Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: The Pledge, #1
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: November 15, 2011
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 held the letter, vividly picturing the six words written inside the folds. Six words that I already knew by heart. Six words that meant more to me than they should. I unfolded the top third of the paper, then the bottom, purposely keeping my eyes unfocused for just a moment. My heart stopped.
THE PLEDGE was one of the best dystopian books I have read this year. I didn't expect to fall madly in love with Max, the book. But I was unable to put the book down until I was flipping to the very last page of the book. The story of THE PLEDGE was quite an intriguing one, I can tell you that much.
In the world of THE PLEDGE people are to speak in one language, the language of their class. The royalty have one language they speak and the servants have one they speak and so on. There are some rules as well, You have to carry a passport at all times and if someone speaks another language keep your head down, because you are not suppose to understand them. If you do, you are sentenced to death.
I was too caught up in my own sullen mood. Angry, and more than a little frightened as well. The implications of someone knowing my secret were almost too much to even consider. No one, aside from my parents, had ever understood what I was capable of. No one had ever been allowed to know.
The heroine of this story is Charlie and she has a bit of a problem. She can understand all languages. The only people who know this is her family, but when a mysterious new guy pops into the picture he seems to show quite the interest in Charlie and she's not sure why. But it is obvious there is something about Charlie and that something I cannot spill to you because it is a total spoiler.
THE PLEDGE is beautifully written and I was impressed with the characters and plot. Charlie was a great female lead. She cares a great deal about her family and would do anything to protect them and this problem with understanding languages is giving her more problems than it's worth, but in the long run it seems that it is really worth it to have the power to understand all languages because she can make difference of this messed up world the queen has created.
“Is this a bad time? If you’d rather be alone, I’ll go.”
“It’s—it’s okay,” “Good, because it was an empty offer. I had every intention of staying. I’m Max.”
It is no secret that I love the male lead, Max. I can't tell you anything about him because it will totally give something huge away. But I can tell you that he cares a great deal about Charlie and he would do anything, absolutely anything to keep her safe. Charlie is Max's precious treasure. And he makes me swoon like all the other swoon worthy Young Adult guys.
All the other side characters in THE PLEDGE were amazing. I can tell you that you were always left guessing are they the good guys or the bad guys and there are a couple of big surprises in store as well. I enjoyed THE PLEDGE so much I am going crazy awaiting the sequel and I hope it is as amazing as this book was.