Every year, the United Commonwealth chooses extremely intelligent graduating students from their towns to compete in ‘The Testing’, a set of tests that gives the best and most deserving students a chance to continue their education and go onto university. Malencia Vale has been dreaming of being selected for the ‘Testing’ ever since she was a little child. So when she gets chosen to take part, she is ecstatic. But when her father tells her about some of the horrors that he remembers from when he took part, Cia begins to reconsider her happiness. Is her life really worth the pride of University?
I believe that only kids aged 13 and above should read this book because there is a lot of violence and there is even a suicide, which I think is a topic kids below 13 might not have been introduced to yet. There are also instances where some kids make decisions that cause others harm, and that is something that could give wrong ideas to kids with immature minds.
There are some good messages that kids can take away from this book, such as leadership, independence, as Cia has to live on her own while the ‘Testing’ is going on, presence of mind, as Cia must figure out a way to survive in the wild while trying to reach the finish line of a race and protecting herself from her other competitors, quick-thinking, honesty, and many others.
There is a LOT of violence in this book. Kids kill others to survive and get a place in the university. There is also a lot of weapon usage, such as guns and arrows.
The words ‘hell’ and ‘damn’ are used a few times, but nothing other than that.
Two of the characters kiss about 3 or 4 times during the story.