Author: Kimberly Derting
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 the 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 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 is real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills become real emergencies 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.
The Pledge is by Kimberly Derting- author of the popular Body Finder series. The Pledge was released last year on November 15, 2011. The first thing that really caught my attention with this book was it's cover. Now, I know everyone says you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I totally do! The cover is what draws me to actually pick up a book, so if it's not appealing.....I probably will never read it. Sad but true. Anyhoo the cover for The Pledge is simple, eerie, and a little mysterious. It immediately caught my attention when I was at the "If you liked the Hunger Games" table at Chapters last weekend. Initially when I was buying this book I didn't think I would end up falling in love with the story, but I sure did. I literally spent all of yesterday afternoon reading in my library with a cup of steaming coffee by my side.
Charlaina, or Charlie for short, lives in a town where different society classes speak different languages. So the only language each person is permitted to know is their native tongue and Englaise (If you can't figure that out- it means English....). It is against the law for someone of a lower class to look at a person of a higher class when they are speaking in their own language so this makes Charlie's life very difficult. She must constantly be alert since she is able to understand every single language- and no one must ever know.
There were lots of things about this book that I loved. For one, I really liked the setting of the story. The Monarch leadership kind of gave me the feel of The Hunger Games and Crossed- a place with strict regulations, set ways of behaviour, tight security and citizens with fear. I think it really added to the suspense of the story. Another thing I really enjoyed was the uniqueness of Charlie's gift. I've never read about a character who could understand many languages before, so It was refreshing to read about something personally, completely new.
The characters of the story were all pretty good but Charlie did stand out too me, I found her a strong female lead. She wasn't whiny and she has good judgement which made her very likable. Max was good character as well but he didn't make me "swoon" the way other male characters have. I've read many, many books, with 99.9% of them including a male character(s) that were part of a love stories, love triangles, love squares, you name it. Max didn't reach Jace or Patch standards but he was a good male character that had his own share of blushing moments. I'm looking forward to seeing more development of Max and Charlie's romantic relationship in the next books.
Without giving away anything- I loved the ending. The epilogue is very calm, making you almost believe everything has been solved in the story. But this isn't the case because Derting leaves us with a tiny cliffhanger that leaves you anxious and yearning to read the storm that will surly come ahead. I'm looking forward to the next book.
The one thing I wish we got more from this book was more additional history on Charlie's family and how they fit into the story. I kept waiting to read more about the other gifts Charlie's family had such as Angelina's (Charlie's sister). I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will be something to look forward too in the next book.
Overall I was quite pleased with this book. Although it had some minor issues I really like the actual plot Kimberly Derting has created. Kimberly is a great writer- something I've noticed not only in The Pledge, but also in The Body Finder. This book has received many mixed reviews but I really think that if you liked the feel of The Hunger Games then you should give this book a shot. (Know that I'm not comparing the plots, just the relation on the strict ways of life that are shown in both these books). The Pledge gets my bookworm rating of 3.5/5! Keep Reading!
Your YA Bookworm,