New York : Houghton Mifflin, 2013
Sixteen year old Malencia Vale is looking forward to what lies ahead. She is hoping to be chosen for the Testing but no Five Lakes Colony student has been chosen in many years. The Testing is the only way to get into the University and work to revitalize the post-war world. He own father was chosen for years ago but he doesn't remember much about what it was like. It seems that those who go through the Testing are given something to suppress their memories of what goes on. Against the odds, there are several students from Five Lakes that are chosen and Cia is one of them. Cia's father is not happy and he shares his vague memories with her in the hope that it will keep her safe. You see, the Testing is not anything like you will do to get into college. In addition to rigorous pencil and paper test, the children will have to survive the grueling physical tests. How many will survive?
Cia Vale graduates from high school and believes that her life as an adult in the Five Lakes Colony is beginning as just an average member of the community; a community that is recovering from a war that left it a charred wasteland. When quite unexpectedly a representative from the Commonwealth comes to take her and 3 others to Tosu City to be tested for the opportunity to attend the university and become world leaders. On the eve of her departure her father gives her advice to do her very best, do what has to be done, but trust no one.
The group of students are brought together to take academic tests, physical challenges and compete with each other to be the best survivors in the eyes of the Testing officials. The final test requires making decisions that will haunt them forever. Cia knows things are not as they seem and from the talks with her father knows that not all the testing is as described. There are cameras watching every move and possibly more.
Cia begins the Testing with a childhood friend, Tomas, together they progress through the Testing enduring great challenges, and personal pain, meanwhile forging an alliance that becomes much more. The ending will make you think twice about the decisions of those in charge and what they really want. (Chris Wilson, Teacher-Librarian, Rainier Middle School, Auburn, WA, Evergreen Book Award)
|SUBJECTS: Examinations -- Fiction.
Missing persons -- Fiction.
Graduation (School) -- Fiction.
Schools -- Fiction.
Universities and colleges -- Fiction.