Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Review: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

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The Pledge
Kimberly Derting
Release Date: November 15th, 2011
by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Goodreads / Purchase

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.

*A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster for review purposes*

In Kimberly Derting’s The pledge, we embark on a fairy-tale like story set in a dystopian future where language dictates your class standing. I was first attracted to this book by it’s intriguing premise and original setting. Unfortunately, I found myself unable to connect to the characters nor was I very invested in the story.

As a reader, I’m very character oriented. I feel the need to be able to relate to the characters. Feel their emotions, understand their decisions and connect with their personalities. I didn’t feel any of this with Charlie, the protagonist in The Pledge. I felt very detached from her. She didn’t have any distinct traits or strengths. I also never felt the connection between her and Max – the love interest. It was never clear why Max was so infatuated with her. She simply “intrigued him”, whatever that means. The one part I did enjoy was Charlie’s relationship with her sister. She was deeply devoted to saving her sister and making sure she was ok. I was also happy about the presence of the parents in the book.

Charlie has a big secret, she can understand all languages. In this world, if you even look at a person while they are speaking a language of a higher class, that is punishable by death. I did find this to be a bit harsh, but not necessarily unrealistic. If we take the present, there are already a lot of problematic prejudices caused by language, so I could see, in a dystopian future, that it could come to this. The part about the world building I had a problem with was that I couldn’t fathom how society would put a full worldwide matriarchy in place of a democracy. It wasn’t very well explained, how it came about. World building is especially important in a dystopic setting, and The Pledge did not have me convinced.

I was never surprised by the events that occurred during the story. It was as expected and went in a fairly straight route. The pacing was pretty decent, but the action was mild and the excitement was short lived. I never felt especially alarmed during the book, neither did I feel intimidated by the Queen. It was over fairly quickly without much aftershock, and we barely got any details regarding the magic. Why was Angelina not speaking? What’s the point of Charlie’s abilities? She never really took advantage of them which was pretty disappointing. I guess a sequel may cover it, but it feels strongly like a stand-alone novel. I’m not sure if a sequel is planned, but I can’t see where the plot would go from here.

2 Hot Espressos

Dusty Reads (7)

Posted by on 11/08/2011 • 26 Comments

Dusty Reads is a weekly meme, hosted here, featuring a book that has been sitting unread on our home shelf for some time. To participate, add your link at the bottom.  If you wish, you can grab the button and find more information here.

My pick this week: The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1) Julie Kagawa Released February 1st, 2010 by Harlequin Teen Goodreads / Purchase

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan…

Review & Giveaway: Become by Ali Cross

Posted by on 11/07/2011 • 27 Comments

BecomeAli CrossRelease date: November 11th, 2011

Goodreads / Purchase

Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared.

When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.

*A copy was provided by Ali Cross for review purposes*

 Become is not your average YA paranormal. We’re thrown into an intense novel about the battle between angels…

In My Mailbox (8)

Posted by on 11/06/2011 • 164 Comments

“In My Mailbox” is a meme, created by Kristi at The Story Siren, that features books I’ve  received/ purchased/ borrowed during the current week. So, already November! Ack! We got our first freaky snow fall that was almost blizzard-like. Then the next day it was sunny and 15 (celcius). The fun of living in Canada! =) So, here’s what I got this week! I got for review:     1. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons 2. The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle 3. Pure by Julianna Baggott Click on cover for Goodreads:

I won:

Thanks to Claire of YA Bookie Monster I bought: 1. Variant by Robison Wells 2. Fury by Shirley Marr 3. Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday I’m pretty happy about my haul 🙂 I want to…

Review: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Posted by on 11/05/2011 • 20 Comments

The Dead-Tossed Waves(The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2) Carrie RyanReleased March 9th, 2009by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Goodreads / Purchase

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead….

Fresh Batch (Nov 6th-Nov 12th)

Posted by on 11/05/2011 • 8 Comments

This week’s hot releases

Fresh Batch features some of the hottest releases this upcoming week. The books to feature are exclusively chosen by Giselle.

Flavour of the week:

BecomeAli Cross

Goodreads / Purchase

Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared.

When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.

Review: Pyxis by K.C. Neal

Posted by on 11/04/2011 • 21 Comments

PyxisK.C. NealRelease date: November 4th, 2011by Stonehouse Ink

Goodreads / Purchase

Two worlds… one 16-year-old girl must learn to protect them both.

The nightmares haunting Corinne and her friend Mason hint at a universe that exists beyond the one they know. Her destiny is to protect a weakness between the two worlds, but her mentor is dead. As Corinne and Mason search for answers, she tries to ignore the sparks igniting between them, but can’t deny she feels safe only when he’s nearby. Will they find help before their nightmares break free?

*A copy was provided by K.C. Neal for review purposes*

With quite the original premise, Pyxis takes you on a fun and mysterious ride with Corinne and her best friend Mason. All throughout the book, you’re…

Winner of Cicada

Posted by on 11/04/2011 • 1 Comment

Thank you to everyone who has entered! I have selected a winner: Congratulations to Katie of Book Bowl   Be on the lookout for Belle’s email Here’s what Katie has won:

Cicada Belle Whittington Released July 14th, 2011 Goodreads / Purchase

Summertime had always been carefree and fun for Blair Reynolds and her friends–until they came upon something that was not human. As the group of friends band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human…something unnatural. And their existence relies on their ability to keep a secret.

          

Want to know what I thought of Cicada? Click here for my review. If you didn’t win, make sure to head on over to the purchase link to get your very own copy. Only 2.99$…