BOOK REVIEW: Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau

Book: Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau (The Testing #3)

Genre: YA, Dystopian

This is the presumably final book in The Testing trilogy. I say presumably because I feel like there’s definitely an opening for a fourth book… but we’ll get to that in a minute. You can read my reviews of the first two books (The Testing, and Independent Study) here and here.

Graduation Day picks up literally right where Independent Study left off.  The title is a little confusing, honestly, if you’re considering the series chronologically, because nobody is graduating or even close to it in the timeline of Graduation Day–they’re all just beginning their specialized studies.  Anyways, title confusion aside, Cia has decided that she is going to help put an end to the brutality of the testing and is working to join forces with the rebel movement in Tosu City.

If you’ve read the first two reviews, you probably know how I feel about them, but here’s the quick recap.  The Testing got off to a bit of a slow start, and I wasn’t overly enthused although I did find myself interested enough to read it to the end and pick up Independent Study.  Independent Study is when (where?) the action picked up.  It was really tough to put down, and when I did put it down, it was pretty much only to get on my online library account and order Graduation Day.

Graduation Day did not disappoint me.  There was plenty of action, and a few clever twists in the storyline that made it turn out somewhat differently than I was expecting.  My biggest disappointment was that Tomas wasn’t actually a bad guy.  I know, I know… y’all probably want me to just get over my dislike of him already, but I’m telling you–he just seemed like he was going to be the betrayer type.  Every time Cia thought/talked about him, she prefaced it by saying something to the effect of “I know I’m not supposed to trust anybody, but I’m going to trust him, just because.”  I know the point was supposed to be that she loved him, and therefore trusted him, but I just never got it.  Their relationship always seemed forced to me.  They didn’t really do a whole lot together, or have a lot in common, or even have great conversations when they were together… but they kissed.   “Passionately.”  Even when people with guns were chasing them.

Still, if the only thing I can complain about is a silly romance that really ends up taking a back seat in the series, it’s not that bad.  The overall plot was unique and kept right on rolling, up to the end.

I’ve been trying to figure out whether The Testing is just a trilogy or whether there is a fourth book in the works.  I’m not seeing anything about a fourth book, but I feel like there was definitely an opening there.  The book just ends so abruptly.  *SPOILERS AHEAD* Cia doesn’t ever actually graduate, they just go back to their home colony to relax after they get things straightened out with the testing, but one of the last things Cia says is that she hopes Tomas will go back to Tosu City/The University with her because she knows she is needed up there.  So… you tell me.  Do you think there will be a fourth book?

I really liked this book, and the series as a whole.  4 out of 5 stars.

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