Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Surprise Review! Review 100: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Wow, my 100th review! I can't believe it. Feels like just yesterday when this blog was started. I do feel some sadness that the 100th review won't be a happy one. I'll let you read on to figure out why.

The Pledge is the first in the The Pledge series by Kimberly Derting. I know can't devise my own description, so here's the Goodreads one:

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.

I first heard about this book back in February/March. It sounded like it would be amazing. I had never heard of a Dystopian Romance that used language as the basis of the Dystopian society. I mean come on, that alone sounds awesome! So when I saw that the Barnes and Noble I frequent had it a day early, I snapped it up as a hardcover. But sadly, I did not like this book whatsoever. I definitely will not get a Nook copy for sure.

This book plain stunk, except for a few pieces here and there that shone with awesome. The story like I said, in concept was fantastic. Unfortunately the execution was not. The story did not play out well. I hated how it went, and the fantasy element just came out of freaking nowhere. I mean sure, it was explained in the end, but there was never any hint, nothing! I also hated how the author slut-shamed one of the characters. Slut shaming is shaming a character who is a bit more free with her sexuality. While I am not like that and never will be, you are who you are, and I won't judge you. The author flat out slut shamed one of the characters.

Speaking of characters, I detested the protagonist, Charlie. Look, I know how her arc goes at the end, but I still hate that the author made her oh so super special. Honestly, I know she has a unique ability, but sheesh! And the author used the trope of having every guy think she's beautiful, yet Charlie thinks she's plain looking, compared to her best friend. I just hate how she was put on such a high pedestal, when apart from her ability, Charlie was not really relatable or remarkable. Then there's her best friend Booklynn. Brooklynn is said character who was slut shamed. She was over the top crazy about boys, flirty and sexual, extremely contrasted with Charlie's modesty. Come on, Ms. Derting, there's no need for any of that. And what little character development she got came at the climax/ending. Also, something else bothered me. If Brooklynn's Charlie's friend, why does she always pronounce Brook's full name most of the time? I know, that's a huge nitpick, but if you're friends with someone, and it's your best friend, you usually call them by their nickname. I mean, Charlie did use Brook on occasion, but calling her best friend by her full name all the time just bothered me, and made me disbelieve the friendship even more. Then of course there's Max, the designated love interest. There was literally nothing appealing about him, character-wise or anything. I especially hated when his looks dominated our protagonist's thoughts. He and Charlie did not work for me as the main romantic couple. Two bland characters do not make for a interesting coupling. Characters like Aron got pushed to the side basically, their importance rarely coming up. Even the villain was lackluster.

Look, I know that Ms. Derting has a legion of fans who love her Body Finder series. And I apologize so I don't get the mob sicked on me, but I hated her writing in this book. Her descriptions were bland, and the writing in general was just bad. Plus I feel like she could have done more with the world she created. She focused too much on Charlie, Charlie, Charlie.

I don't think I'll pick up the sequel, whenever it comes out. I'm just so freaking sad this book turned out to be such a dud. 

The next Currently Reading list will be the next post, then a few reviews. Look out for them!

Until next time, viva la literature!

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