Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Review: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
By: Kimberly Derting
Published: November 15, 2011
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry
Description: 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.
My Thoughts: The Pledge was an interesting book that really made me think.The Pledge is an interesting Dystopian novel in that the dividing factor between the classes in society is Language. There are different languages based upon your class, and as such, if one hears a language their class does not speak, he/she is forced to look down in a sign of inferiority. The theory behind it is that if everyone doesn't speak the same language, there is no way for them to ban together and try to revolt. Unfortunately though, there is a common language, since everyone has to be able to understand something to interact in marketplaces, or if there is an announcement for everyone to understand. This common language though is all the resistance needs to get their foot in the door.
We follow Charlaina (Charlie) a 17 year old girl who has a secret she must die to protect. She has the power of speech. She can understand every single language, even if she has never heard it before. If anyone learns of this power. she will be killed. Her younger sister, although unable to speak at all, has the ability to heal with the touch of her hand. Their parents attempt to hide them from the view of the powerful queen, the only other person in society who has powers. Soon, we find that Charlie and her sister's powers stem from something buried deep inside them, and that secret is the one and only thing that can save the entire society.
I enjoyed reading this book. Charlie is realistic and like-able, as is her sister and though I wish she would have had a bit more backbone, the brutal society they live in explains her actions and she is quite strong considering the way she had to grow up. Max, the love interest, is quite interesting, though I didn't like the insta-love that seemed to flare between he and Charlie.
There wasn't much I didn't like about this book, though there were a few things I didn't quite understand or didn't quite make sense to me. I am definitely going to read the next book in the series, The Essence (I just picked it up from the library yesterday). This was an interesting series that I would recommend to lovers of dystopian Novels. I give it 3.5 stars.