Book Review: Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

indeIn 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 government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.

Summary from


After somewhat enjoying The Testing I had a hopeful mindset towards this sequel, but I was seriously mislead. This book was so annoying. Every time I would get the chance   to pick this book up, my mind and body were telling me to avoid the annonce. If only I listened to that little voice in my head.


Cia: Her POV was atrocious to read from. Throughout the novel I’d gathered that she is “too smart” and that she constantly questioned things. She always seemed like a perfect character and that’s something I don’t like. All characters need to have flaws! I just didn’t understand her character especially when it came to the “LOVE” interest part. That part in the novel made it weird and also made me feel uncomfortable as a reader.

Writing Style

Even though this is book is classified as YA/Dystopian, this trilogy reads as if it’s a middle grade. There were a few things that annoyed me when the author went into detail. She kept talking about what had happened or if it had happened in The Testing, and how the Earth went to crap. Another big annoyance was how Cia ALWAYS asked questions aloud in the text. I couldn’t make my own thoughts or stir questions in my head if I wanted to. If I was reading and saw a question mark I would normally skip past a few questions and read onto the next paragraph.

Final Thoughts

My personal feelings would be to skip this book or series altogether. I rated this sequel a 2/5 stars. It was upsetting that I would pick up this book and regret picking it up every time. I don’t mind if a character has an annoying point in the book, but throughout the entire novel Cia’s annoyance grew on me. I felt like I was wasting my time while reading this installment, which was truly upsetting. I will not continue on and finish this trilogy.