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.
Kimberly is the author of the award-winning THE BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE, and THE TAKING trilogies. She is also the co-author of the popular "Loves Science" picture book series, featuring our favorite science-loving superstars Cece, Libby, and Vivi!
Her books have been translated into 15 languages, and both THE BODY FINDER and THE PLEDGE were YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selections.
These days, she spends entirely too much time ordering stuff off the Internet and binge-watching Netflix with her husband and kids.
Note: I'm the worst about checking my Goodreads email...I apologize if I never got back to you! If you need to reach me, try the "Ask me a question" option (below), or email me at kim(at)kimberlyderting(dot)com
In Kimberly Derting's The pledge, we embark on a fairy-tale like story set in a dystopian future where language dictates your class standing. I was first attracted to this book by it's intriguing premise and original setting. Unfortunately, I found myself unable to connect to the characters nor was I very invested in the story.
As a reader, I'm very character oriented. I feel the need to be able to relate to the characters. Feel their emotions, understand their decisions and connect with their personalities. I didn't feel any of this with Charlie, the protagonist in The Pledge. I felt very detached from her. She didn't have any distinct traits or strengths. I also never felt the connection between her and Max - the love interest. It was never clear why Max was so infatuated with her. She simply "intrigued him", whatever that means. The one part I did enjoy was Charlie's relationship with her sister. She was deeply devoted to saving her sister and making sure she was ok. I was also happy about the presence of the parents in the book.
Charlie has a big secret, she can understand all languages. In this world, if you even look at a person while they are speaking a language of a higher class, that is punishable by death. I did find this to be a bit harsh, but not necessarily unrealistic. If we take the present, there are already a lot of problematic prejudices caused by language, so I could see, in a dystopian future, that it could come to this. The part about the world building that I had a problem with was that I couldn't fathom how society would put a full worldwide matriarchy in place of a democracy. It wasn't very well explained, how it came about. World building is especially important in a dystopic setting, and The Pledge did not have me convinced.
I was never surprised by the events that occurred during the story. It was as expected and went in a fairly straight route. The pacing was pretty decent, but the action was mild and the excitement was short lived. I never felt especially alarmed during the book, neither did I feel intimidated by the Queen. It was over fairly quickly without much aftershock, and we barely got any details regarding the magic. Why was Angelina not speaking? What's the point of Charlie's abilities? She never really took advantage of them which was pretty disappointing. I guess a sequel may cover it, but It felt strongly like a stand-alone novel. I'm not sure if a sequel is planned, but I can't see where the plot would go from here.
Kimberly Derting's The Pledge has a lot going for it: it has an interesting and original concept, fascinating (albeit mostly lacking) world-building, great writing that allows the novel to flow easily and makes for a quick read, some interesting relationship dynamics, and an explosive ending making way for an interesting sequel. However, that being said, The Pledge also has a lot that is not going for it, most prominently the characterization, the predictability of the plot, and, last but certainly not least, the romance, each of which I guess you could say I deducted about a star or so for.
The characterization in The Pledge, much like the world-building, is lacking for the most part. We're never really given any depth into who the characters are and what they're like, and because of that, I never cared much for the characters and their struggles. Each character was just their own little cardboard cutout: there's Charlie, the protagonist, who is special and doesn't realize her beauty and power; there's Brooklynn, the sexually promiscuous, incredibly gorgeous, and rebellious best friend whom our protagonist lives her sexual - and really any other - life through; there's Angelina, the protagonist's cute, innocent, and loyal younger sister who doesn't speak (considering I just finished Delirium and it was fresh in my mind, that direct comparison was a bit too much to get over at first); and lastly, Max, the mysterious love interest to Charlie who has secrets and is broody and overall just a 'meh' (at best) character.
The predictability of The Pledge's plot wasn't as big as an issue for me as I expected it to be, because while I did have most of the story and plot twists sorted out by the very beginning (though there were one or two twists to surprise me), it wasn't as detractive of an element to my enjoyment in The Pledge as the characterization (or lack thereof), or the romance (which I will get to next) were. While the predictability of the central plot in The Pledge was not a huge issue for me as I still enjoyed the story, it was a bit frustrating at times and I would have liked the plot to have taken more surprising turns, so the least I could do was detract .5 stars from my final rating for that.
The romance in The Pledge is, without a doubt, the most detractive element to my enjoyment overall. The romance between Max and Charlie was as rapidly escalating as, unfortunately, most romances in YA as of late. Max is immediately 'intrigued by' (come on, I couldn't have been the only one who found it creepy when he said that) Charlie, and the same goes for Charlie towards Max. Soon after they say a few words to each other (a few, people. A few.), Charlie finds she can't take her mind off of Max, and even thinks:
He frightened me just as much as he intrigued me.
It seems that comments exactly like that, or at least similar to that, have been running rampant in young adult novels lately, and I really wish for it to stop. Whatever anyone may think, saying that the love interest frightens the protagonist as much as he intrigues her is not going to sell your romance, nor does saying that the protagonist could 'feel his [the love interest] presence as surely as she could feel her own' just after knowing the love interest for two days. It's not romantic, it's not cute, it's creepy and clingy and it needs to stop. The romance detracted one star from my final rating, and that's me being nice.
As a whole, I definitely enjoyed The Pledge, and look forward to seeing where the story could go in the second installment. Derting definitely has talent and it shows clearly in her writing style. I just wish that, in The Essence, the characters are provided with a bit more character development, and the romance takes a backseat, because if there were more character development and the romance were more fleshed out and steadily developed in The Pledge, it would have gotten at least four stars from me.
The Pledge is Kimberly Derting’s latest book. It’s a dystopia. Democracy has fallen. Nations are ruled by matrilineal queens. In Charlaina’s society citizens are divided and stratified by language. Englaise is the common language spoken by all classes. Each class has their own language as well, so for example the vendor class speaks Pashon. Charlaina, Charlie for short, can understand every language, even though it is against the law. One is not supposed to acknowledge or look up when another speaks a different language. Tension is rising within the state and outside resistance forces threaten to overwhelm the kingdom. Will Charlie’s secret come out?
