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Graduation Day (The Testing) Hardcover – June 17, 2014

263 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Testing Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Cia Vale, the girl who survived the Testing, vows to join the rebel alliance fighting against the United Commonwealth. But who will follow her? And who can be trusted?

From Booklist

New university student Cia overhears a plot that will not only strengthen the controversial testing that permits students entry to the university but also will result in the government’s overthrow. When she shares details with United Commonwealth President Collindar, she is tasked with killing 12 important government officials to stop the plot. But is it the right thing to do? Although this first-person narrative is burdened with repetitious introspection, it also builds to a satisfyingly tense climax before a final clever authorial twist subverts the story. Readers should start with The Testing (2013) and Independent Study (2014) to get the necessary backstory for this series ender. Grades 7-10. --Cindy Welch

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: The Testing (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1St Edition edition (June 17, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547959214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547959214
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joelle Charbonneau is a storyteller at heart. She has performed in a variety of operas, musical theatre and children's theatre productions across the Chicagoland area. In addition to her stage work, Joelle has also performed with several bands and worked as a solo performer.

While Joelle is happy to perform for an audience, she is equally delighted to teach private voice lessons and use her experience from the stage to create compelling characters in her books. She is the author of the NY Times and USA Today Best Selling THE TESTING TRILOGY (The Testing, Independent Study and Graduation Day) as well as the Rebecca Robbins (Minotaur Books), the Glee Club Paige Marshall (Berkley) mysteries. Her books have been nominated for the Agatha and Anthony Awards as well as listed on the YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and nominated for the YALSA Top Ten books for 2014.

To learn more, visit Joelle at her website:

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#100 in Books > Teens
#100 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J Hart VINE VOICE on May 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Testing Trilogy's third book brings some closure to Cia's adventures. The novel picks up right where book two left off and finds Cia trying to make heads or tails of who is friend and who is foe. When she's tasked by the President with a major project that will help end the Testing forever, she must decide who she can trust and whether or not she's willing to go through with it at all.

Graduation Day moves a little slower than the other two books, focusing in on just a few days worth of happenings. It's a touch repetitive as we read Cia going over her motives and trying to decide who to trust and what to do. Overall, though, it's a good end to this trilogy. Although, the author does leave it a bit open at the end ... maybe there will be more Testing books?
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Canadian eReader on July 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau is the third and final book in The Testing trilogy. It continues the story of Cia Vale, survivor of the brutal University entrance exam known as TheTesting, University student and rebel as she attempts to end The Testing. i have enjoyed both previous books and enjoyed reading the ending of the story.

What I liked

The protagonist. I really liked Cia as a YA protagonist. She has her head on her shoulders and gives great consideration to the consequences of her actions. She’s very much of the watch and wait mould. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t take action, but she doesn’t act without thinking. These character traits are what lead to her central position in the drama. The story would have played very differently with a Katniss Everdeen or a Tris Prior as the protagonist.

The themes. The theme of Testing is continued throughout the series. This is continued in Graduation Day when Cia must test the loyalty of those she wishes to have as allies, and she herself continues to be tested in more ways that one as she seeks to end the horrific University entrance exam. Trust is also a major theme in Graduation Day as Cia must decide whom to place her trust.

The pacing. The pacing kept moving along briskly and kept me turning the pages.

What I didn’t like

Mockingjay. Two leaders, one rebel, one elected, both telling two different stories. Teen heroine must work out which of them is telling the truth and the future of her society rests on her decision. Sound familiar? In my review of The Testing I commented that it had similar themes and plot points to The Hunger Games, and I’m seeing the same in the final book of the series.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Beverly L. Archer VINE VOICE on July 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series. It didn't bother me that some people said this series was just a remake of The Hunger Games. (I've been known to describe it as Hunger Games in an academic setting.) It's a good story no matter the similarities.

I was really looking forward to the last book in the trilogy. However, now that I've finished the book I'm sort of on the fence about it. On the one hand I did enjoy the book, but on the other hand it really didn't live up to the first two books in the series. It took me longer to read this time around. The story just didn't have the edge of your seat pacing as the first two books. Most of the action takes place in Cia's head, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It just makes the book more reflective than action paced.

The ending bothered me as well. Parts of the ending really weren't a surprise (no I'm not going to give a spoiler), but mostly I felt as though the author still had more to say. This confused me because I thought this was a trilogy. I hate when this happens. I read a book and even though I enjoyed the story, I end up feeling disappointed because somehow there should have just been more to it.
I'm not sorry I read the book. And I will continue to recommend the trilogy to readers who like dystopian novels, but I still have that nagging feeling that something is missing.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm VINE VOICE on June 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really loved the first book in this series, even with all the similarities to The Hunger Games. I found enough differences in it to really keep me engaged and wanting to know more. The second while not a complete let down wasn't as strong as the first and I was okay with this because sometimes this is just what happens with series. Well this third installment was just not up to par at all and I am so so sad. I expected this last book to be explosive and it fizzled out almost from the beginning.

Graduation Day wasn't action-packed or as fast-paced as the other books in this series. With everything that happened I expected one heck of a finale, but again it was just ho hum. Not to mention all the back and forth with the characters. I am all for a fun good guy turned bad guy twist but really this was a bit ridiculous. The author tried a little to hard to throw her readers off in my opinion.

I also lost my love for Cia. In the beginning of the series I really loved her. She was brilliant and always knew how to solve a problem. In this one though she just fell flat and everything I loved about her seemed to disappear. I lost her along the way unfortunately.
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