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The book starts with a group of young adults graduating, some with dreams and others with no plan. They go out to a party on someone else's money (maybe he offered it to them with a mysterious catch?) and the main character (female) buys a red dress with it. At some point in the evening she either falls asleep, blacks out, or is struck and rendered unconscious. When she wakes up, she's on a plateau in a dusty place. Somehow (audio message) she finds out she's a colonist on a deadly planet, and she's on her own for survival. Her red dress is replaced by rough clothing or animal skins, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't have any weapons or supplies... Maybe a day's worth? Later on, she nearly dies from some bad berries she tried to eat, and is almost killed by an alien beast. She meets up with other forced colonists later. I keep thinking that the story has to do with a test... She'll be rewarded in the end if she can survive?

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Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes?

The book is a hard science fiction dystopian novel set in 2154, a time when machines and robots perform most jobs. Because of this, very few people are employed, with many people living on a social welfare system for support. The unemployed people have nothing to look forward to, except various illicit drugs. Some have formed gangs, some are shown to be agitating for political reform (in chapter 5 there is a reference to leaflets printed up), and many are involved in organized crime of some form or another. The government, possibly the only government in existence at this point, is shown to have complete control over its citizens by restricting the unemployed to designated areas (DAs), and having similar control over the working-class.

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    Why do you feel that the answer matches the question? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 28 '13 at 15:18
  • Invitation to the Game is similar, but there are some key differences to the OP. – Xantec Mar 27 '14 at 17:04

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