Book Review: The Pledge


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.

First line of the book: “The air crackled like a gathering thunderstorm the moment the girl entered the chamber.”

Title: The Pledge (#1)
Author: Kimberly Derting
My edition: Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books in 2012, with 323 pages
Age: Young Adult (15+)
Series: The Pledge (3 books)
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Magic, Supernatural

It was another buy from Carina (carinabooks), and it was mainly because it was dystopia and it had such a beautiful cover.

I’m in love with the idea or the plot. It’s amazing, seriously. I love the idea of Ludinia and the queendome and the fact that they have this pledge that is seriously like propaganda and it’s just amazing. It actually reminds me of something that has happened before, just in a slightly different way? WWII maybe? Anyways, the plot is just really amazing and that was one of the reasons why I just knew that I had to read this book.

BUT, and there’s a big but. It’s so slow, like during the first 150 pages you’re dragging yourself through the thing because you’ve already figured out the main plot and you kind of wait to just see what happens. Which is so obvious from the start. It’s sad.

The world, as I said kind of reminds me of Nazi-Germany and WWII, I don’t know if that’s the feeling you should get, but it left this impression. I like the thought of Derting just pouring all this hate and class and everything into the mix and making this world that is close to the one we know today, but not really at all, if you understand what I mean? It’s just interesting and  I find the fact that they have different stations around town where you have to wear ID interesting. I also love the queendome fact, that there are never male heirs, but female because they’re smarter (do-uh).

It’s weird how a writing style can determine whether or not the book feels good to read. I’m all about books giving me something emotional, some fantasy and some kind of knowledge. You know, about yourself, about certain kinds of people. The writing style can often kind of complicate that for me. I often tend to get bored if the writing style is too descriptive, I like to imagine things as I go along and get small hints of what’s around me. Which this book gave, but it’s kind of complicated. I can’t really point my finger to what it was that made this book just not good in this department, but I felt like I didn’t get what I wanted or what I expected. I mean, the plot is good, the characters are interesting, but the writing style just kind of destroys that for me.

I have this visual of how a book should be when it comes to dramaturgy. Or at least, its content. There should be a beginning where we get to know the characters, and usually the main character kind of decides her or his state. Like we know where they stand in the society, who they are, who their family and friends are, what they do, we get to know them.

In the middle I feel like there should be this part where we get to know the characters a little bit more, like they kind of work towards their goal, become whatever it is that they want to become. But right before they can get it, there’s this crisis or something that stops them to get it so easily.

Which takes us to the end, where there should be this regroup-moment, where you kind of figure out who’s doing what and then they start working towards the goal again with a different approach. The climax comes, will they do it or not? And then there’s this calming down moment or at least this kind of “working further” like it stops really interesting if there’s a sequel. Just something to make me want to read further.

This book had all of these things, but I felt like the beginning and middle was kind of mixed together and I couldn’t really hold on to the plot like I wanted to. There was just some smaller climaxes missing. Something was MISSING. When I got to the end I read it all, clearly a little tired of this whole book, and all though the ending is interesting, making me want to move on to the sequel, I’m not rushing it. I don’t feel like it’s necessary to really know what’s going to happen, because I was just so tired of this book.

In this book we meet Charlaina (Which is the weirdest name I’ve ever heard of and I was stuttering every time her name came up) who is this normal lower class girl who goes to school, has this cute best friend across the street (a boy, obviously), and this crazy good looking best friend who gets all the boys. it’s kind of cliche, but it works in this book, why? I’m not going to tell you, you have to read the darn thing to know.

We also meet Max, who’s so mysterious and handsome and Charlaina (I was about to write that wrongly) just falls head over heels. What I feel is weird in this book when it comes to the characters is the fact that there’s a lot of amazing characters, and I love how they evolve during the story. What I feel like Derting did wrong with the characters was that she rushed them so badly.

The only character that I loved during this book was Charlaina’s sister, Angelina; who’s like the cutest thing ever. I wanted to hug her.


The cover of this book is just so beautiful I want to kiss it, and I think the plot is great, but it didn’t do anything to me in a emotional way. It was like walking in the Netherlands, everything is straight forward and all though the surroundings are beautiful, you’re too busy thinking about everything else so you can’t really put all your concentration into this one walk (or book, whatever you like).

The book is interesting, as I said I loved the plot and the whole idea of this society built upon just pure fear of doing something wrong. I also like the fact that every class has its own language or dialect, making it illegal if someone even shows a small dose of actually understanding a language that is over or beneath you in the system. I like that, just this small token of scary ass shit. But the fact that the writing and dramaturgy just drags this book into the mud, where it shouldn’t be, I just can’t give it more than a two. It didn’t give me anything, I didn’t feel the rush of excitement or have that small giggly smile when someone kisses, or that feeling where you can’t find a comfortable position because you’ve been sitting there for hours reading. I didn’t get that, and it makes me sad because I think this book should have been worth reading.

I think that the cover is beautiful! The model on the cover fits to the description of Charlie to a point and I love the dark and mysterious feel to it.

Favorite quote: “I loved voices, I always had. Words held meaning, but voices held emotion.”



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