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Independent Study

(The Testing #2)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  33,871 ratings  ·  2,591 reviews
In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas—and though the governm ...more
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Suhanidatt While there is no mention of that in the book, this is why there are the colonies, like the Districts in Hunger Games. We do not know which colony mak…moreWhile there is no mention of that in the book, this is why there are the colonies, like the Districts in Hunger Games. We do not know which colony makes these goods, but there is bound to be at least a few. Because there was so much else going on in the book, this wasn't a main point. (less)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  33,871 ratings  ·  2,591 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
In the context of bad sequels, this is Batman and Robin kind of terrible. How on earth did a series go so wrong from one book to the next?

My opinion of this series has changed so much in this book that I feel like I should go back to the first book to see if I had made a monumental error in rating it so highly. Did I miss something outrageously bad in the first book? Was I so blinded? How does a series go from a 5 in one book to a 2 in the sequel?

The Summary: This is the sequel to The Testing, i
Sep 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is not the fantastic sequel to a fantastic book. This is like waking up next to the guy you met the night before (and who then seemed sexy and attractive) after the alcohol glamour is wearing of, monster headaches cloud your mind and you see that he looks nothing like Brad Pitt, not even remotely. It’s like waking up, going to the bathroom and seeing a female doppelgänger of Heath Ledger ‘The Joker’ in the mirror instead of your usual face, mascara and lipstick inches away from where they w ...more
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Unbelievable you have to read too grasp just how good this book/series is. It’s full of passion for what’s right, the determination to change the sadistic system. Yet the passion and corruption on the other side, to keep things status quo. It’s unthinkable what these students are put through when excepted to go off to college for their education. They first need to go through a test of wits, bravery, pressure, problem solving, will to survive, compassion and when to have no compassion.

Once they
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, dystopia
As a sequel to the Testing, this book is just as amazing. The tests and challenges laid in this story become even more impossible and extremely dangerous as the main characters go through the tests as official university students because this time, the students have to go through the tests while trying to attend every class in their respective fields. They may be already admitted as university students but that does not mean they are safe from severe and life changing punishment of failing a tes ...more
Jeff Raymond
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-ya-sci-fi
A friend was kind enough to send me her advance copy of this book, the sequel to my new favorite dystopian series (and perhaps book of 2013), The Testing. There's been a pattern with a lot of the dystopian series titles to fall off in quality significantly in the second book in the series (looking at you specifically, Divergent). Not so with Independent Study.

Taking place not long after The Testing, where Cia is now in the University, taking classes, and otherwise trying to keep her head down wh
Rachel Maniacup
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Rachel by: Sarah
This is indeed a great continuation of the first book! It may not be as action packed as the first one,and a bit slower,but there were heart-pounding moments(especially on the Testing games they went through once again).

In this book,Cia and Tomas,along with their fellow freshmen Colony students/candidates were about to meet the students of Tosu when they were sent to University in Tosu City.
In this new environment,Cia gained new friends and perhaps,some enemies that she's struggling to decide w
Oct 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Not much better than the first one, this book is pretty much what I expected.
This series is almost like dystopia brain candy. It's just fun and entertaining, but not much substance. The main character, Cia, is just too perfect, but not in a good way! She never does anything wrong and doesn't have any flaws, this gets kinda annoying, it's unrealistic, and I can't connect to her. She is an ok character to read about, and it's interesting how she figures out all of the tests, but there's not much m
Ellie M
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recieved an ARC from The Book Twirps giveaway :)

I had the same problem with the second book as I had with the first-
Cia is the bestest most brightest person in the world.

She is surrounded by the most brightest students in the country.
And yet she is FAR superior. If the brightest were ranked a 10 out of 10. She's be a 100. If you're going to writes a book about everyone being smart, you have to make everyone actually smart.
The only time other student's show that they're smart is if they
I'm giving this three stars because overall, it was a perfectly "fine" second book. It wasn't super terrible like Crossed (my go-to example for disappointing second books), but then again it didn't really wow me.

Since almost everyone had their memories wiped at the end of the first book, the author pretty much just uses the same recipe all over again in this one -- some dangerous tests, a whole lot of untrustworthy people and a heroine that can do no wrong (like literally, she's unrealistically
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Joelle Charbonneau has written another enticing read that is filled to the brim with exictement and action and stabbed me in the gut, time and time again. With everything a good dystopian should be, Joelle Charbonneau has continued to raise the stakes and expand this brilliant world.

The questions this book raises are so thought-provoking and powerful, and I love the ease at which they are incorporated into the plot. The stakes are raised in Independent Study to a new high, and I was completely e
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good second book. Our heroine Cia continues to dazzle all with her smarts and her intuition, which saves her and her teammates time and again. Having passed the Testing (Book One), Cia and Will (who tried to kill her in book one) are assigned to the Government specialty department. Cia is selected to lead a team, after solving her first challenge there. Surprisingly, she chooses some local Tosu City ahead of some classmates from her territory. Cia is not trusted, and is saddled with the heavie ...more
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's just as great as the first book. The challenges required more intellectual prowess than physical which I enjoyed even more. It's plot is fast-paced and the writing is engaging. I can't wait to read the third book. ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Because sometimes the best leaders are the ones who have no interest in leading. Those are often the ones who are most interested in doing what is right, not what is popular.”

“A cage that cannot be seen is no less there than if the walls were made of steel.”

