Saturday, May 2, 2015

"The Pledge (The Pledge, #1)" by Kimberly Derting

The Pledge (The Pledge, #1)"The Pledge (The Pledge, #1)" by Kimberly Derting
Published: October 1, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 323
Format: Hardcover
Source: MeL Cat
Read April 3 to 7, 2015
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 love languages. In the seventh grade, I started learning French. I continued taking classes until I graduated high school. So even though I studied French for six years, I did not become fluent. My instructor didn't really teach us how to become fluent, just vocabulary lists. I hope to one say start studying the language again. However, I also want to learn other languages. Ones that I would love to learn would be Norwegian, Russian, Japanese, and Arabic.
I promise that rambling of my love for languages actually connects to this. In a way. Pretty much the only reason I read this book was because it's set in a society where languages set people apart. And this is on purpose. If you know one language, you're in the upper class. If you know this language, you're middle class. And if you know this language, you're in the lowest class. You are not allowed to know the languages that aren't associated with your class. And if you don't follow the rules, you can be killed.
It just made me think about languages in the real world. There are so many languages in the world. Yet we will only learn a second language, maybe a third, but we generally tend to focus on our native tongue. Unlike in the book, we choose to separate ourselves from others by not learning those languages. We keep those barriers between us. Because of this, languages die out. It's so sad to think that we lose something as important as language because we don't learn it. We have the opportunity to better our minds and learn about other places and people.
I think that was enough of a rant now!
Charlie needs to hide her ability of understanding all languages. However, when she hears a language she's never heard before, one spoken only by the royals, she knows she'll be in trouble. With the help of Max, a prince, and Xander, leader of the rebels, she learns about who she is and what she's meant to be.
I would have given this book 5 stars if it didn't go so fast. I know that it's over 300 pages, but the ending is very rushed. The whole book essentially leads up to one very important moment, and that moment is very short. It seemed almost too easy, and I hate it when super important fights are that way. If that's what the entire book is preparing for, make it long and dramatic!
I also liked how the romance wasn't the main focus. I felt like the book was more about Charlie's relationship with her family and trying to do what was best for them. However, the ending did kind of go quickly when it came to the romance. Charlie was all of a sudden in a relationship, when it didn't seem to be developed as much as I wanted it to be.
I'll be honest, she wasn't the most brave at times. But it was fine. She was always worried that someone would find out her secret, so it's understandable. And then she learns this super important secret, which I won't say, and she's not sure what to think of it. It will be interesting to see what she does in the sequel.
He was OK. He was very secretive, and even though I know he had to be, it was annoying. Just tell Charlie the truth so she can trust you!
I'm not sure what to think of him. I might have to wait to make a final decision about him.
That information about her connection to the resistance was very surprising. I didn't expect that at all. She annoyed me quite a bit. She just seemed very selfish.
Overall, it wasn't as good as I thought it would be, which was a little bit of a let down. However, it was still very interesting and a cool premise! I can't wait to see what happens after the really short, super important battle!


  1. Wow, the premise does sound really unique! I haven't actually heard of this series before but thank you for putting it under my radar. I just added it to my TBR :) Lovely review overall. <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

    1. Thank you so much! That's so nice of you! It' a really interesting idea for a book!