October 29, 2011

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Release Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 320
Series: The Pledge
Review Source: Galleygrab

Synopsis: (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:
'The Pledge' is a fantasy dystopian novel which has an extremely interesting premise. To stratify a society by language is ingenious, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. As usual Kimberly Derting is a great writer, especially with showing multiple POVs, but I think everything that happened in this book was a little too much. What I mean is that the story itself was great, but it was almost too ambitious for one volume, or at least it could have been longer. Things happen at a breakneck pace, which is exciting, but it leaves little room for the smaller details that make you fall in love with characters. As a result I didn’t feel like I knew Charlie, the main character, that well. Nor do we get to understand the love interest, Max, or his motivations for protecting Charlie.

Normally I can devour a book within 1 - 2 days, but I kept putting this one off. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it overall, but it just didn’t draw me in enough to bother finding out what happened. I actually picked up another book and read it in between finishing ‘The Pledge’, which I pretty much never do. I adore Kimberly Derting’s ‘Body Finder’ books, but I think that they’re much stronger because of the connections the reader gets with the characters. ‘The Pledge’ has so much promise, but it failed to captivate me the way Derting’s writing usually does. In the end I definitely think this one is worth reading, and I’m sure others will love it much more than I did. I just wish the characters were more developed and that smaller details could have come through and made the story come alive for me.

The Cover:
Not really feeling it, but I bet it's nicer in person.


Find The Pledge by Kimberly Derting on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.


  1. Awwww.... *sad face* It's hard to like a book that seems to try to accomplish too much and forsakes developing the characters more. I'm still very excited to read The Pledge, but I'll definitely keep what you said in your review in mind as well. Thanks, Ashley! :)

  2. I'm a little bit nervous about reading this because I love The Body Finder series (I consider those to be my among favorite books) and I'm afraid I'll be let down by a new story with different characters. Like you, the reason I love The Body Finder series so much is because I connect with the characters (and love Jay, especially!). Nevertheless, I'm still definitely going to read it and am eagerly waiting for my pre-order to arrive next month!

  3. Nice, honest review. I look forward to reading this one, even though I might have a tough time getting into it.

  4. I have this one waiting for me to read it. I've tried not to get too excited about it because I don't want to hold high hopes for it and the not like it. I haven't read TBF series though.

  5. How interesting. Usually the problem with books (YA first-in-a-series especially) is that not enough happens. We totally understand having to put down a dense, overwhelming story, though.

    Thanks for writing such a thoughtful review! We love the cover and the premise so we'll definitely be reading this one, but it's good to know what to expect.

  6. You just put my thoughts into words. I finished this last week, and felt the same way. It was very well-written, and told a fantastic and unique story...I just didn't feel very connected to it all. Thanks for the honesty!

  7. Oh no! I have been so looking forward to this book! I absolutely hate it when the book doesn't captivate you and it takes FOREVER to read it. *Kinda dreading November 15th now*

  8. Bummer to hear this one wasn't as good as it's been sounding. I'm intrigued by language itself being a plot point (as I can't recall any main characters being translators in the books I've read/heard about).

    Thanks for the honest review!


  9. This one totally caught me and held on tight! I was reading it at work on my computer (shhh...don't tell!) and couldn't wait to get back to work the next day to finish it! But I've heard it's one of those that capture some and turn others off. Dearly, Departed was like that for me -- didn't love it while others raved.

  10. Thanks for the honest review! I'm sorry you didn't feel connected to it. =( I still want to give it a try, hopefully I'll be able to get into it.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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