Graduation Day is the final book in The Testing trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau. After being a big fan of the first book, and a bit disappointed with Independent Study, I started this book with some hesitation. I didn’t want to be burned again.
The book started out with high potential. The second book seemed directionless but this book immediately resolved that issue. There is a concrete plot that intrigued me – Cia has been consigned by the president to assassinate the leading people administering the testing in Tosu City. She must put together a team of people whom she trusts in order to help her attain this goal. The whole book comes down to this theme – who can Cia trust?
I was resistant when the first book was compared to The Hunger Games by other reviewers. I saw the similarities but I railed that it wasn’t just a copy, merely coincidence. Sadly, the further that I ventured into Graduation Day the more I have to agree with the criticism. By the end of this book there are too many obvious elements similar to Suzanne Collins that detracted from my enjoyment. I tried to ignore them as hallmarks of the genre, but it became too difficult. I had to let it go. As a result I skimmed the last quarter of this book.
I think this series is fine for anyone who wants to dip their toes into the Dystopian genre (and has not yet exposed themselves to The Hunger Games). Beyond that, it’s just too much of the same. The strength of the characterization and the well thought-out explanations of everything could not save it. I wanted this book to prove all of the haters wrong, and it didn’t.
3 stars. Such a shame.
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