“History shows that it takes only a spark to start a fire that cannot be easily checked.”

“The best leaders make mistakes and then learn from them. The best leaders never make the same mistakes again. The only way you can learn is if you und
Callie *Fights Censorship*
2 1/2 Stars

I have mixed emotions about this one. I'd say that the first third of the book was great and then there was a noticeable decline until we got toward the end a.k.a. the set up for the next book. Yes, this book felt like mostly filler, wrapping up the previous book and setting up the next one. I guess it's difficult to make going to class and doing your homework interesting, especially when you start the book with an exciting and interesting dangerous game full of explosions and snakes!
Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau is the second book of The Testing trilogy. The book leaves off a few months after the events in book one. Cia is now a student at the university in Tosu City. Everything is suppose to be fine now that Cia is at the university, but Cia still has vague memories about her time in the Testing causing her to question the motives of her friends and the Commonwealth's leaders. I absolutely loved The Testing and was very excited to start this book.

Independent Stud
Kelly Brigid ♡
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not quite as good as the Testing, but still really entertaining.
Patricia Crowther
DNF'd at page 118 because it's very meh! And life's too short. ...more
Serena (The Book Comedian)
I feared when I read some of the low rating reviews on this book, but now that I have finished it, I conclude that it's not bad.

The first book was filled with so much adrenaline pumping moments that I think it's pretty hard for a second book to exceed that. I can tell the author tried to add action packed elements to this one and I would say I wish there was more, but really, the plot just wouldn't work if there was any more action.

One con I'd mention would be the amount of suspicion that goes o
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤
I feel like I am looking for myself. Staring into the rocky void is like peering into a reflector of my emotions.

Wow. And once again Joelle Charbonneau has managed to creep me out and keep me on the edge of my seat. I think it goes without saying that terror comes in many forms. But Joelle has mastered the less apparent and infrequently used disquieting terror. It's really hard to get under my skin when it comes to telling a story where we are supposed to be scared becaus
Mike (the Paladin)
Well, again I wish i could give a 3.5 rather than a 4. We pick up here where we left off in the first book.

(view spoiler)

The book is still pretty fast moving and the characters (view spoiler) are pretty much themselves. Also the plotting works pretty well with some twists (you m
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian
4.5 Quick read, can't wait to see how it ends. ...more
Initial Thoughts: The first book was OK and I was curious as to how the events would unforld. Now, I'm on the fence about this series. It's kind of like a Hunger Games meets Junior Survivor with the end game - a university education. These poor kids are thrown an impossible bunch of tests to see if they are suitable to continue their studies. Failure is not an option as it leads to Redirection (most likely death). Not sure that I could buy into this any more. What kind of society would take its ...more
Jillian Heise
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
First Thoughts: Just as addictive, heart-pounding, and smartly twisty as the first book.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoy reading this series through the intelligent eyes of Cia, and the scary version of a future world portrayed.
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This series is so much like The Hunger Games that I feel like I should be completely put off by it. Often times I am with dystopian novels like this. Very rarely do they bring anything new to the table, they try so hard to be like it but they never capture that same pull and compulsiveness and dread that series did. Perhaps because they just don't understand exactly what parts and how the story was formed and told that made it good.

This story does. It is so unapologetically like HG, and yet...I
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
WHOA things happened....
Kelly Roberson
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book just as much as the first! It still had some really exciting elements, but I also enjoyed that it dove deeper into what exactly is going on with the government! I think it was really interesting to see this book really bring into question doing what is right and what is necessary for the good of everyone, and I feel that will definitely play a huge part in the final book. It was a nice change as well that the romance wasn't a huge part of the story. I can't wait to continue on ...more
Sharon Mariampillai
This was a great read. The story is similar to the Hunger Games. However, it is still and enjoyable read. I did feel like the story dragged a bit in the middle of the book and it was not as exciting as The Testing. I did love the characters, maybe just as much as I did the first time. I just felt that the plot was not as engaging and interesting. The ending was my favourite part and it made up for the dragging. I hope that Graduation Day is better and I cannot wait to read the conclusion to this ...more
*Genre* YA Dystopian
*Rating* 3.0

*My Thoughts*

Independent Study is the bridge between The Testing, and Graduation Day. The second installment, in any trilogy, is usually the more challenging one to create and put forth to your readers, especially when the first one was so amazing. You see my lovely followers, The Testing was a heart stopping, action packed, thrill ride from the start to finish, whereas I am left grasping for words to express my true feelings about Independent Study.

Liz Barnsley
Really enjoyed this second novel in "The Testing " series - the first one had a very Hunger Games feel to it, in Independent Study the action moves from one kind of test to another - the university hopefuls may have passed the first hurdle but it has come at a huge cost that they cannot even remember. And if any of them thought passing The Testing meant safety and security then they are in for a bit of a rude awakening.

Once again we follow Cia - she cannot remember her testing but she knows more
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dystopian
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I am a storyteller at heart. I have performed in a variety of operas, musical theatre and children's theatre productions across the Chicagoland area.

While I'm happy to perform for an audience, I am equally delighted to teach private voice lessons and use my experience from the stage to create compelling characters on the page. I am the author of the Rebecca Robbins mystery series (Minotaur Books)

Other books in the series

The Testing (3 books)
  • The Testing (The Testing, #1)
  • Graduation Day (The Testing, #3)

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