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The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
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The Pledge (edition 2011)

by Kimberly Derting

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4616022,528 (3.73)2
Member:kitkat859
Title:The Pledge
Authors:Kimberly Derting
Info:Margaret K. McElderry Books (2011), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:To read
Rating:***
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The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

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Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
When I first heard about this book, I thought it sounded interesting. I love reading about different social classes in books, especially when said books have nice covers. However, this wasn't enough to make me want to read this. It wasn't until I heard about Essence, the second book in the Pledge series, that I decided to check it out.

I guess you could say that I’m impressionable easy when I see a gorgeous covers.

The Good:

A world where Queens rule and social statuses are divided by the languages you speak is a fantastic idea for a story. And for the most part, I felt like Derting did a really great job execution this. That being said, if you’re expecting a lot of details surrounding the social classes, then stop expecting it...because it doesn't happen. The book is mostly about finding the next Queen. The present Queen wants to find the potential heir so she can bring the girl to her side, while the rebels want the potential heir to take over and bring hope to the people.

In terms of the characters, I think my favourite ones would be Brook, Angelina, and the Queen. Brook was smart, but also had some vulnerability to her and I think Derting only touched the surface of what this character could do to the story. I feel kind of the same way with Angelina, only because what we know about her powers. She seems a lot more powerful than Charlie. And smarter too. A lot smarter. So I liked her.

The Queen, however, was my standout favourite. I know, I know, it doesn’t make much sense considering the fact that she was a typical villain without much depth to her. But I liked her. She’s ruthless and petty and doesn’t care who knows it. The fact that she has a rule in place that you’ll be sent to the gallows if you look in the eye of someone of a higher rank while they are speaking their language is messed up. It was also enough for me to want to see more from her. You have to be pretty senile to push that kind of law. And by golly, senile is what she is. I loved it. The way the Queen maintains her power reminded me of the manhwa Witch Hunter, so I enjoyed that aspect of her as well.

The story, for the most part, is told in Charlie’s viewpoint, but sometimes we’ll get snippets here and there of what is happening with other characters like the Queen. I liked this, only because there were times when I’d start to get bored with Charlie and then bam, another character would start to talk about what’s happening with them. I do wish we got to have a chapter or two dedicated to Brook and Aron, but maybe they’ll be showcased more in the next book.

Another thing I liked was how the romance wasn’t as over done as I originally thought it would be. This is a YA novel in a dystopian world, so you know going into it that there will be romance with a hot guy. It’s expected. So I was afraid that the story might shift into lovey dovey territory instead of the main story about the Queen. Instead, the romance was enough to establish a connection between Max and Charlie, but not too much that it overpowered everything else. The fact that she still refused the Queen’s advancements, despite seeing what happened to Max spoke volumes. She loves the guy, but he wasn’t enough to make her listen to the Queen. I’ve read books where this would have been enough, so I was glad that this wasn’t the case here.

The Okay:

Sydney becoming an ally did make sense, but I wish there was more to this. She went from being a bully to being someone Charlie could trust. Like I said before, it does make sense considering her circumstance, but I kind of wanted to see more dialogue between the two girls.

The friendship of Charlie, Brook, and Aron wasn’t as fleshed out as I would have liked. Aron was pushed to the back-burner, even though it seemed like he was going to be the ‘I love my best friend’ type of character. He promises to always be there for Charlie, only he’s hardly in the book and you kind of forget about him. It’s kind of sad. Poor Aron. I really hope you don’t end up in a love triangle.

With Charlie and Brook, it kind of felt like there was a lot more brewing there and nothing happened with it. There was a scene when Charlie said that she felt sorry for Brook, because Max wasn’t paying attention. It kind of seemed like even though Charlie loves Brook like a sister, she does kind of look down on her. Brook was the hotter friend and one that gets all the attention from the guys, so you’d imagine that Charlie would feel some sort of complex over this, especially since Brook relishes in the attention while Charlie doesn’t. On the other hand, Brook seemed to have a lot of secrets of her own and was dealing with some other issues as well. I mentioned earlier that there is a vulnerability there that kind of goes over Charlie's head.

I dunno, it just felt like there could have been a lot more ‘drama’, for lack of a better word, when it came to their friendship.

The Bad

I liked a lot of things in the book. The writing is good, the romance doesn’t take over the story, and the characters, for the most part, are enjoyable. The only downside is everything is very predictable. As a reader, you’ll easily figure out who Charlie really is and why everyone wants her so badly. You’ll figure out who Max and Xander are and you’ll also realize why Brook does the stuff that she does.

