Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review of The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

The Pledge (The Pledge, #1)This has been on my to read list for a while, and I'm glad I finally picked it up!

Goodreads Book Description:
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.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review:
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting is set in a post apocalyptic world with a little fantasy mixed in where the Queen rules all and language is a barrier that if broken is punishable by death. Charlaina is different-- she has a secret that can destroy her family. She can somehow understand all languages, so she has to hide this fact and pretend that she doesn't understand. To make matters worse (or better, depending on how you look at it), she has met a gorgeous, mysterious stranger named Max, who is definitely out of her league and could get her into a lot of trouble. Mix in a couple of best friends and intrigue, and you've got this book!

I really enjoyed all the twists that Derting swings our way-- I definitely didn't predict most of them, so I just let her take me for a ride. Charlie is a very likeable protagonist and even more, the one dimensional characters become very three dimensional in the end, even the most unlikely ones. The pacing was very good, and the plot very fast paced. I was hooked until the end.

There were a couple of issues I had with this book. My main problem was the fact that when people spoke in a different language, it was put in italics. I understand the reason for doing this, and it made it very clear when people were speaking in a different language, but to me, it felt like I was getting shouted at-- kind of like if she used all caps. Also, Derting did a pretty good job at jumping perspectives without it being too jolting, but it's still not my favorite way to read a story-- and I'm not sure how much it added since I feel like I got the whole story from Charlie's perspective anyway.

Overall, though, this book compelled me in a way that Derting's previous work did not, and the world is fascinating. I definitely will pick up the next one to see where the story goes from here.

What did you think of this book?

Tune in for my interview with Kimberly Derting in the next few months and a giveaway!

Current Giveaways
1. Interview and Giveaway of dystopian YA novel, There Comes A Prophet by David Litwack, US/Canada giveaway of paperback of his book
There Comes a Prophet giveaway

2. End of the World Blog Hop Giveaway, Interview and Giveaway with Elizabeth Richards, author of Black City, 12/13-12/22
Black City Giveaway

3. Interview with Jennifer Lane, author of Streamline, US giveaway of signed paperback + bookmark and International giveaway of e-copy, 12/16
Streamline Giveaway


  1. Great review, I've been debating about reading this one I've heard as much good as bad.
    I guess I will be checking it out soon :)
    Lil Berry @ Forget About TV, Grab a Book

  2. This has been on my TBR list for a long time. Can't wait to read it. Great Review!

  3. There are so many great dystopian novels out right now, but I love the fact that in this book the girl can understand all languages. That has to be tough. Great review =)

  4. I didn't really like the characters in this book but I loved the plot and following all the action. Excited for what might come in the second!