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.The Pledge was one of my most highly anticipated reads from 2011 and yet it's taken me this long to actually read it, I have no idea why. I'm glad that i did finally read this but for me it didn't quite meet the standards of Derting's earlier YA work (The Body Finder series). I did highly enjoy this book though and can't wait to read more in this series.
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.
I've heard some reviewers refer to this book as a pseudo-fairytale and I can so see where that comes from, but I really liked the blend of the fantasy with the dystopian and I really think that this book works. The world building could have been a little stronger but I did like the set-up, where languages define the class of a person and Charlaina could understand all languages, I look forward to seeing this world being developed more.
I did feel that the romance was a little too fast, I liked Max, he was a bit of an enigma and I loved where Derting took his character, it was a big twist but he and Charlaina start their romance a little too much and I expected a little more from Derting. I liked most of the characters but I really didn't like Brooke, she seemed like a total cow and was not a good friend at all.
Overall, a good start to the series. I look forward to reading more since I liked the set-up and the characters were mostly likable. I didn't like the romance as it moved too quick though I look forward to seeing more of the two.
Overall Rating: C+
Book released August 28th 2012 by HarperTeen
Book bough by myself
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