This had so much potential. Kimberly Derting had the right idea, came up with some nice details to her dystopian society, she had everything she needed to make a great story. And then it all went downhill in this jumble of cliches and boring storytelling that came together in one snooze festival in which you're left as that one bored person wondering what the hell are you going to eat for dinner tonight since you haven't gone grocery shopping ever since Jesus died the second time.
So the story of The Pledge takes place in a war torn country in which each class is segregated by the language they speak; each class has its own language and the higher you are on the hierarchy of Ludania (some crazed, medieval-matriarchal society that is supposedly in a futuristic US), the more the people beneath you on it can't look you in the eye. Or else. Sabara, the Queen, rules the whole queendom (yes, Derting, we see what you did there) with cruelty, rigidity and, um... dark magic? Anyway, in the midst of all this mess lies this very dull girl with a very special gift - yep, another one of those. They should all start a club or something.
Now, don't get me wrong. I didn't buy this book because I wanted to read it for the shits and giggles. Neither did I buy it for it's uber gorgeous cover - although that was a contributing factor, I mean, come on, am I right? But my point is, I thought this here was going to be good. As the linguistic enthusiast that I sometimes am, I thought the concept of different classes speaking different languages and this one girl who understood them all was a really good idea.
And it would've been, had Derting totally not messed this one up. All the stereotypes, pretentious writing laced with bits of awkward out-of-place slang here and there and more cliches than any movie of Adam Sandler to ever be released is able to contain contribute to make The Pledge a terribly slow train wreck, happening in front of you right now and yet you can't seem to stop glaring at it disapprovingly while you wonder how was it that it went wrong.
Basically, what happens is the following:
Queen Sabara: Omfg I'm a total bitch, see how I'm a total bitch since I just sucked the soul out of a six year old? Do you?
Charlie: Oh noes, none of us can look up when the rich people are talking! Sometimes people get hanged because they do it! This place is awful!
Brook: Let's go to a club! I know this is practically a dictatorship and we're minors and we could both get killed for this but omfg let's go to a club!
Charlie: Ew... ok!
Max: Hey there hot stuff
Charlie: *electrical currents coursing through body* O. M. G.
Max: Yeah. I know. I'm hot and mysterious.
Meanwhile, Queen Sabara: This is tedious! Kill all the servants! I am mean!
Charlie: *thinks about Max. gets wet*
Max: *stalks* Hey. I'm not stalking you or anything. I'm just really hot and really mysterious.
Charlie: WAIT! YOU LIED TO ME! OMFG U SUCK!
Max: I'm really mysterious, though. And also really hot.
Queen: Kill all these bastards! I wish for it to be done and so it shall be; for I am the queen and I'm mean!
Charlie: *stands there*
Queen Sabara: *dies*
Charlie: I live in this huge castle; I abolished some terrible laws; I have a hot boyfriend! All of this sucks, though, because I get so many freaking nightmares!
And the worst is, I'm not even kidding. Oh, wait, it gets worse than that, forgive me: the sole reason why this book came to be is because Derting interviewed this woman who was a child during the holocaust. So yeah, all the historically inspired plot that you see in this book? Totes like the holocaust. You guys, it doesn't get any better than that.
Seriously. I gave this book two stars because sometimes it gave me slivers of hope. Sometimes. But hope doesn't make for good plot and great characters, so unfortunately The Pledge will forever be a huge disappointment to me, seeing as how I love the Body Finder series.
I think this was a great start to a promising series. I really enjoyed it!
Seventeen-year old Charlaina, Charlie, lives in the kingdom of Ludania ruled by cruel and ancient Queen Sabara. Her subjects are divided by classes, languages, and strict rules that govern them. A person can be put to death for small infractions, so all must be careful. The country is currently in turmoil because there is a war going on. There are revolutionaries that have risen up to change the oppressive conditions. Charlie can speak and understand all languages, and that is strictly forbidden. Charlie must never let on that she understands any but the languages of a daughter of a Vendor.
Charlie however, starts to attract the attention of a newcomer to her city, Max. She hears him speaking in a language that she's never heard before, and this fascinates her. Somehow, Charlie senses that Max knows she can understand his language. She wants to stay away from him because this frightens her. Max for his part, knows that Charlie has some secrets, but he has a few of his own. But the chemistry between the two is undeniable, and they can't seem to stay apart. I loved this quote:
He disarmed me by smiling. Then, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear, his voice rumbled low, caressing my heart. "I would have found a way for us to be together even if you'd been a servant's daughter, Charlie. You do intrigue me, but not for any reasons you suspect." He leaned in then and kissed me again, sweet and soft and tender, silencing my arguments and stealing my breath, making me wonder how one simple gesture could be so tragically lovely.
I know this book was labeled as a dystopian novel but I felt it had a fairy-tale quality to it with the evil queen, and the magic element. I enjoyed Charlies's relationship and devotion to her friends and family. My favorite was the shared affection and love between Charlie and her sister, Angelina. It really touched my heart. I also liked her best friend Aron and his loyalty. Brooklyn, I'm still on the fence about her. I liked that there was no love triangle in sight, those have really been grating on my nerves lately! I also loved that this didn't end on a cliffhanger (thank you Kimberly!). It did however, leave you with the threat of something sinister to come. I guess we'll find out in the next book.
I wasn't all that impressed with THE BODY FINDER, and I was pretty hesitant when THE PLEDGE showed up on my doorstep. I wasn't sure Kimberly Derting deserved another chance. If I didn't like her first novel, what were the odds I'd like the first book in a totally different genre? How big were the chances I'd find the experience of reading her third novel like I did her first and give up on her in general? Thankfully, that wasn't the case. I'm glad I did end up giving it a chance, because it wasn't anything like THE BODY FINDER -- frankly, it was better, more creative, and more engrossing.
In the beginning of the book, I wasn't too sure I was going to like it. The pacing was like the love child of a turtle and a snail, and I wasn't really "feeling" any of the characters-- I didn't get a good grip on them, didn't feel sympathy for them during crises, and didn't care if they got hurt. As the novel progressed, however, they were displayed a little more in-depth, and I grew to love a few of them (especially Angelina).
