Title: The Pledge
(The Pledge #1)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Length: 323 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderberry
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. -Goodreads
"The Pledge" is a dystopian Cinderella of sorts. Charlie is the daughter of a family belonging to the Vendor class; in a society where class is everything. Being a vendor means that Charlie is what we would consider "lower middle class". Charlie is also the keeper of a powerful secret, one that if revealed could cost her life.
This was a very interesting story from the start. The reason being that the reader is never presented with all of the facts about Charlie, Aron, Brook, or Max. This makes the reader want to know what lies around the corner and just who these people are.
Max- Its clear from the time that he and Charlie meet that there are going to be some major fireworks between these two. The way that he keeps showing up wherever she is starts to get a little "stalker 101" after a while. He is clearly royal so why is he so hell bent on slumming with the vendor girl?
Brook- She spends a great deal of the book being an annoying flirt. There is a great deal more to her and she has some very dangerous secrets of her own. So just read on through to the other side and give Brook a chance. It's worth it.
Aron- He makes an appearance as the third wheel in the friendship between Brook and Charlie and then another later when action is high in the story and then just drps off the radar for the rest of the read.
This is a very good book that is full of action, suspense, mystery, romance and just a touch of Cinderella...minus the slipper, of course.