Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review: Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

Independent Study is book #2 in Joelle Charbonneau's Testing Series. It was recently released on January 7, 2014 from HMH Books for Young Readers.

The setting is a dystopian future Earth after a big war and many natural disasters. The United States has reorganized under a new government. There is a much smaller area that is deemed safe to live in. People are working to make other areas safe as well and creating new technologies to help in that mission.

This is the continuing story of Malencia Vale and her friends and enemies as they find out that all is not as expected at the University. The advice her father gave her in book one that is mentioned again in this book, "Trust no one," seems at times to be particularly apt. Even her beau, Tomas, leaves her doubting his trustworthiness.

It is Year 2 at the University for Cia and her friends. They have finished with their general courses and are now placed into the fields that the teachers and administrators feel they are best suited for whether they agree or not. Cia would much rather work with mechanical things than spend her time learning things she would need to know to be a good political leader.

But something fishy is going on. The upperclassmen are supposedly hazing them, but it is like a brief repeat of the original testing. And there is word that an uprising is coming. All that is needed is proof that the testing is barbaric and not at all civilized. Will Cia and her friends be able to get the proof and get it into the right hands to insure a peaceful transfer of power instead of a bloody one? Who is really behind what is going on? Who will survive?

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It is a really enjoyable story, but it reads better if you have also read book one.