The pacing at the end is breakneck. I found myself really engrossed in the story, and I was sad when it ends. I'm really glad Derting didn't stretch the story out and make it a series, because it ended perfectly and frankly it wouldn't have worked as a series. Everything is resolved, wrapped up in a nice little package with a pretty little bow.
If you didn't like THE BODY FINDER, fear not, because THE PLEDGE definitely steps it up a level. You won't be disappointed!
First off, tell me the this cover is not gorgeous!! I love it :)
Second, I need to tell you how cool I think this story idea is! The plot revolves around this world (in the future) where humans have been forced to speak only one language - the language of their class. The servants speak one language, while the vendors speak another, and royalty another, and so on. The point being, that if you can't speak another language, you are stuck in your class forever, and more importantly, humans will never be able to unite together to band against the Queen. The rules in this society are beyond strict: you must carry your passport at all times, pledge allegiance to the Queen every morning, and if someone speaks to you in another language, you'd better not understand them, or even look at them while they're talking - or else immediate death.
Have I grabbed you yet?
Now, here's our main character, Charlie (short for Charlaina) and her biggest problem: she can hear and understand all languages. Only she, her sister, and her parents know the truth about what she can do, and if she wants to survive, she needs to keep it that way. But of course, in comes our male protagonist, Max, who speaks a language that Charlie's never even heard before. Who is he? And why does he seem to have an interest in her?
It's after their second or third meeting in the book, that Max writes Charlie a letter. Just one letter with one sentence, and when you read it, you will be just as in love with him as I am. The note actually gave me chills! I'm just weird like that, though, lol.
The Pledge is unique, exciting and so ridiculously good that I finished it in only a few hours. It comes out this fall and I will be dying to know what you think, so make sure you come back and LET ME KNOW!!!!
The more YA books I see being released amidst the continuing dystopia trend (a fad that seems to have a lot more mileage than I originally anticipated, although the sales figures are a more mixed bag), the more I find myself questioning what makes a book dystopian. With “The Body Finder” author Kimberly Derting's latest, the first in a planned trilogy, I hesitate to call it, for lack of a better term, pure dystopian since it mixes more fantastical elements into the story. This discussion aside, what elements that the book uses that are clearly in a dystopian vein are unsuccessful.
The setting, the country of Ludania, is frequently described in terms of its oppressiveness and constant threat of danger but neither of these things were shown on the page. For a supposedly highly guarded society, there was a lot of freedom allotted to its residents. There seemed to be no real adult supervision of the secret club visiting teenagers, except for a few guards now and then, but when one of the characters is described as using heavily guarded security check-points as an opportunity to practice her flirting techniques, it sort of detracts from the sense of fear and urgency. This is an issue I've had with a few dystopian YA novels in recent times. We're frequently told of the dangers and need for constant vigilance but what we are presented with is a series of plot convenient instances and loopholes that detract from the atmosphere needed to create a truly tense story. A strong sense of urgency and fear is a must for dystopian set stories, in my opinion. On top of all this, Derting includes a more fantasy oriented element that is the driving force behind the central premise of the story. Charlie can understand every language, a dangerous skill in a world where social groups are broken up by which language they speak. As a student of semi-dead languages, this premise was a potential gold-mine for me, and I think there is a genuinely interesting world to be built from the idea of using language as a device of socio-political matters. Unfortunately, this book isn't it. The strong idea is never fully built upon, a matter made all the more frustrating thanks to the complete lack of detail given when it is used. The book was a step away from saying “It's magic, we don't have to explain it”, which is never a good answer.
The characters are as shallow as the plot, in particular the heroine Charlie and the first designated love interest Max (there are at least 3 men in the story who I thought could be potential love interests because they are constantly described by way of their handsome looks and enticing aura by Charlie. She may have claimed that her friend Brooklynn was the boy crazy one but she seemed just as single-minded). Neither rises beyond the stock YA romance traits, with Charlie's passiveness being extremely grating but not as much as Max's frequently rude, condescending and smug behaviour being written off as okay because he's so enamoured with a girl he's known for barely a few weeks – the book has a very short time-line – and makes her so weak at the knees I'm surprised she could perform basic human functions. It's yet another YA where the breeding pair fall into the typical gender roles. Maybe it's because I'm jaded and I've been reviewing these sorts of books for what feels like an era, but when the romantic hero, who has only personally known the heroine for a couple of weeks (there are references that he's had his 'protective' eye on her for longer), and he says “All I want is to keep you safe... it's all I've ever wanted”, alarm bells go off in my head. His case isn't helped by his frequent grabbing of Charlie as if he's allowed to do this because we all know they're going to end up together.
“The Pledge” is a slow, mediocre book that shows a glimmer of promise for the rest of the series in the final few pages, but it's not enough for me to feign further interest. To see such potential wasted is a disappointment, made all the worse by the continuing trend for the sort of romances that make me want to pull my hair out. While the prose itself is serviceable, the constant switching of narratives from Charlie's 1st person to several characters's 3rd person points-of-view felt unnecessary given the lack of distinguishing features given to them. My biggest issue with the book is that it's so shallow. Nothing is given the depth required to make the story fully engaging – the world building is slack, the characters are stock, the romance is tired and predictable and the much needed tension is nowhere to be seen.
Well, I read that really fast. I started The Pledge by Kimberly Derting late last night/early this morning and I just finished it. Before you ask, yes I do sleep. Quite well, actually.
The Pledge marks a departure for Derting into the world of Dystopic Fantasy. Having been a fan of her Body Finder series I was very eager to get a look at her newest work. I'm not disappointed, far from it. Derting has cemented a place on my auto buy list of authors.
The aging Queen of Ludania has no heir - no female heir anyway. She seeks a proper replacement for herself even though she is near dying. Throughout Ludania language is a mark of distinction and of separation of the classes. It serves to keep everyone in their place. In the Vendor district a girl named Charlaina (Charlie) has trouble keeping a dangerous ability from being known. She can hear and understand every known language; Serf, Upper class, Military, tactile... you name it. Charlie has difficulty hiding this, particularly when she meets a young man named Max. In Max Charlie hears a language she has never heard and understands it, and he knows she does. Will this charming man be her downfall?
