Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: The Pledge #1
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Find it here: Amazon, 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.
Even though the book was really good, I felt the story was a bit lacking. I can tell you something was missing until the cows come home but I can’t really tell you what that something is. It’s a really weird feeling to not be able to identify a missing element. But since I can’t really tell you what is missing, I’m not going to spend any more time on it. I want to tell you what I liked about this book.
I like the languages and the way they separated people in their classes. To me, it had a very “landed gentry” feeling to it (I know, I’m a history geek). Within the town that Charlie lived in, there were the rich and then there were the not so rich who I like to call part-time serfs. But I liked, it worked. Now I wasn’t sure if these specific languages were something they learned to speak as children or if they were born with the ability to speak only certain languages. It is said in the book that, over time, people had lost the ability to lean new languages which is why language classified people. I loved that element of the book.
I liked the relationship dynamic between Charlie and her two best friends. Especially her relationship with Brooklyn. For most of the book, Brooklyn is this care-free, wild spirit, partier type of girl and Charlie is always trying to make sure that she doesn’t take it too far and do something that could get her killed. But then Brooklyn totally blew me out of the water!! She is one of the most dynamic characters of the book!
And of course I loved Max! He’s Charlie’s protector, secret keeper and encourager of her destiny. And he’s tall, dark and handsome! A winning combination! Even though I liked the Body Finder more than The Pledge, it still had me on the edge of my seat so I give it four stars!