Published by Margaret K. McElderry on November 15th 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.
Short and Sweet:
Haunting cover. Languages. Dystopian! The Pledge had all the elements to make this an amazing read. To a certain extent it definitely was, but I think that in my head I had this book going in a completely different direction. More rebellion against the system. So the introduction of the class system being headed by a Queen vs. a Senate or other type group was a real surprise for this book. But that was about it. I figured out the ending probably even before I hit the half way point.
The setting and the language premise make The Pledge stand out for the right reasons. High predictability of the story plot and characters that were a little hard to connect with almost ruined the book for me. But despite some of the draw backs, Derting has created a dystopian like none other. The Pledge is kinda a middle of the road book for me. Didn't fall head over hells for it. But I didn't hate it. With this being the first book in the series, I will admit that I did like it enough to at least try book two.