Derting explodes onto the Dystopian field in high style. This book is gorgeous, vivid and imaginative. Derting uses her trademark style of narrative, switching back and forth between pro and antagonist as the story progresses. In this she makes a really smart choice though: not only does she switch narrators but she also plays with First and Third person for represent Charlie and Queen Sabara respectively. This adds a flair to the telling, and renders the two characters with very distinctive, different voices. I adore alternating narrators but some authors don't know how to pull it off. Derting does, and it makes for a superbly dynamic telling.
Beside that this story is gripping. I sat down with it today and could not put it down. This is a tremendous world that Derting has set up. As of yet I am not sure if it is the beginning of a series (everything is a trilogy now it seems) but the ending summed up everything nicely if it doesn't turn into anything. I very much appreciated this tale from Derting. I want more of all of her worlds, but especially so here.
I have been hesitant to read The Pledge because I have not read that many great reviews, but when I found it in audio, I just had to give it a try, and i am SO GLAD I did because this book was incredible! The light dystopian element, the historical themes, the revolutionary plots. Every single minute of listening to this audio kept me on the edge! I would stay a couple of minutes in the car after I parked because I just didn't want to leave this world. In the end I ended up getting the ebook and finishing it because of how impatient I was and how addicting and exciting The Pledge was.
The story is set in a world that is segregated by class, and where each class has its own language, however the protagonist, Charlie, has the gift of understanding and speaking every language; A lowly class girl understanding the sacred language of the higher classes? a transgression that would result in immediate death if found out. However Charlie is like any girl, working at her family's restaurant, going to school, and hanging out with her friends. However when she and one of her friends go to a club, she meets Max, an alluring and attractive man that speaks a language that is unheard of, of course she understands it. This is when the clues and subplots fall into place. Charlie finds herself implicated deep into the center of the dictatorial and deadly regime.
If you do not enjoy historical fiction, I would still recommend this book to you since the 'politics' in the book never truly make an appearance, yes there is a royal family and a tyrant queen, but the story centers around Charlie and only a chapter or two is dedicated to the queen. Kimberly Derting delivered a unique and amazing book with another amazing female protagonist and a tight plot and writing that would make you fall deep into this dystopian world.
Another book with a very interesting premise. Language being the boundary that separates one social class from another. I liked the idea and I loved the world building. The thing that spoiled the book for me is the extremely cliched writing. This book could have been so much better had the author chosen not to employ dialogue that reads like it came waltzing straight out of a sappy romance movie. I also saw a lot of Mary Sue-ish development from the main character and well...I like my heroines flawed. Would I recommend this? I didn't like it but you might so I'll say make up your mind. If you don't mind the writing, I dare say you'll enjoy it more than I did.
Warning: Big spoilers Disappointing! The idea of a society separated into castes by languages intrigued me, and I thought the heroine, Charlie, having the secret ability to understand all languages would make an interesting plot. However, the author didn't put her brilliant idea to use. It's only mentioned over and over, that Charlie shouldn't be able to understand this person or that person, but she does. Not once does she overhear something that adds to or enhances the plot. The caste system, the languages, Charlie's ability- were all just background for an average girl instantly falling in love (lust?) with a prince in disguise (saw it coming, but Charlie doesn't) then finding out she's a princess and has to defeat the evil queen. Sigh. She never uses her ability to find out anything of use, even in spite of falling in with a rebel army. At one point, Charlie's childhood friend finds out what she can do and says "Imagine the fun we could have had with that!" Seriously!!! That was like salt in the wound.
After thinking about it for a few days, I realized there was much more I didn't like about this book, or that stood out as undeveloped. It has some really high ratings, so I don't know if it's just not my thing or what. The ending once again, seems to set up an intriguing plot for a second book, but I was so frustrated with the way this one fizzled out, I won't be wasting my time.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
When I read Derting's The Body Finder, I was not impressed. After reading the start of her second series....I am still not impressed.
The marketing is all there. Gorgeous cover, creative dystopian premise, the promise of romance....All of this is very in right now. Unfortunately.
The weakest part of The Pledge was the world-building. As a dystopian, it was very weak. There is no reason for this world, no how, no why. Supposedly, it was set sometime in the future, as it alludes to current cities, but no world I know would end up like this. This world has magic powers, evil queens, lost princesses, and hidden princes. Sounds like a fantasy, right? Perhaps thats what it should have been: a fantasy. As a dystopian, there are too many logic gaps, which Derting doesn't even begin to explain. Where do the powers come from? What's their purpose? Why the matrilineal monarchy? It's possible she'll get around to it later, but I doubt that. I believe she's hoping we'll just close our eyes and go along with it.
What originally was an intriguing concept, the idea of languages being barriers, soon got mushed into typical YA tropes. The book was basically set up for a romance, one I didn't particularly enjoy. The main character, Charlie (love that name for girls, btw), is a level-headed enough girl in the beginning but quickly dissolves at the first sign of a hunk. It goes as far as there is bombs going off, and Charlie doesn't know if her parents are alive, but all she can focus on is being jealous of some innocent hand-holding. Really, now. And sure Max is good-looking, but he's borderline stalker, and he always tries to get the narrator to do things she doesn't want to do because he wants it for her. And his only excuse for this is he finds her "beautiful and intriguing." Charlie overall isn't particularly special, sure she's got powers, but she doesn't have much personality besides. Her most admirable trait is how much she cares for her sister. But I feel like whenever authors have a lack-luster character, they just make them caring or self-sacrificing, as if that's going to make up for a lack of personality. Derting's other characters were equally flat. They all had one, maybe two good traits, but they didn't feel like real people. Some characters were practically just names on the page.
