Title: The Pledge
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: Nov 2011
Classification: YA Novel
Challenge: Outdo Yourself
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I have read the first book in Derting’s other series, The Body Finder, and thought it was good, but I admit my favorite part of that novel was Jay. So I was really excited to try something that seemed a little different, and let me tell you that Derting really excelled with this story. It was so much more than what I was even expecting!
I honestly thought this one was going to be a normal dystopian book so when a world was introduced where a queen is in power and everything runs like in old times when royalty meant something, I couldn’t get anymore excited than I was when I found this out. I honestly love the time period in books where people fight over kingdoms and kings and queens are up in a huge castle ruling over their servants and of course I love to watch as the rebels rise up from the bottom. I mean a lot of history was founded on this fact, after all people came to live in America to escape the rule in England.
So the setting was perfect for me and I loved how everyone was distingished from what language they could speak and I loved that the country was in the middle of a war with itself. Of course I also loved all of the characters. The main lead is a girl named Charlie who just wants to continue living a normal life even though she can secretly understand everything that someone says in a language that is higher than her station. Then we have Max, sigh, oh trust me you will love Max and of course his counterpart is Xander, who is special in his own way. Even though it sounds like there is a love triangle there isn’t one, Xander is seeing his own girl and really just wants Charlie for one reason, and it isn’t as a love interest.
Oh and all the delicious secrets that each one of these characters have will leave you shocked at every turn. Some of the secrets are easy to figure out and some of them will literally shock you and leave your head spinning for a few minutes.
Overall, I could go on and on about this book but I think you get that I loved the story, characters, the plots and secrets, and of course the romance. I will always want more romance so I’m hoping to get some more of that in the next book. I really need the next book already even though The Pledge just released. This is certainly a book that you have to go out and buy and put everything else aside to read. It is right up there with my favorites for this year. So because I’m in love, this book has to have 5 hearts.