The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Published November 13th 2011 by Margaret K. McElderrry
description 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.
My thoughts: I have been a fan of Kimberly Derting since The Body Finder and once again she has proven to me what a wonderful author she is.
Charlie is an extremely interesting protagonist and joy to read. I found her very likable and couldn't read fast enough to see what was she was going to do next. In fact I enjoyed the entire list of characters, even the bad guys.
Ludania is a dystopian world set in what my opinion is the future. I say future because I always think of dystopian's taking place at a time far beyond my own, but it very well could be a current day story. They have use of our modern day technology but nothing really futuristic. I guess that is the beauty of the story, we get enough details and imagery to get a full picture but it leaves room for our imagination to fill in the rest. I would love to hear what year and location you think the story takes place in. I have my own idea's but do not want to spoil anything.
My favorite part was....oh I can't really say but it was HUGE! I will tell you this, I never saw it coming. I don't get surprised very often so it was a delight. I wanted to send a tweet to Kimberly and tell her what an awesome job she did dropping that bomb shell on us. I have to be honest though, after the big reveal it slowed down for the next quarter of the book. It was all information that we needed but the beginning was so good I wanted the momentum to keep going. The book did redeem itself in the end and was awesome.
All in all, I recommend the read.