The plot and writing was easy to slip into, and this book makes for a quick, absorbing read. The plot, while not entirely predictable from the get-go, had twists that smelled from a mile away. Still, it was satisfying to see my predictions come true. It makes me feel ahead of the game. Now that I look back on it, the book was fast-paced, but it wasn't particularly exciting and didn't have much action. The ending was also rather abrupt. As the pages drew closer to the end of the book, I was like "How is Derting going to finish this? We haven't even reached a climax yet..." Then it was over. And I was like "...that was it?" It just wrapped up rather quickly and safely, but there is more to come, this being a series and all.
And on a side note, I was immensely amused that the Queen, an elderly woman, had Darth Vader choking powers. I just wished she was more intimidating.
Bu tür kitaplar okumayı seviyorum. Baskıcı devlet ve özgürlük arayışındaki halk... Akıcı bir kitaptı fakat kısaydı, ikinci kitabın tadını çıkara çıkara okuruz umarım :)) Özellikle erkek karakterlerin kişiliği çok güzel oturtulmuş. Max, seni Charlaine'den ne kadar çok kıskandığımı bir bilsen!!!! :D Ve Charlaine'in kardeşi Angelana'ya karşı tavırları çok güzel ve özeldi ;) Umarım ikinci kitap da birinci kitap kadar iyi olur :)
Intriguing and suspenseful, The Pledge is a fantastic story woven behind a realistic fantasy/dystopia setting.
Charliana lives in a world that is divided by the language they speak and judged by status – the lower and higher class. If the lower class ever looks a member of the higher class in the eye while speaking their own language, the penalty for this is death. As Charliana and her family try to keep under the radar and work to the best of their ability to help her families restaurant stay afloat. But Charliana is hiding a secret. Somehow she can decipher any language or text from any other class, when she’s only supposed to know her own class’s language. If anyone finds out her secret, she knows she will be in danger. So when she meets the mysterious Max who talks in a language she’s never heard before, her secret is nearly revealed, but what Charliana doesn’t know is that there is something much bigger going on and she and her family are in more danger than ever.
Why ‘o’ why did I not read The Pledge sooner? I seem to be wishing this more and more lately while I’m trying to tackle some of my own books rather around my review books. I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf since it first released – I remember one of my friends gifting it to me and me being so excited to read it and here I am like 3 years later JUST reading it. If you haven’t already guessed, yes I loved it. It was amazing and that was totally unexpected because I’ve read both of the first books of Kimberly Derting’s other series and yeah they were okay, but nothing like The Pledge. Nothing! I guess this is third times the charm right?
As I mentioned before The Pledge is a very intriguing read. From the moment I started it I didn’t want to put it down. Charlie’s world is dark and brutal and I immediately felt sorry for her. She has this gift that she can’t share with anyone other than family and being able to hear every different language, she had to be careful every minute of the day in case she slipped up. There is a lot of mystery to the story and surrounding Charlie and her family. It was pretty easy to see why the Queen wanted Charlie but then trying to discover how Max fit in to the story and who some of the other characters were and their reasoning’s, weren’t so easy. The story is full of suspense and there are so many good qualities to the story that makes it a truly enjoyable read.
So in all, The Pledge is a totally awesome read and you must read it.
Vamos a ver, yo siempre llego tarde. En el caso literario a libros que salieron hace mucho tiempo y ya mucha gente no está hablando de ellos. Y este libro es uno de ellos, de los que nunca más volví a escuchar hablar. Supongo que tiene que ver con que la editorial dejó la saga abandonada en español y en inglés no tuvo tanto ruido (a mi parecer).
Bueno, podría empezar a quejarme desde el primer momento, pero tengo que decir un par de cosas antes de iniciar con la explicación del porqué de la nota.
a) Este libro tiene PROBLEMAS DE CORRECCIÓN. En la contraportada ponen "Charlaine" dos veces, pero cuando lees la solapa frontal dice "Charlaina".
b) Más problemas de corrección: el libro tiene errores en el texto. Los conté y aunque eran unos tres o cuatro en un libro tan corto me parece una burrada. Revisen por favor, que no es la primera vez que noto errores en sus ediciones queridos La Galera.
Este libro lo puedo resumir en un simple y explicativo meme:
I was curious about what type of world Charlie's would be. It started out really good too: with Queen Sabara transferrring her power. It's the same power that got me more curious. Charlie's world is a more different since that it's language that kept the people apart. I wanted to know more of Queen Sabara and her power; I wanted to know how their world worked. Sadly a good deal of THE PLEDGE deals with Charlie and Max' romance~ the same romance that developed too quickly. In fact a lot of this was predictable:
There 's Charlie, Brooklyn and Aron, besfriends. I was predicting jealousy and a not too good bestfriend. I got all that from Brooklyn. I even saw the makings of bestfriend loves you but you don't know it. Not that any of that bugged me (much) because with Max in the picture I was befuddled, by what? Their sudden love and his overprotectiveness!
There's potential in this one but given the characters, I didn't love it as much as I was hoping to. (I seriously struggled to recall the MC's name just as I was going to type this up!)
Well. To start off on an honest note, I have to admit that this book was a tad slow in the beginning. I persevered though and it totally paid off!! For me, The Pledge was a perfect mix of dystopian and medieval. The fact that it's set in a futuristic setting but also implements other elements, like having queens and not really using technology, really sucked me in. Being obsessed with Medieval times myself (don't ask me why cause I'm not even sure why) I loved the whole queen and no technology air. Good writing, great characters, and great plot.
Now. Having gotten the logical part of this review over with, let's move onto the fangirling part.
FREAKIN A I LOVE MAX.
Yes, I do sound a little crazy, but c'mon. All you have to do is read one page about him and you're already swooning! (Is it ok to still say swooning? I think Max deserves swooning)
Charlie and Max's romance was beautiful and I have found another great book boyfriend. Kimberly Derting really knows how to write the perfect man.
