10 March 2014

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau 
Series: The Testing #2
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Publication Date: January 1st 2014
Source: Bought

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.

I hadn't actually planned on picking up Independent Study so quickly, but I wasn't in the mood to read any of the books on my TBR list and I just really wanted to know what Cia was going to do with the information she uncovered at the end of The Testing. Independent Study was a fantastic follow up to The Testing. It was less gorey/less horrific, but there were still a lot of unexpected twists and shocking moments that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through this book.

Independent Study picks up a few months after The Testing, and Cia and the rest of The Testing candidates that survived have started their University education. They're being put through another test to determine which path they will all take. 

I was slightly worried for Cia in this one because I had no idea whether the Government knew about the revelation she'd made. Cia is such a strong character. I don't think I would have been able to continue on as normal after I'd found out what really happened during The Testing, but Cia manages to pretend that everything is alright to keep herself from being found out. She's an extremely intelligent character and people tend to underestimate her. Cia is a very kind character and always likes to do the right thing which makes her some enemies during this book (but they were douches anyways).

I was still really unsure of Tomas in this one - mainly because for most of the book we had no freaking idea what actually went on with him during The Testing. Tomas is a sweet and protective character, but he did lie to Cia throughout most of the book so I'm still on the fence about him.

As much as I hated Will at the end of The Testing because of what he'd done, I actually couldn't help but grow to love him again. Will is such a hilarious and friendly character, but he's definitely got a dark side that we got to see in The Testing. I'm glad we got to see his nice side again though because I do really like Will.

I loved some of the new characters we were introduced to as well. I really liked Ian. He seemed to really care about what happened to Cia and wanted to help her however he could. Whether he has an ulterior motive or not, I guess I'll have to wait and find out. I was initially suspicious of Raffe, but he's a character I grew to love by the end of the book. I really liked getting to meet President Collinder as well. She seems like a nice and genuine character who wants to fight for what is right. I really hope she gets a chance to make a difference.

The plot, while it wasn't as fast-paced as The Testing - was still gripping. I was so intrigued to find out what was going to happen now that Cia knew everything that I just couldn't put this book down. Also, we were thrown straight into more tests when the candidates had to prove themselves during their initiations to their new residences. There were a lot of secrets to uncover, Cia had to find out the truth about what happened during The Testing and there were quite a few twists that I didn't see coming.

The ending was a major shock and I honestly had no idea what to do after I'd finished reading this book. I'm still kind of shocked over the events and I have no idea what's going to happen next - but it probably won't be good. I honestly can't tell you guys how excited I am for Graduation Day so I can find out what the hell is going to happen!

Overall, Independent Study was a fantastic follow up to The Testing. Even though it wasn't as action packed, it was full of a lot of shocking revelations that had you wondering what the hell was actually going on and who the good guys actually are. 


  1. Ah I am so glad it was a good read! I am so excited for this one because I am curious about what Cia does with the information as well!
    I must get my hands on a copy asap :D

    1. It's amazing Ula! I honestly wasn't expecting half of the things that happened in this book and the twists? Holy crap were they amazing! The ending is a massive cliffhanger too! You're going to love it :D