Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Shelves: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Recommended For Fans Of: Suzanne Young, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth
Synopsis from Goodreads: In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas—and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.
Review: This review is going to be slightly shorter than most of my regular reviews. If you'd like to read a full-length review of The Testing, here it is! http://fictionthenewreality.blogspot.com/2014/06/review-test-testing-1-by-joelle.html However, for those of you who have read The Testing and decided to read the sequel as well, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
I loved The Testing from the very start, and at this rate, it seems like I'll be loving it until the very end as well. The sequel was just as fabulous as I hoped it to be. Although there wasn't the same rush from all the action that the first book provided, I still think Independent Study was a mind-warping thrill ride. For those of you who have yet to read Independent Study, Cia is now at the university, where she has been assigned to the governmental branch, to her own surprise. Once she begins her classes, she is immediately overwhelmed- with the eyes of authority that seem to be constantly watching her, the workload that no other student seems to have, and the whispers of threats just beyond the horizon- threats that speak of a rebellion that will put a stop to the dangerous testing once and for all.
Cia was fabulous in Independent Study. She had to endure a lot of mind games and intelligence testing in Independent Study, and as a reader who loved Cia from the start, I felt a sense of pride at how amazing of a character she was. I really admire how much Joelle Charbonneau encompassed into Cia's character; making her one of the best heroines I've encountered in YA fiction. My only complaint was that at times, Cia seemed a bit TOO perceptive and I wanted her to accept her slight weaknesses in more ways throughout the book. However, Cia is still among my top favorite characters, and she will always be.
The introduction of amazing background characters was also a great move on Joelle's part. I loved seeing Ian and Michal make their way into Cia's life, and into the reader's heart. It wouldn't be a bad idea if Joelle wanted to do a spin-off series based on their own stories... *winks*
Conclusion: Independent Study was a very satisfying sequel to an amazing book, and I couldn't have asked for anything better from this fantastic author and this heart-pounding series that gives Divergent a run for its money.