Parents' Guide to

The Testing, Book 1

By Michael Berry, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Thoughtful dystopian tale questions winning at all costs.

The Testing, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 13+

erivative and Unpleasant

Yet another dystopian novel with an unbelievably rigid social structure and a leadership that seems to have unlimited resources available for oppression. The second half of the novel devolves into a sequence of chases and battles that are hard to follow, require a ridiculous amount of suspension of disbelief, and are not particularly entertaining. Only read this if you absolutely loved the Maze Runner and Divergent and would rather read a similar derivative of those books instead of something more interesting in another genre.
age 13+

It was good

This was a good book. If you enjoy "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent", you get those two mixed together. I really loved it all ever since I read it in 2018. I was surprise by it all and it did have me thinking a bit and yes, I would recommend this book for older kids because some ares may be a little complicated, unless they like that kind of books.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (35):

Although it at first seems like The Hunger Games Lite, THE TESTING proves to have some original thinking behind it. As Cia and Tomas struggle to master the various assignments that will ensure them a college education and a rewarding career (provided they aren't killed first), the novel grows in complexity and develops suspenseful momentum. The book questions the notion of winning at all costs, and those who fail The Testing are treated by Cia as unique individuals who deserve compassion. The saga is clearly only beginning at the end of this volume, but readers will be ready to sign up for the next installment.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate