Tuesday, December 17, 2013

To Study or Not to Study: Is There a Question?

Cia made it through the Testing, but that doesn't mean her life is easy. In Independent Study, Joelle Charbonneau takes Cia's accomplishments to the next level: her studies. 

After the Testing, the people who passed had their memories wiped. The people who didn't... disappeared. But Cia managed to hold onto her memories through the recording device she has hidden. Her memories were wiped, but from the recordings and the flashes of memories that weren't erased, she knows the government is doing dangerous things with the testing. Now, a University student, she must go through initiation. Just when she thought she had survived the worst ordeal of her life, she is forced to join forces with people she doesn't know and doesn't trust and go on an expedition for her initiation. Whenever the government gives them a test, it is clear they aren't afraid to risk their lives as well. 

Finally, Cia is given her course load and an Independent Study location. What she doesn't expect is to be swamped with nine class when everyone else has six, given the hardest independent study, and most importantly, picked by the Government as its only intern. There are people out there who want to see Cia fail because they fear the bravery and will to protect people she harbors. To them, anyone willing to stand up to the establishment, even if in the smallest of ways, such as being able to figure out their tricks too easily, is a threat. And there is nothing more dangerous than being on the threat list of the government. But Cia has bigger things to worry about. With a rebel army amassing and Cia caught in the middle, she doesn't know who she can trust. In order to survive, however, she is going to have to learn to trust someone...

I thought this was a really interesting next step in this series, but I also found the beginning of the story with the initiation to be a lot more exciting than the parts after the initiation. The initiation was very similar to the actual Testing in the first book. They had a small quest with different deadly obstacles and such a desperation to pass that students would do anything to be first- even hurt each other. After that was over, it became more of a psychological thriller. Cia spent a lot of her time pondering the thought processes of the government, ways they were trying to trick her, and how to counter their moves. She also spent a lot of time skulking about campus trying to get information. I found it a little unrealistic that these crazy masterminds would be having these serious conversations full of important details in places where a girl in a hallway could hear them, but oh well! It was interesting!

This is a good series for anyone who likes dystopias and corrupt government stories. Again, I am glad to see a strong female lead who actually wants to do something to stop a corrupt government, not a reluctant hero who just wanted to be left alone. I like a hero who actually fights for what she believes in. There is some obvious brutality and violence in this story, but this one less so than the first book. Still, it isn't a story for young middle readers. More made for young adults. Lucky for all of us Charbonneau is pumping these books out every 6 months! Next one is right around the corner!

No comments:

Post a Comment