Title: The Pledge Pages: 323
Author: Kimberly Derting Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Published: Nov 15, 2011
Series: The Pledge #1 Purchase: 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.The Pledge's synopsis intrigued me from the moment I read it and the fact that Kimberly Derting was behind the story made my interest pique even more.
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.
Charlie was such a great character to me, she was so brave, yet cautious at the same time, always walking on egg shells to make sure her - and her sister's - secrets were safe. She was so protective of her sister, Angelina, and it brought a smile to my face.
I also admired the way Charlie was so passionate about language - she just wanted everyone to be able to communicate with each other and not have socioeconomic barriers. Her ability to decipher all languages, even ones she's never heard before was absolutely fascinating and I loved the way Derting handled writing these different languages - simply by italicizing dialogue in a different language than Englaise, the most common language in Charlie's world.
Max was amazing. I loved his character and how protective he was over Charlie. He was so sweet and downright sexy. Derting has once again proved she is a master of romance, even when there isn't very much in the story. The one thing I would have liked done a bit differently, is to have it not be so instantaneous, though it doesn't bother me as much as some people.
The plot was pretty straight forward for me, I guessed pretty much every twist, so it wasn't exactly surprising, though it was still very enjoyable. Derting has a simple way with words that is entirely effective and with The Pledge, it's no different.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Pledge and found it to be a solid entry into the dystopian genre. I would recommend The Pledge to fans of Kimberly Derting and fans of the dystopian genre.
Cover thoughts: I really like the darkness and the almost monochromatic color scheme to the cover. It reminds me of Charlie's Vendor class and how everyone wears more practical colors, such as gray and brown. I also love the font design.