Ein sehr interessanter Ansatz (Mädchen spricht und versteht alle möglichen Sprachen), der sich leider bei mir persönlich nicht so ganz durchsetzen konnte. Das Buch war vor allem gegen Ende hin so vorhersehbar (bis auf einen Punkt, den ich bis jetzt immer noch nicht ganz einsortiert kriege, weil es einfach nicht zusammenpasst für mich), dass es selbst mich gestört hat, weil ich dadurch am Ende schon ein wenig gelangweilt war und immer wieder andere Dinge spannend fand, als dieses Buch endlich zu beenden. Dabei war das Buch am Anfang so vielversprechend, tolle Charaktere, nicht supertoll, aber doch gut erzählt... Insgesamt war das Buch keine komplette Zeitverschwendung (das will ich in keinster Weise sagen), aber ich habe absolut keine Motivation, mich mit den nächsten Bänden der Reihe zu befassen.
Charlaina "Charlie" Hart is seventeen and a member of the Vendor class, the class of merchants. Her parents have a restaurant, she attends a school for vendor children, and her friends are the children of other vendors. As a member of this class, she's only allowed to speak two languages: parshon, the language of her class, and Englaise, the universal language and language of the Serving class, the lowest class in Ludania. But Charlie has a unique and very secret gift: she can understand all languages, even pictorial ones. And no one other than her parents can ever, ever know because it would be an instant death sentence for her.
Then one night at an illegal club with her best friend, Brook, Charlie meets Max, a young, handsome man who speaks a language she's never heard before - but that doesn't stop her from understanding it. Terrified that he's realised she can understand him, Charlie is determined to keep him away and maintain her low profile. But when she stumbles upon the underground resistance movement, led by the enigmatic Xander, and learns the truth about Ludania's powerful Queen, Charlie must decide just what part she will play in the coming conflict.
I read this as a standalone novel, especially considering the epilogue gives it a sense of finality, but learned afterwards that it's the first of a trilogy (mostly at the publisher's urging). It would have been fine - not great, but fine - as a standalone, but as the first in a series it's definitely lacking. The motivator for continuing to read it would be a really fleshed-out world (I get the sense that the characters will change in the next book, but that may not be the case), and I didn't get one. The Pledge continues my on-going disappointment with YA fiction these days, especially the sci-fi/fantasy kind.
Though, to be honest, I'm starting to wonder just how much of it is because I'm an adult, with different expectations, and an imagination that works in different - and perhaps less effective - ways. I'm thinking of re-reading some of my favourite YA books from when I was a young adult, books that I know came alive in my head in vivid ways, and see how much that was the writing and how much simply my imagination being more fertile. If it's the latter, it won't grant a stay of execution to the many weak YA books being published today, but it might make me less harsh on the ones I mostly liked.
That said, where do I stand on The Pledge? It's a fast-paced book, maybe too fast, and some of the plotting seemed a bit convenient. I'm unsure where I stand on the characters - I liked Max, and every scene he was in made me feel, from Charlie's perspective (she narrates), like I wasn't alone, that he made a good team, and had my back. That's the vibe he gave off, not in a dull way - there's a good dose of sexy charisma mixed in there. But both Max and Xander remained rather unknown by the end of it. You get glimpses - like Xander's true feelings for Eden, and Max recounting how he and his brother used to explore for treasures from the past and secret passageways - but you never really get to know them because we only see them through Charlie's eyes and understanding, and she's a bit preoccupied.
Charlie was a pretty good heroine, if rather self-absorbed. She does have reason, but still. She has no real curiosity about her world, and misses some important - and rather glaring - questions. The one thing I did really love about her was her love for her sister, Angelina. Just four years old and with her own unique abilities, Angelina hasn't spoken a word yet - and her family fears she'll be taken away because of it, possibly even executed. Charlie's protectiveness of Angelina, and Angelina's utter and unspoiled sweetness, saved the book for me. A small, simple thing, but there you are.
Speaking of Charlie's world, let's discuss. It's a far far future, and their history only really extends to previous versions of their own society. That is to say, they don't know about us. The world is made up of Queendoms, small countries each ruled by a queen. Only a queen can rule, because only a queen is born with some kind of magic, and it's hereditary. In Ludania's history, a bloody uprising brought down the Queen and her family and installed something closer to our kind of democracy - but the country was immediately isolated, shut off from the countries who refused to deal with them without a queen, so it fell apart. The current Queen was brought in from another country to be Ludania's queen, and through her magic has remained ruler ever since. In order to quell any future uprisings, she established the class system, which has been in place for long enough that the people have lost the ability to learn new languages. The law is, that if you look at a person from a higher class while they speak their own class language, you will be executed.
I couldn't really believe that the ability to learn new languages would become obsolete - I don't think it works that way. They may not be able to look at someone higher up while they speak their own language, but that doesn't mean they aren't exposed to it. Language as a means of repression was an interesting concept, though, and I was saddened that the political, social and cultural aspects of it weren't more explored. As I said before, the world-building was a tad thin. Given the richness of the concept, so much more could have been revealed in the small details. As it is, I don't even know what the architecture was like, or what people ate; I have a basic understanding of what the vendor class wore, but nothing about the social structure of Ludania or how it interacts with the other countries. And I was completely confused by the two mentions of "Queen Eden", which is never explained.
I was thrown by how contemporary some of the characters - Charlie and Brook, especially - seemed. I get that they may be more relatable this way, but it wasn't all that realistic. They didn't feel foreign - they live in a world foreign to us in every way, but sounded like teenagers from our own modern urban societies. And considering the fantasy world setting, that jarred.
We haven't even got to the plot yet, and I'm already complaining about so much. As a fantasy (I'm not going to bother calling this a dystopia - it takes more than a rigid class system and a despotic ruler to make a dystopia), there's so so so much potential here, and the epilogue - which jumped ahead in time - made the story live on in my head. I still think it should have ended there, it's much more spooky that way and ends on more of an open question. Your imagination can take it the rest of the way. But for a fantasy it moved too fast and was too short (condensed, even).
While Charlie narrates in first-person, her chapters are interspersed with chapters from the third-person perspective of the Queen, Max and Xander. This could have given Max, for example, a chance to really help us understand and believe in his growing attraction to Charlie. But the most I got was a sense that he was attracted to the mystery of Charlie. I also have to say that I really, really didn't like the typeface: they used a sans serif (like Arial), and I found it hard to read. It's the font they use when they put emails into novels, you know the one? It constantly kept me at arms-reach of the story and made it hard to really sink into it.
