Then you will love the new trilogy The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau. I just received a NetGalley preview of Book 1 and give it 5* (would give more but my rating is only up to 5* :D)
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
BLURB: It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she'll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.
My Review: Some 'dystopian future' stories are really bad and make for a miserable read but this is not one of them. Even though the Earth has been devastated by 'The Seven Stages War' there is a hopeful feel to the story and the main character's ambitions to get to University and help the people of Earth improve their lives. Malencia is a powerful character within the pages and she dominates the book with her narration. That narration carries you through all the ups and downs of The Testing she goes through, and you feel like you are part of the stresses she endures.
I was sucked in by the story and didn't want to put it down for a minute. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel Independent Study.