Graduation Day (The Testing) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-10-22 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 280 user ratings

" I really liked that this had more action but it did drag just a bit in spots but overall this was a great conclusion, if not a sad one, to the trilogy. " said.

"What a disappointment. This series wasn't worth the time it took to read it. It reminded me of the experience of reading another worthless YA book series - The Maze Runner - where it felt like the author's interest and writing ability got weaker and weaker with each book. This book was especially dull. The writing style felt very "procedural" and emotionless. The conclusion, if I can call it that, was watered down and really added to the sting of wasting your time plowing through the story. I suspect that many YA authors have a good idea (or highly derivative ones) for a story, but greedy publishers force them to stretch it out over a multi-book deal while hoping to have the next Hunger Games series they can convert to films. If I have to blame anyone, I blame Entertainment Weekly for promoting these two book series. I've lost a lot of respect for their opinion on books worth reading. " said.

"I love this political dystopian world created by the effects of war. This explores our very nature and if people can learn from their mistakes. I also liked the science fiction feel the book had. Here are my favorite quotes from Graduation Day and I tried to pick ones without spoilers.

* "I must keep calm. In control.This is the most important test I have faced thus far in my life. Too much is riding on th correct answer. I can not fail."

* "Trust no one, Cia. It's not just your life but also the lives of many others that depend on that."

* "When you trust me with your secrets, I'll trust you with mine."

* "I press myself against Thomas, feeling the warmth of his body seep into mine."

* "The only thing we can do is learn from the mistakes made and make sure we don't make the same ones in the future."

* "Two lightning bolts. Two teams. The end of ignorance. The beginning of hope."

Just Finished Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau. Who needs sleep!!!! I am going to have a huge book hangover after this one. I do not even know what to say. I loved it. It was emotional, tense, thought provoking. I love the message portrayed throughout the trilogy. This was so consistent with an unexpected ending that I loved. Their are very few series you walk away feeling satisfied and this was one of them. I am giving this book 5 out of 5 stars.
" said.

"While I enjoyed this trilogy, the last book left me wanting and in the end I’m just kinda glad its over. Out of them all I like book two the best and had similar feelings towards book one and three. Perhaps it is just time to put YA dystopian books aside for a while. I’m feeling so ambivalent about the book I’m really not sure where to go with my review, the book just didn’t grab me until the last third, part of that could have been I read the first chapter of my next read and got really excited over that, but I’m thinking more is to blame with the book itself.

So lets start with the positive, what worked for me in this book of the trilogy. I liked how we got a better explanation as to how the world came to this point in its history. I also enjoyed the action in the latter parts of the book. I also respected the integrity of Cia, her strong moral compass even when she must do tasks she finds uncomfortable. I liked the redemption of certain characters that will remain nameless to avoid spoilers. I also enjoyed the way the trilogy ended. It left me satisfied and ready to put this series behind me.

One of the reasons I read dystopian books/series is I enjoy the fight to overcome insurmountable odds to right what is wrong in the world. I enjoy the characters who look at the awful worlds they exist in and want to do something to change them for the benefit of all. I like the idea that we can overcome corruption. This series delivers all that, but perhaps it just needed something more. I’m afraid it might get lost in the sea of other dystopian works that have flooded the YA market. Still I’m happy I stuck it out.

So what bothered me with this book, what didn’t work for me. It was slow to get into first off. My mind would wander and I was being told so much instead of reading about action. It got a bit tedious in the first half of the book. Now I was happy to get all this information, but perhaps it could have been broken up a bit more instead of feeling I was sitting in one of Cia’s classrooms during class. You may disagree, but I think the story would have been stronger without the romance. It just felt tacked on and to me there was little chemistry between Cia and Thomas. I was more interested in Cia and Raffe’s connection then I was with her and Thomas’s relationship. I don’t think the story needed a romance or the failed love triangle that was thrown in for part of this book. It just didn’t work for me and frankly I have trouble seeing a future for these two beyond the end of the book, and I’m alright with that.