All of that said, I didn't dislike the book, I was just disappointed by it. If it had been a longer novel, it could have gone into greater detail, and really fleshed out the world. The concept is quite scary, but that sense of everyday fear didn't carry over, and part of the problem was that the characters never really convinced me they were of this world. I hate to say it, because it sounds so pompous, but while I was reading it I kept thinking what I would have done to really make the world come alive.
I loved the cover and the discription of the cover. I was looking for some more books for my tbr list and this book kept popping in my mind.
The characters felt a bit flat. I didn't care for the MC, her friends or what she went trough. I had a hard time following the story and more than once i had to stop reading. Turn the page back and read again becouse it felt like I missed a part. Three pages being vague about what a letter to the MC said (who read it when we where in her head, and only I as the reader didnt know what it said) to have it finaly be revield and have the felling that the past pages were a waste to read.
I noticed I kept looking how far I was in the book, knowing if I didn't power trough I would stop reading.
The MC's "super power" if you can call it that was pretty much useless, her sister was way more interesting (power wise). The story felt like it drag along while dumping plot progression on my head with no explenation, forshadowing or logic. There was even a point where I joked to myself about something, that was compleetly impossible in my mind to have it happen... It felt like the writer used plot twist for the sake of shoking you, what yea sometimes it did, most of the time I felt like I missed something and after spending most of my time rereading I just skipped some stuff when I didn't understand.
The world felt weird and I could hardly imagene it beiing lived in. Things that where explained made no sence to me. And the epilogue trew me for such a loop it left a bad after taste in my mouth. It felt like a waste of 3,5 good hours I could have spent reading an other book.
Everything went so fast, I did not undersatand the story at all. And it was more of a chore to read than becouse I wanted to.
O god and the villan... She was just evil for the sake of beiing evil. And her chapters just took away the little bits of tension there could have been. O yea next chapter I will.... And this happend to the MC, dont forget to use the verry evil queen to tell the reader she now knows more about her, but ssst the mc doesnt know. And the chapters of the other karakters too. Just no. When I finaly was able to force myself to start looking trough the MC's eyes... We switchesd characters and got told what was happening behind her back, what someone thought of her, why they did what they did. i dont want to know you like her... Just show it! I dont need you to tell me oh no this unknown person needs to know more about her... I noticed okay. I dont mind some explenations here or there that I might have missed but this was just to much. From no information to I'm telling you what you just read to im telling you what will happen. It was infuriating.
Would not read again, will not be reading book 2 and will not reccomend.
Set in a post-apocalyptic society--in what I can only assume used to be the United States--17 year old Charlie has a secret. Unlike everyone else in her class, or in any other class, she understands other languages--a sin punishable by death if discovered. It's a secret so important, she hides it from everyone, including her two closest friends, only to be discovered by someone else who could be more dangerous that she'd like to admit.
I cannot say enough good things about this book. It's the first book by Kimberly Derting that I've read, and it won't be the last! I happened to come across this book by chance at the library, and picked it up by chance. Boy, am I glad I did. Kimberly trusts that her readers are smart enough to pick up the clues she leaves for them, without explaining everything she writes right away. Her way of describing the scenes she lays out is detailed enough that you can picture the world that Charlie is in, without overdoing it.
Time after time, the plot would twist just enough to catch you by surprise, but after remembering the clues she left for you, it's not entirely unbelievable. In fact, once discovering these truths, the book as a whole is even more enjoyable. I was a little disappointed by the conversation that seemed to happen throughout the book between Charlie and Max. ("What's going on?" "I don't know" "Yes you do") I feel as if she could have showed the readers what she was getting at there more than these blatantly obvious conversations. Other than that, I was pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns in the plot ,rather than expecting the ending as soon as I figured out the plot (I promise you, you'll be surprised at least once).
I would love to give it 5 stars, especially since this is my first book review, but I can't. The ending just seemed to quickly resolved. This is a complaint I have for most YA novels. There is a lot of buildup, figuring out the characters, setting the scene, etc. However, once everything is in a place, it feels like a race to the finish line, and "TA-DA!" The End.
Least Favorite Character: Charlie's Parents. Why? They weren't really in the story enough for me to form an attachment to them. I feel like the only interaction I had with them was through Charlie's memories, and once instance in the very beginning of the book. Other than that, they were pretty much non-existent until the very end. I don't think I would have disliked them as much if they weren't such a big part at the end, but they were a big part of Charlie's motivation, that I just couldn't go along with. There was also a memory of her father that was never explained. It was just one sentence, and not at all important to the story, but I remember it because she mentioned it in a way that made it seem like she would get back to why that memory was so important..
Favorite Character: Max. Why? Kimberly kept you guessing. Like most YA books, he's the hot guy who likes the girl no one has noticed before...but he has a reason. It's explained why he shows an interest in her, while keeping his own secrets hidden. There's tension between the characters as they both struggle to figure out the other, and keep their own secrets hidden. It was also a roller coaster ride for me as I tried to figure out his character...could he be trusted or not?
I held the letter, vividly picturing the six words written inside the folds. Six words that I already knew by heart. Six words that meant more to me than they should. I unfolded the top third of the paper, then the bottom, purposely keeping my eyes unfocused for just a moment. My heart stopped.
THE PLEDGE was one of the best dystopian books I have read this year. I didn't expect to fall madly in love with Max, the book. But I was unable to put the book down until I was flipping to the very last page of the book. The story of THE PLEDGE was quite an intriguing one, I can tell you that much.
In the world of THE PLEDGE people are to speak in one language, the language of their class. The royalty have one language they speak and the servants have one they speak and so on. There are some rules as well, You have to carry a passport at all times and if someone speaks another language keep your head down, because you are not suppose to understand them. If you do, you are sentenced to death.
I was too caught up in my own sullen mood. Angry, and more than a little frightened as well. The implications of someone knowing my secret were almost too much to even consider. No one, aside from my parents, had ever understood what I was capable of. No one had ever been allowed to know.
