Jul 6, 2014

Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau Review

Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau
(The Testing #3)
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 304 pages
In book three of the Testing series, the United Commonwealth wants to eliminate the rebel alliance fighting to destroy The Testing for good. Cia is ready to lead the charge, but will her lethal classmates follow her into battle?

She wants to put an end to the Testing
In a scarred and brutal future, The United Commonwealth teeters on the brink of all-out civil war. The rebel resistance plots against a government that rules with cruelty and cunning. Gifted student and Testing survivor, Cia Vale, vows to fight.

But she can't do it alone.
This is the chance to lead that Cia has trained for - but who will follow? Plunging through layers of danger and deception, Cia must risk the lives of those she loves--and gamble on the loyalty of her lethal classmates.

Who can Cia trust?
The stakes are higher than ever-lives of promise cut short or fulfilled; a future ruled by fear or hope--in the electrifying conclusion to Joelle Charbonneau's epic Testing trilogy. Ready or not…it's Graduation Day.

The Final Test is the Deadliest!

 Warning there will be slight spoilers for The Testing and Independent Study in this review.  If you do not wish to be spoiled, proceed with caution.

This is it.  Graduation Day.  This is the final book.  This is the book that Cia decides to finally try to stop The Testing.  Reading the last book in a series is always interesting for me.  Especially when I really enjoyed the previous books in the series.  To start I want to say that I did enjoy this book.  Just not as much as I enjoyed the other two.  I felt like I got to know Cia pretty well, and in this book I felt like her actions were very much out of character.  I found myself wondering, where is the real Cia?

When Cia got in contact with her brother Zeen at the end of Independent Study, I became stupidly excited for Graduation Day.  I didn't see his appearance coming.  Family has always been a strong suit for Cia.  I would smile every time she would mention her brothers or something her father told her.  As a reader, I felt Cia's bond to her family.

As usual the pacing in this book is pretty good.  You can pretty much read any of these books in one sitting. Nothing drags, but as with the previous books you are in Cia's head a lot.  And I think that's what made it so difficult for me to accept her choices in this one.  I questioned her level of trust and her decision making.  I can't go into much detail because it's spoilery, but I was shaking my head at her a lot.

As for the other characters.  Tomas of course is a constant.  Tomas is such a good person.  I know some could see him as being bland, but his dedication to Cia is really admirable.  His love for her really shines.  I think the two most interesting characters are definitely Dr. Barnes and the President.  Both are just so intriguing.  It's books like this that remind you that the government is never black or white.  There are always shades of gray.  And that their decisions have a purpose.

I am all for open ended books.  I've said it numerous times that it's not easy to wrap a dystopian novel up in a pretty little bow and send it on it's way.  But the ending of this book left me craving for more!  It's not even the unanswered questions that bothered me.  It's more of the fact that I could easily see the series continuing. The ending introduces the characters to another stage in life.  A stage that I desperately want to read.  I really do hope that some day the author may decide to keep going.

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