Sixteen-year-old Cia Vale is honoured to be chosen for The Testing – a series of exams set by the United Commonwealth that selects the brightest young adults to become leaders of their war- stricken world. But when candidates start disappearing and Cia witnesses unimaginable horrors done in the United Commonwealth’s name it becomes clear that these are no ordinary exams, and Cia is forced to realise the truth: this is no longer about winning, but surviving.
The Testing in 2 sentences. YIKES!
Cia Vale desperately wants to be chosen for the testing in order to have the chance to be selected for the University and become one of the next leaders of the country. But she learns that sometimes leadership is about more than who gets the best grades--sometimes it is about how far someone is willing to go to succeed.
2. What inspired you to write it?
One of my careers is being a private singing teacher. A great number of my students are high school age. Because of that, I work closely with them as they go through the college prep and application process. Every year the bar is set higher. They need better test scores and better grades. They have to audition at more schools in order to get accepted at one or two. It's crazy how much harder the process is now compared to 10 years ago. 2 years ago, one of my students complained about the process and wondered whether it would be worse by the time the freshman in her class were seniors. I said - I think this is as bad as it can get. Of course, after my student left, I wondered if the college process could get worse. And if it did, how far could the envelope be pushed. Suddenly, the idea for The Testing was born.
3. Sneak Peek! Can you share a scene or a quote?
Ah! What a tough question. There are lots of moments in the book that I really love. Let's see...how about...
A tear falls on my cheek, but it isn't mine. My father, who has always been so strong and smart and sure, is crying.
"So what now?" I squirm out of his arms and jump to my feet, angry. Angry that never once in all of our walks or conversations did he tell me these things. Never once when I was studying late into the night so I would do well on a test did he tell me what the consequences might be. "I leave in the morning. Why tell me this now? What good does it do?"
My father doesn't raise his voice to meet mine. "Maybe none. Maybe Flint is right and our dreams are just hallucinations. But if there's a chance they aren't, it is better you know. Better that you go to Tosu City prepared to question everything you see and everyone you meet. That might be the difference between success and failure." He crosses to me and puts his hand on my shoulders. I start to pull away, but then I notice the light reflecting off the tears pooling in his eyes. THe fight goes out of me.
"Does Mom know?" I think she must, but at this point I"m not sure of anything.
"Your mother knows about the memory wipe and that I have nightmares, but not what they contain."
I roll the words over in my head, testing them for the truth. "So, is that why Mom didn't want me to be chosen?"
My father lays a hand on my face and rubs his thumb against my cheek. "Cia, I haven't seen my parents since the day I left to be tested. To have a child chosen is an honor, but it also means loss. Your mother didn't want to lose you."
4 . Book/s you look forward to read this year?
There are so many good books coming out this year. I am truly excited to read The 5th Wave. That looks wonderful. I am also hoping to have time to read Dark Triumph soon since I loved Grave Mercy.