The heroine of this story is Charlie and she has a bit of a problem. She can understand all languages. The only people who know this is her family, but when a mysterious new guy pops into the picture he seems to show quite the interest in Charlie and she's not sure why. But it is obvious there is something about Charlie and that something I cannot spill to you because it is a total spoiler.
THE PLEDGE is beautifully written and I was impressed with the characters and plot. Charlie was a great female lead. She cares a great deal about her family and would do anything to protect them and this problem with understanding languages is giving her more problems than it's worth, but in the long run it seems that it is really worth it to have the power to understand all languages because she can make difference of this messed up world the queen has created.
“Is this a bad time? If you’d rather be alone, I’ll go.” “It’s—it’s okay,” “Good, because it was an empty offer. I had every intention of staying. I’m Max.”
It is no secret that I love the male lead, Max. I can't tell you anything about him because it will totally give something huge away. But I can tell you that he cares a great deal about Charlie and he would do anything, absolutely anything to keep her safe. Charlie is Max's precious treasure. And he makes me swoon like all the other swoon worthy Young Adult guys.
All the other side characters in THE PLEDGE were amazing. I can tell you that you were always left guessing are they the good guys or the bad guys and there are a couple of big surprises in store as well. I enjoyed THE PLEDGE so much I am going crazy awaiting the sequel and I hope it is as amazing as this book was.
I've never read The Body Finder and I don't have any intention to do it. When I realized that The Pledge was from the same author, that didn't discourage me to read it because the plot premise sounded interesting.
One thing needs to be clear: This is not dystopian and shouldn't be considered as such.
Do I see paranormal powers in a distant future? Eeeh, I don't think so. Division of people by the language they speak? Possibly. This is plain fantasy, period.
And also, monarchy in the distant future is not believable. Just like Kira said in her review of The Selection, 300 years ago, people were against monarchy. That's why the Declaration of Independence was written. Why would people want monarchy in the distant future? Can someone answer that to me?
The beginning(first 100 pages) starts very slow but once you continue reading the pace was quick and easy to follow.
The main character, Charlie, sounded promising . . . until she fell in love with Max. Seriously, stop the insta-love!! The romance was more or less well-made. It wasn't creepy and forced but it was very . . . average. Max does have certain . . . qualities . . . that makes me shudder(*cough* Stalking *cough*), though. And he fell in "love" with her at the same time. Derp.
Another problem I faced with this book was its predictability. Many things that were happening in this book, I was already seeing it coming. But it didn't bother me as much once I was done.
And the ending? Very rushed and predictable. And a little weird.
Despite this, I like the writing and the action, and I'm looking forward for the sequel.
Even though it doesn't need one in the first place.
I was seriously contemplating giving this one star. The Pledge had an interesting premise, but it utterly failed.
The sole reason I didn't give this one star was Xander and Brooklynn. They were definitely the most interesting characters (far more so than Max and Charlie) and if the story was written from one of their perspective, it would have been so much more fun to read.
I really didn't like Charlie. Something about her rubbed me the wrong way. But I hated Max a hundred times more than Charlie. Max was a condescending smug ASSHOLE. He follows Charlie. He lies to her. He acts strange and then pretend like he doesn't know what she's talking about when she calls him out on it. He's super protective of her, and he met her, like what, two days ago? Come on! Stop being a stalker, Max. But it's not like Charlie cares. She likes him and he's "intrigued" with her from the moment they meet. Can you say Insta-love? Yup.
This "dystopia" world that the author tried to create did not work. So, apparently Ludania at war and there's a lot of "restriction" and "rules" and stuff. Yet they're allowed to go to parties and clubs and stuff? And school? They're free to just wander around the whole city, basically. What? It doesn't make sense.
So I was unhappy about how The Pledge turned out. Then I read the author's note at the front of the book, and found out this was based on an interview with a woman who was a child during the Holocaust. WHAT THE FUCK?! How about instead of making a FAKE "dystopia" world (and a crappy one at that), you write a historical fiction that pays homage to the REAL VICTIMS!!! Huh? Is that too hard, Ms. Derting?!
I read this book like 8-10 years ago or something and I freaking adored it so much. It was like the BEST BOOK EVER. HOW WAS I SO WRONG!?
This book really annoyed me. Like the plot was super choppy and the characters were quite ridiculous. Especially Charlaina and Brooklynn. Brooklynn's defining quality was that she was "boy crazy". I'm not even kidding, it says exactly that. She was described this way so many freaking times that I wanted to hit something. Then, to make matters worse, Charlie looks down on Brooklynn for this and gets so high and mighty about it. Like being comfortable in your sexuality is a bad thing! (PSA ITS NOT). Their whole friendship continued to mystify me throughout this book, I do not understand it.
Then there was Max and Charlie. Wow I really loved them the first time and now not so much. Yeah they had some chemistry, but things moved way too fast for this book. It was not my cup of tea. Ugh. Lastly, this book was basically propaganda for this false country. There were pages I would read and think "Wow I literally read straight propaganda for the crown of Ludania" and Charlie was like "these freaking rebels need to stop it". Ugh I just can't with this.
Captivating. Moving. Engaging. This is a really good dystopian world. However, I was a bit surprised to know that it has fantasy in it. It reminds me somehow of Cinder by Marissa Meyer, they both have the same heroine, hero and villain qualities.
This book is hard to review without spilling some spoilers. Ugh. It has all a dystopian world can have - war, resistance, ruler, and danger. It's one dangerous world. But I love everything about it. I can't believe how I easily became attached with all the characters. Charlie, the girl with a secret she must protect because it will mean death to her. Max, it's too obvious, who he really he is. Oh my, I can't help but fall in love with. Especially when he said to her, "I pledge to keep you safe". It means so much. There are also other characters: Angelina, Charlie's sister, is one powerful little girl. I think I like her more than Charlie. Haha. Brooklyn, her bestfriend, I'm surprised with her secret. Xander also surprised me. I don't know, maybe my guessing skill is not that good to predict the whole book. LOL.
Anyway, I highly recommend this book to all who love dystopian stories. ;)