The Test by Sylvain Neuvel
Britain, the not-too-distant future.
Idir is sitting the British Citizenship Test.
He wants his family to belong.
Twenty-five questions to determine their fate. Twenty-five chances to impress.
When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death.
How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?
I knew I was going to love this book, but wow! What Neuvel was able to accomplish in 112 pages is truly a testament to his writing, and reaffirms for me that he is one of my favourite authors. When I first saw how short it is, I thought, “Is this really worth buying?” and I am here to tell you that the answer is a resounding YES! This is a book that you will want on your shelves.
I am not going to say too much because I went in knowing next to nothing about it, and I think that is the best way to experience The Test. I will say that it is a dual narrative and I enjoyed both perspectives equally. My pulse was racing the entire time and so was my mind. Neuvel brings up a lot of moral and ethical issues throughout this story that will make you question how you would act in a similar situation.
The Test is a book that you can read in one sitting, but you will continue to think about it for days to come. It really is about the choices that we make and how they affect ourselves and those around us. It also explores racism, immigration, sexism, and technology is a way that I found enlightening and impactful.
If you have enjoyed Sylvain Neuvel in the past, I think you will appreciate this novel, and if you haven’t read any of his work, I think that The Test is a great place to start.