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Publisher's Summary

Seventeen-year-old Cia Vale survived The Testing, as has Tomas, the boy she loves, and they have both gained admission to the University. She has a promising future as a leader of the United Commonwealth and no memory of her bloody testing experience, thanks to a government-sanctioned memory wipe. Cia should be happy but  is plagued by doubts about the past and future.

Determined to find the truth, she embarks on a path of study forbidden by the government delving  into the Commonwealth's darkest secrets. What she finds is the brutal reality lurking behind the friendly faces of her classmates and the unbearable realization that leaders chosen to protect us can be our greatest enemy.

©2014 Joelle Charbonneau (P)2014 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, left me wanting more.

This book/audiobook was very entertaining and kept wanting more. I travel alot for work and this has given me much entertainment on those long drives. Definitely a cliff a hanger at the end. Glad the 3rd book was already out so I could listen to it right after. Enjoy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Decent Follow Up

Independent Study is not a bad book per se; however, quirks that didn't bother me as much with the first book became problematic by the second. Yes, Cia is a bit too smart and figures everything out. But ultimately, that the characters talk like textbooks with very few colloquialisms made the story and characters feel very artificial to me. This was exacerbated by a narrator on Audible who also couldn't make the words sound natural and instead felt like she was reading off a card, with odd breaks in the overly wordy dialogue.

Story: Cia has passed the testing but now faces the challenges of induction. She's been chosen as a leader for government and her life is just as perilous and decisions just as critical as during the Testing. Lives will be lost, she will face betrayal, but she will also be given hope for the first time. Cia will have to learn quickly: for every mistake she makes, someone will die.

Unlike most dystopian books, the government isn't all evil nor populated with moustache twirling bad guys. Characters are good and bad and each have their own motivations for what they do. While this book did not peg my implausibility meter quite as frequently as other dystopians, there were still some questions about why the government is so stupid/allows Cia the chances she gets to learn more about them. The old "hiding behind an object just in time to overhear incriminating words from the bad guys' was more than a bit too much.

As noted before, the dialogue here became very stilted by book two. I didn't mind it as much in book one - I greatly appreciate a character who acts with maturity and thoughtfulness. But when every character seems to be the same way, it does lead to monotony. I began to wish for a character who would actually speak in sentences less long than an entire paragraph. It's the type of writing that sounds good in your head but when said outloud, you soon realize how stilted and unnatural it sounds. On the audible version, it really became problematic.

I will continue to read the series through to the last book. I've read some really poor YA dystopians lately and this is definitely not among them. But at the same time, I would have liked this better without the endless textbook dialogue or supernaturally gifted main character.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing reading of a fantastic series of books!

This is book 2 of 3 and I am beyond hooked! The narrator is amazing and separating the characters and engrossing you into the story!

Filled with excitement for the 3rd book! Yet... I don't want it to end!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Couldn't put it down

Loved it. Can't wait for book 3. The author definitely knows how to keep throwing curve balls when you least expect it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love this trilogy

These books are some of the best I have 'read ' in at least a year. I liked the audio books so much that I am going to buy the books and add them to my library .

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Chesterton, IN, United States
  • 03-22-18

More twists and turns than the first!

I very much enjoyed the developments in this novel! I wasn't sure if I would read the third book, but now I definitely will! The new characters and plot developments are much less predictable and keep the reader guessing...

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

held my breath the whole time listening to this

I love this story! It just keeps getting better and better. I wish the voiced weren't so similar. it was hard to tell the characters apart but it didn't take away from how awesome the story is. it reminds me of the hunger games alot tho.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The narrator may ruin the whole series

I took a break from the series after I read the first book and forgot about the terrible narrator when I bought the second one. She has no inflection, has a terrible arsenal of "voices" for different characters, doesn't whisper, laugh, breathe correctly or do anything to indicate that a character is experiencing anything other then monotony. She also sounds like a twelve year old in a reading support class.
The story itself is reminiscent of The Hunger Games trilogy and the Divergent series with a heroine being better than everyone else and somehow being chosen to overthrow the government. It's aight.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

wonderful narrative recommend it to anyone<br />

great in general anyone could read this series and understand any of the characters point of views

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Woot woot!!! Book 2 was just as great!!'

Thank goodness it was not as emotionally intense as the first book! I would've needed therapy and a heart monitor!!! However don't let that comment fool you, it was full of adventure and intrigue. Well worth the read.

Again, Martin does a fantastic job narrating and Carbonneau, well she out does herself again. S great second book in the Testing adventure.