What: The Pledge
When: November 15th
Where: McElderly Books (S&S)
How: For Review
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….
As you guys maybe know, I'm not exactly a huge fan of The Body Finder books (mostly because I LOVE the plot but in each book, one of the main characters just annoys the hell out of me) but this sounded awesome and dystopian and I really wanted to give it a try!
And again, I loved the storyline. Charlie's world is crazy, composed of a harsh caste system that all speak different languages and the punishment for defiance of these rules is always, you guessed it, death. Each class has a different language as well a universal language, and no one in a different class can understand the language of the caste you're in (confused? Example: Merchant Class can't understand when the Council Class is talking, unless they're speaking the universal language.) But Charlie has a crazy ability to understand every language, regardless of how old or high up in social status it is. And this is bad: considering if anyone finds out, she'll be killed. Kimberly really pushes through dystopian and adds an almost high-fantasy like element to it, which I totally appreciated.
The idea in itself is crazy and awesome, but as usual, the characters just fell flat for me. I never felt connected with any of the characters and I never felt like I was completely invested in their story, but just scratching the surface instead. Charlie and Max was a bit too much of instalove for my liking, considering he just automatically uses the cop-out answer for why the hell he's everywhere she is: "you intrigue me?" WTF? If someone tells me that, i'd think he was psycho, not that he was in any way romantically inclined! And then the rest of the romance just develops in the sense that he shows up at random times to tell her that he cares about her and tell her to watch herself!
Two characters that I did love, however, was Charlie's dad and her best friend Aron, because they were simultaneously rebellious but quiet and I wished they had gotten more face time! And ALSO: Charlie has a best guy friend who isn't in love with her! This is one of my pet peeves in literature, because it always ends up that the best guy friend has been in love with the heroine since they were in diapers. Seriously? Always? Aron was protective and like a big brother to her (like most guy friends are!) and that was it!
The ending ties up PERFECTLY, and I have no idea why there is going to be a sequel according to goodreads because there's like....nothing else to say. It's a great standalone ending so I am definitely confused.
Overall, a great plot with some lacking character development and instalove-y romance! But some people will definitely like it for Kimberly's writing and fast-paced story-telling!