Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Testing-Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing-Joelle Charbonneau

the facts
satisfaction: side
pages: 336
gender: F
nationality: USA
year: 2013
novel, YA

After hoping that she would be chosen for the testing as a top student, Malencia learns that the testing is a horrible experience within her dystopian society.

Okay, so. I read a lot of YA dystopia and with the popularity of Hunger Games, many dystopia books have sprung up and invaded the book market. I try to read them with an open mind and thus enjoy many of them more than I probably should but every so once in awhile the implausibility really gets to me.
I’m afraid The Testing is one of those. So implausible I really could not get into it. Such a shame really. There was such good attention to world-building, you learn about the history-the seven stages of the collapse of civilization. And Malencia is actually not perfect or effortless (in every way at least). And there is quite some brutality in this novel-Malencia cannot cleverly avoid killing nor does she spend angsty page after page moaning about how she never wanted to kill (very Battle Royale in this lack of sidestepping the brutality). The ending was even skillfully done in my opinion-a rare feat indeed.

But the core tenant of the book? Goodness.

So in a society with dwindling population and a lack of skilled and intelligent people (due to the harshness of the post-apocalyptic world), they take the best and the brightest of each colony…

and kill most of them. The survivors get to go to university-sure they are the best of the best but let me repeat this, most of the best people in this society are killed off. Some of the colonies are left with no best students.

huh? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. This goes beyond social Darwinism and becomes far too implausible in my opinion.

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