she has proven popular with teen readers.  I recommend you read this final instalment if you have enjoyed the rest of the series as it really does bring the series to a close.

If you like this book then try:
  • The testing by Joelle Charbonneau
  • The Hunger games by Suzanne Collins
  • Renegade by J.A. Souders
  • Eve by Anna Carey
  • Enclave by Ann Aguirre
  • Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  • Reboot by Amy Tintera
  • Slated by Teri Terry
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • The forest of hands and teeth by Carrie Ryan
  • XVI by Julia Karr
  • Breathe by Sarah Crossan
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  • Inside out by Maria V. Snyder
  • Amongst the hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • The limit by Kristin Landon

Reviewed by Brilla

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