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.
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
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
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!
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