REVIEW: Independent Study (The Testing #2) by Joelle Charbonneau

Genre: YA Apocalyptic / Dystopian Fiction
Pages: 310 (hardcover)
Reading Level: Easy
Rating: 3 / 5

Summary from Goodreads

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.

Again, I was underwhelmed… unfortunately.

In my review of The Testing, I stated it is a cross between The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Scorch Trials. This still holds true. In Independent Study, the reader gets a little bit more of The Scorch Trials, with more of the mental, academic testing. There’s the Divergent three-way battle for power between the power that is, the revolutionary and the intellectual alternative and the doubt as to which is the good guy. And then there are the many similarities with The Hunger Games – the tragic consequences of failure, the true nature of mutants, the capitol city and I think there are more; I remember thinking, “Wow, this is a complete rip off of The Hunger Games,” in many parts, but I listened to the audiobook while working out, so I didn’t take notes.

The narrator was decent. She did different voices and was not monotonous. She’s not the best I have heard, but she definitely did not put me to sleep.

It’s still an entertaining story and as mentioned in The Testing’s review, there are some potentially good discussion questions to be discussed, mostly about leadership and what makes good leaders. It’s not exactly a light read, but it is not one of the more heavy ones, which makes Independent Study a good selection for audiobook.

Other books in the series – The Testing (The Testing #1) and Graduation Day (The Testing #3)

Review by Christina
June 29, 2017

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