2.5 out of 5 Robots!
Series: Pledge, #1
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
My Copy: Publisher (Galley Grab)
Buy the Book: Amazon
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.
The Pledge is Kimberly Derting's newest release- a dystopia novel with a splash of fantasy. I love dystopia and I love fantasy, so I'm sad to say that I wasn't enthralled with this novel. The writing is beautiful, and I'm having a hard time pinpointing exactly what I didn't like about it. I haven't read any of Derting's other work, but I think that her fans will love this book. It is definitely worth the read, but it took me a week to read because I just wasn't into it.
The characters are maybe the reason I am not smitten with The Pledge. I couldn't connect to any of them. I didn't even feel like I knew Charlaina, our main character- I was rooting for her- but honestly I didn't even care who she was falling in love with. I couldn't quite grasp her relationship with Max and had a hard time totally losing myself in the story. Sigh. If only the characters had some explanation for their thoughts/emotions? That may have helped me feel more attached to them.
There was a lot of hype built up around this book, maybe that is why I'm so disappointed in it. It is fairly predictable, a straight arrow- the author didn't seem to take any risks. I will say though that I loved that the class system is split up by different languages and that Charlaina's secret is that she can understand them all. That in itself is fascinating.
I honestly just couldn't get into this book, I do recommend it for those that love dystopian and for fans of Kimberly Derting. It could work for you even though it didn't do anything for me. I'd still say give it a try if the premise sounds interesting to you. :)