The PledgeAuthor: Kimberly DertingPublish Date: November 2011Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry BooksIn 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…. (GoodReads)
I love foreign languages. Thereof a book based on languages was instantaneous a good idea. However, I had some doubts of how it would actually work. How do you create a new language for every class of people? I was amazed by the creative thinking in the creation of this book.
Charlie is a great protagonist. She’s not a perfect; can do anything character. She doesn’t want to do everything either. She’s also not a cardboard cutout. I can empathize with her struggle to hide being different. Everyone hides being strange or different at some point in their life. (Of course in reality it doesn’t cost your life if you’re different.) It was great to have a protagonist that really was every day and slightly boring. She wasn’t trying to save the world; she was just trying to get by.
The story is fluid. It moves from point A to point B without any unnecessary or complicated detours that have no relevance to the plot. I was so happy to read a book that didn’t have an erroneous amount of filler. The author knew what she wanted and she got us there without the un-necessaries.
I read the book in one sitting. I could not put it down. It was a highly entertaining story and I look forward to the next installment of the series. While it doesn’t take the cake for me, it is a perfect cup of tea. ^_^