Welcome to this week’s Fiction Friday, today I am reviewing the YA dystopian ‘The Pledge’ by Kimberly Derting.
The synopsis from 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.
5 out of 5.
I love a good dystopian and ‘The Pledge’ was a stand out. As soon as I read the synopsis I knew I would love this book and wanted it desperately. It did not disappoint, it was everything I thought it would be and more. This is my first Kimberly Derting book and after reading The Pledge, I can’t wait to read more of her work.
Derting has created one of the most well explained, realistic possible futures that I have read in the dystopian genre. In a world where someone could be executed for something as simply as looking someone in a higher class in the eye when they are speaking their native tongue, people are guarded, especially 17 year old Charlie. She has a deadly secret, a secret she must not let anyone know: she can speak all languages.
When she meets Max, and he speaks a language she has never heard before, she is both frightened and intrigued. She tries to stay away from him, but he keeps appearing everywhere she is. Max is a mystery, he has secrets of his own and Charlie has no idea who he really is. The rebels opposed to the Queen and her regime are moving in on the city, and when Charlie gets swept up in the middle of everything, she’ll have to choose who to trust, and the biggest secret of all will be uncovered.
I loved Charlie, she was stubborn and level headed, and cared deeply for the ones she loves, doing what it takes to keep them safe. Her best friend Brooke, annoyed me at times, but I loved her other best fried, Aron. He was sweet and protective and chivalrous.
And of course I loved Angelina, Charlie’s little sister. She was so sweet, and her secret was super cool.
And then there is Max. Mysterious, gorgeous, persistant. He vows to do anything to keep Charlie safe. I loved the slow build up of their relationship, how Charlie didn’t fall head over heels and declare her love the instant they meet. She kept her head. But I loved the electricity between them and the few stolen, simmering moments they have together.
I was worried this was going to be a stand alone, the way this book wrapped up, but then there was a little twist at the very end that made me excited and intrigued, and after investigating online found out yes this is a trilogy and now I can’t wait to read book 2 ‘The Essence’, which was released earlier this year.
This book is a must read for all lovers of dystopian. It was a compulsive read, hooking me from the start. I highly recommend it.
You can add it to your Goodreads here.