Book Review: Graduation Day

Book Review: Graduation DayGraduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau
Series: The Testing #3
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company on June 17th 2014
Pages: 304
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In book three of the Testing series, the United Commonwealth wants to eliminate the rebel alliance fighting to destroy The Testing for good. Cia is ready to lead the charge, but will her lethal classmates follow her into battle?

She wants to put an end to the Testing
In a scarred and brutal future, The United Commonwealth teeters on the brink of all-out civil war. The rebel resistance plots against a government that rules with cruelty and cunning. Gifted student and Testing survivor, Cia Vale, vows to fight.

But she can't do it alone.
This is the chance to lead that Cia has trained for - but who will follow? Plunging through layers of danger and deception, Cia must risk the lives of those she loves--and gamble on the loyalty of her lethal classmates.

Who can Cia trust?
The stakes are higher than ever-lives of promise cut short or fulfilled; a future ruled by fear or hope--in the electrifying conclusion to Joelle Charbonneau's epic Testing trilogy. Ready or not…it's Graduation Day.

The Final Test is the Deadliest!

thoughtI have had a like / hate / love relationship with the Testing series from the get go. There are definitely aspects about this series to recommend it, as well as other aspects that could make this a series to skip. Despite any doubts I have had previously, I knew Graduation Day could, and probably would be, the make or break installment for this series. Plus after finally feeling like I was starting to understand this series, thanks due to Independent Study, it was time to see how it all ends.

Graduation Day picks up shortly after the ending of the last installment. Cia knows of the rebellion. Knows that the system in place is incredibly flawed. She also knows that it may be up to her and her group of friends to stop it all.

Cia has one last test and it is a doozy.

One of the biggest gripes I have had since book one has reared its ugly head again. Cia, the wonder girl. Don’t get me wrong. I like Cia. She seems to possess an ability, that for some strange reason, is lacking from her classmates and possibly everyone else. While, Graduation Day does give some nice insight into this, and makes me understand Cia a lot better. I still cannot help but be hung up on the fact that EVERYONE from her peers to her teachers, heck even the President of this nation believes that Cia can accomplish what NO ONE ELSE can. She is seventeen for crying out loud. But, for this series, that doesn’t matter. It is Cia. Wonder girl. Savor of it all. The girl who can do no wrong. This bugs that crap of out me.

Moving on.

As one might expect with a series finale, there are a bunch of reveals. Some were great. Some kind eh. If I have one other grip about Graduation Day, it is that the reveals that have been needed for a while didn’t get the time they deserved. The big ticket items, like what happens to those that are redirected, are rushed through. It is a reveal. It is a bad thing. Then, we move on. For me, Graduation Day could have been so much more powerful, if it had taken the time not to rush through these important moments. It could have been shocking, but instead, it just was.

Graduation Day, unlike some other series, works on bring everything together by the end. Is it perfect? No. But lots of the questions I have had for what feels like forever, finally got answers. Plus, it has an ending that works. It is not all happy, everyone now has a great life, lets dance. It is still imperfect and a work in progress.

Verdict:

Not a bad way for a series to go out. Pretty pleased overall.

 

Kate

Kate is the co-blog owner of The Book Monsters. I am a twenty-something year old who is passionate about reading. I currently hold a B.A. in English and am married to my high school sweetheart. We have two (cat) children, Gracie and Kit, who are total divas. I have an insane and possibly unhealthy passion for reading. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book.

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