- Author: Kimberly Derting
- Series: The Pledge #1
- Published: November 15, 2011
- Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
- Reading Level: Ages 14 and up
- Pages: 336 pages
- Source: Bought
In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.
Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime
This book was so, so unique! I would never be able to come up with a plot like this, even in my wildest dreams. Kimberly Derting did such an amazing job at finding a unique way to tell a story without making it all too cliche and I applaud her for that! Too many times do we see people repeating cliches throughout novels because it's hard to come up with something entirely your own with so many novels floating around out there. The different language aspect of the novel was brilliant.
The plot was good. Romance wasn't an extreme component of he book since a lot of it was about Charlie trying to find herself and who she truly was, but isn't that every teenage girls mission in life? However, the bits of romance sprinkled throughout the novel warmed my heart and calmed the romance hungry girl within me. There were several twists that were completely unexpected and there were some that were predictable. Predictability isn't always a bad thing, though!
I feel as if another reason that this book was so great was because of Charlie. She was such a strong protagonist. She felt what she felt, but she was smart about how she went about things. When she first realized her intense attraction to Max, she didn't throw herself at him like some authors have their characters do. She's relatable and unique, but possibly too good of a friend. I wanted to scream whenever she forgave Brook for being rude to her because Brook was so boy crazy and attention starved! I liked Brook's character, too, but I wish she was developed more because at times she just seemed like a boy-hungry best friend that wouldn't mind ditching Charlie if she found a boy that was worth while. That's not exactly the definition of a best friend in my book, y'know? I think Aron was a much better friend then Brook and I'm bummed that he didn't have as huge of a role in the book.
Don't even get me started on Max! His chivalry and kindness were amazing and all I'm going to say is that I want a Max of my own. Please, please, bring me a clone over the holidays!
I'm trying my best here not to reveal anything, but I was so disappointed with how everything with Sabara panned out. At points in the book, it's like everything built up for this gigantic climax and while it got the job done, it didn't explode and make you sit back like, "wow, that was amazing!" It just sort of happened and you accepted it and continued reading and when the book was over you sat there thinking, "damn, I wish that went down so differently."
With that being said, that aspect of the book left me highly disappointed which is why I am giving this book 4 stars and not five. It's a quick read that you could get done easily within a day if you would like, but I'd recommend putting it off for a little while. I regret reading it so early and having to wait so long for its sequel. Agh!
Must read if you are looking for something different.
I don't know what it is about the cover on this book, but it caught my attention. It's unique and makes you step back and wonder why the girl is dressed the way she is. Face it, an eye catching cover is always what makes you pull it off the wall to begin with, right? If it were not for the cover, I probably would have never pulled this book off the shelves at my local Barnes and Nobles.