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I have it on good authority that anytime somebody utters the words “young adult novel,” a Hollywood executive inexplicably begins to drool and absently grabs for his or her wallet, and that adding the word “unpublished” to the front of that phrase causes them to actually break into a sweat.
Paramount Pictures decided Joelle Charbonneau’s The Testing made the grade, and has acquired the rights to the novel, which was published this week. But even in its pre-release, The Testing earned accolades, as it was picked as one of USA Today’s Top 10 Young Adult Books for the Summer, as well as being named the #1 Indie Next 2013 Summer YA Pick. But more important than anything is that it is the first book in a trilogy, thus making it a more lucrative deal for Paramount.
Let’s see how many of you think this plot sounds vaguely familiar. It takes place in the future, as the United States is trying to rebuild after biological warfare and natural disasters ruined things. The titular testing involves the cream of the crop in high school graduates being put through a bunch of physical and mental tests to gauge who will be the most suitable to become leaders of future generations. (Since everyone knows people right out of high school are at their most mature and clear-minded.)
Our female main character is 16-year-old Malencia Vale, whose hometown supports her being chosen for The Testing. Her father was chosen in his youth, and he regales his nightmarish stories, which she uses as motivation when she heads of into the danger that awaits. Also: romance!
Just call it Ender's Divergent Hunger Game. Stay tuned to see who’ll adapt and star in this thing, and let us know how the book is if you’ve read it.