It’s predictable. It’s also cliché in the sense that Charlie is the chosen one. Of course she is. And of course the hero, Max, only has eyes for her even though Brook is the better looking one. Of course. Of course. Of course.

Normally, this would bother me a lot. And I mean a lot. Yet, I didn’t really mind it here. I wanted to go for the ride and not care because I did enjoy the story. Plus, the ending made me want to read Essence, so I didn’t mind it too much. That being said, I have a feeling that Essence will be a lot better than the Pledge. This book seemed like a stepping stone for what’s to come.

Overall:

I’m glad I read this. Even though it was predictable and did feel like everything that happened was a stepping stone for what’s to come, the writing, the characters, the story was enough to keep me interested. I liked the book. It could be mixture of my desire to read Essence and my love of pretty covers, but even still I liked the book. Now I just have to wait a month to see what happens next.

Please no love triangle, please no love triangle, please no love triangle.

4 stars ( )
  pdbkwm | Sep 8, 2014 |
In a world where language divides people, everyone speaks a common language but there's a specific language for each caste and under pain of death you have to look away and not acknowledge their speech. Over all of this is a queen, who is aging and has no heir. In this world is Charlaina or Charlie who can understand all languages, including written ones (pause for a moment for how jealous I am of that skill).

She meets Max and her life changes forever, as does the life of the people in her world.

There were times that this didn't quite work for me but overall it was a very interesting read, I'm curious about what's going to happen next and what's going to happen to her sister and her family. The end left me wanting more. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jun 4, 2014 |
I have to say this book surprised me. Started out bland but ended up suspenseful. Another young adult romance but the female is the alpha, in my opinion, a wonderfully written book to spark the imagination. ( )
  ChachaCenteno | Feb 6, 2014 |
When I saw The Pledge by Kimberly Derting, I was immediately drawn to its cover and its description. As I took a peek inside, the Prologue provided a good hook for me to continue reading. However, beyond that, my interest waned a bit. While some parts were strong, I was hoping to read tight and gripping scenes from the beginning to the story's end, be introduced to situations and words that can be felt and mentally seen in a reader's mind. It can be a good choice for those who are looking for dystopian novels that are easy reads. (I read this for free on Pulseit, Simon & Schuster's site for teen books.)

---- NOTE: This review was taken from my blog post: "Book Reviews: 8 Books, Various Genres (Part 2)" at http://sittiecateslovestories.blogspot.com/2014/01/book-reviews-8-books-various-... ( )
  SittieCates | Jan 17, 2014 |
The Pledge is the first book in a new dystopian trilogy. The concept is interesting and fast paced enough that I read it in one sitting, and the story’s fantasy elements set it apart from other YA dystopian books. The imaginative story is entertaining and full of adventure, which made for a pleasant fast read even though some of the character insight and dystopian world building details were sometimes lacking. I did enjoy it as much as The Body Finder series though, and especially the royalty / fantasy parts of the story.

The series opener introduces a cool concept in which the citizens of Ludania are separated by a language barrier according to class. Learning another class’s language or even looking another class member in the eye in acknowledgement of their language is a crime punishable by death. The ruler, Evil Queen Sabara, uses some fancy magic that keeps her around forever to continue to torment the citizens of Ludania. The heroine Charlaina (Charlie) is born with the talent to understand all languages. Her parents have asked to keep her talent under wraps to keep her safe and to keep a watchful eye over her gifted younger sis Angelina. Her secret is exposed when she meets Max and he recognizes she can understand his unusual language. This starts a sequence of events that cause Charlie’s world to turn upside down.

There are multiple character POV’s in the book, with Max and another character Xander sharing the spotlight with Charlie. Several other side characters are introduced, including a couple other potential love interests for Charlie, which made it hard to buy into the Max and Charlie romance completely. The side characters are somewhat lost in the shuffle of the fast moving plot. With so much action in the book, I hoped for a breather that would allow more focus on the magical origins and Queen Sabara.

The series has a lot of potential, and I’ll be interested to see where it goes, though it seems a bit twisted considering the epilogue. I would recommend this book to fans of the author’s writing, and those looking for something different in the dystopian category. ( )
  readingdate | Jan 7, 2014 |
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Book description
In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom….
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In a dystopian kingdom where the classes are separated by the languages they speak, Charlaina "Charlie" Hart has a secret gift that is revealed when she meets a mysterious young man named Max.

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