The Pledge by Kimberly Derting (The Pledge #1)
The Pledge was a very enjoyable read. It had flaws, but not enough to deter me from really getting into the book.
The writing was excellent. This was the first thing I have ever read by Kimberly Derting, and though I have heard fabulous things about her Body Finder series, I was still pleasantly surprised. The descriptions were so elegant and beautiful and I could picture every single thing in my head. However, where Derting exceeded in descriptions, she lacked in emotional value. I think that was what stopped me from falling in love with this book. Charlie was a pretty good character. I liked her. She had an unwavering loyalty to her little sister, she was determined to get some damn answers, she was stubborn as can be. But I just could not connect with her.
Usually, if I don't connect with a character then I can't stay interested in the book. But the plot was fast-paced and full of shocking, gasp-worthy twists that I would not have seen coming for the life of me. There were a lot of times when my jaw dropped and I was like, "WHAAAAAT!?" It was fun and exciting, which resulted in a quick read.
The world-building was a little iffy and unbelievable, but it was unique and intriguing. I'm looking forward to the next book when the whole world is flipped upside down. What I thought was really cool was that it was that the world was pretty close to our world today, aside from the whole oppressive society situation. A lot of the lingo was the same, the technology was the same...stuff like that.
I am really on the fence about the romance, though. At first I thought it was completely unconvincing. Charlie and Max had an undeniable connection...blah blah blah. Instaluv...blah blah blah. There was no foundation for their relationship...blah blah blah. But then it's not what I expected it to be like. The two characters weren't spewing cheesy romantic lines that made me want to vomit. In fact, the "L word" was not used between them once. I still see no reason why Max felt so strongly about Charlie. I feel like it was instaluv on his side of the relationship, whereas Charlie's feelings progressed quite naturally, beginning with mere attraction. I loved that she wasn't willing to jump at his every command and that most of the time she deliberately defied him. I would have like to have seen more reasons why Max was so "intrigued" by Charlie and why he was willing to throw away everything for her.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was gripping and exciting with beautifully crafted sentences. I cannot wait until the next book!