🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟Synopsis:
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one and the same?
The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.
Cia Vale is honoured to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.
But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every gruelling (and deadly) day of the Testing.
To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.
The pacing was slow at the very beginning of the book when the author was setting up the world and establishing the main character. I had a hard time paying attention and getting invested in the story. I had heard that the story becomes more fast paced when the candidates reach the testing center which turned out to be true. I was glued to the story from that point on and the pacing steadily increased as the testing phases were completed.
I really liked Cia. She seemed like a jack of all trades type of character in her skill set but wasn't a warrior by any means. She mostly used her intellect to solve the problems she encountered which I admired. She didn't seem like the typical heroine that kicks butt. I enjoyed that she was more of a pacifist and wanted to believe the best in people. I feel like there is a fine line between optimism and naivete in characters and feel that the author was able to strike the right balance with Cia.
I enjoyed the book but I wish that it hadn't reminded me do much of The Hunger Games. The similarities distracted me from the story and I feel that I could have enjoyed it even more if that weren't the case.