Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting


The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Series: Pledge #1
Published: November 15th, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
323 pages (paperback)
Genre: Young adult dystopian
Acquired this book: From the library
Warning: May contain spoilers
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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 was completely different from anything I’ve ever read before. Not only was it original, it also had a great cast of characters - both likeable and not-so-likeable - a swoony romance, and lots of action and intrigue.

Charlie and her friends are part of the vendor class in Ludania, which is ruled by a tyrannical queen. Each class has their own language, and people are only supposed to understand and speak the language of their class, as well as the universal language, but Charlie has always been able to understand every language, both spoken and written. She and her family know it’s a strange and possibly dangerous ability, so she’s not allowed to tell anyone.

I loved the idea of the class system in The Pledge. I thought it was really unique, and the different languages spoken really helped give the impression of division among the classes. People - especially those of lower classes - live in fear on a daily basis. The least little offense will get a person sent to the gallows for immediate execution. The last thing Charlie wants to do is draw attention to herself or her family.

This book had such great, dynamic characters. I really liked Charlie, and I adored her little sister Angelina, who was special in her own way. Charlie’s best friend Brooklynn rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning, but it was obvious she cared about Charlie and would do anything for her. Charlie's other best friend, Aron, was a total sweetheart, and the most loyal friend a person could ask for.

Then there was Max, the love interest. So many romances in dystopnians seem to be an afterthought - like they’re put there because the author thinks that’s what the readers want. Luckily that wasn’t the case with Max and Charlie. I really enjoyed their relationship, and how protective he was of her. I was intrigued by him, and while at first I wasn't quite sure if he should be trusted, I fell for him right along with Charlie.

The Pledge kept me interested from beginning to end. There was a nice mixture of action, romance, and suspense. The story held lots of twists and turns - some of which I saw coming, but others that left me shocked. It was wonderfully unique, well written, and compelling, and I can see this quickly becoming one of my favourite dystopian series. 


 
Have you read The Pledge? What did you think? If you haven't read it, is it on your TBR? Do you enjoy dystopian  books? How about trilogies?

3 comments:

  1. Sadly, The Pledge wasn't really my type of read at all. I do read a lot of trilogies and dystopians though. Glad you enjoyed it!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember reading the ARC for this book and really enjoying it, but for some lame reason I haven't read the second book. I should really do that. Glad you like it too, Marie!

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  3. I have this on my wishlist. It sounds so unique. I'm glad you liked it.

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~Marie

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