If you LOVE dystopian genre books then by all means add this series to your to-read list, it was a good (but not great) read. After loving book two more than the first I had hopes for the ending to go out with a bang. Unfortunately for me it just fell flat.
" said.

"3.5 stars

Plot- 7.5/10
Characters- 8.5/10
Writing- 9/10
World Building- 9/10

TOTAL- 8.3/10

Quickie Review- Graduation Day is my 100th book read on Goodreads. *celebrates* Now, I was eagerly anticipating this book- the cover is amazing and the end of the second book, Independent Study, promised an epic conclusion to the Testing series. I wasn't disappointed with this, but I wasn't thoroughly impressed by it either. It was most certainly better than the other series conclusions I've read this year (Monument 14: Savage Drift, Dust Lands : Raging Star), but there were a couple of things that I thought were lacking. Most notable, plot. Both this book and its predecessor, Independent Study, lacked action. The Testing had all sorts of action- fighting, running, shooting, solving problems, running for your life, etc. The last 2 installments in the series were mostly devoid of all of these things. The first half of this book was extremely slow. Cia was trying to figure out what to do, how to do it, and who to trust. I suppose this was all necessary background, but it made for a very sluggish plot. About halfway in we started to actually see some movement in plot. There was plotting, running, killing, sacrificing, all of that deliciously intense stuff. And when we got to the climax, I was totally ready for an all-out epic battle. I didn't get it. The climax wasn't really a climax; very much like Independent Stuy, the climax consisted of a character twist and Cia in shock. No real action, gunfights, nothing. I was very disappointed by this. Charbonneau resolved the story nicely and tied up the loose ends, but her book lacked the firepower and punch that she was able to create in the Testing. The characters for the most part were very strong- especially the supporting cast. Raffe was a terrific character- passionate, caring, and yet shrouded in mystery. Stacia was also very nicely done; her kind and motivated but also selfish personality really shone here and remained consistent throughout the book. Tomas, who was practically non-existent in Independent Study, took a bigger role here, and I really enjoyed his emotional scenes with Cia. Their connection was powerful and kept each of them going throughout the book. I also enjoyed Will's personality in this one, and I thought the direction that the author decided to take with him was the right one. Now, the only character I had problems with was the main character. Cia became too dependent on others' words, and lacked some leadership in Graduation Day. Also, a problem that I've had with her that continued into this book was her fear of killing. She is not able to take one life to spare many others, and I find that, for someone who is trying to change the future of society, this is a huge flaw that cannot be overlooked. Indeed, it almost killed her in the end. The writing was great- suspenseful, consistent, and vivid. I have always loved the world building in this series- eerily similar to that in the Hunger Games, but still different enough to make it distinguishable and unique. All in all Charbonneau put together a pretty good conclusion to The Testing series, and overall, I am happy that I was able to discover and enjoy Cia's journey.

" said.

"I just finished this book, and I loved it soo much!! I thought this was such a fantastic ending to the trilogy, and it really allows you the opportunity to decide for yourself how the future will play out. This book kept the thrilling pace of the other two books while also really calling into question right and wrong, moving away from past mistakes, who is worthy of trust, and so many other crucial things that really kept you guessing through the story. I also love that Cia stays try to the very methodical, smart, and cautious Cia you meet in the first book. Her character was a breath of fresh air to me, because she was incredibly smart and chose to think rather than act impulsively. I also loved that while her and Tomas' romance played and important role, it never felt cliche, annoying, and like it didn't fit. It also never really overwhelmed the plot, and their were never any truly angsty annoying situations that happened between them. The will absolutely be added the list for one of my favorite dystopian series, and I would highly recommend it if you are looking for an addictive dystopian trilogy to dive in to! " said.

" Maybe 3.75 I need more answers but I love it " said.

" This book (and series) was outstanding! Joelle Charbonneau outdid herself by filling the whole Testing series with love, loss, instinct and trust in a way that not only captivated me but made me smile at happy times and cry (especially at the end). I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a great book filled with impossible choices and difficult answers. " said.

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