THE PLEDGE by Kimberly Derting
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. (From Goodreads)
You can read my review here.
I'm very excited to have Kimberly Derting here today as a feature for Best I've Read 2011. Her novel THE PLEDGE is a fantastic addition to the dystopian genre. Please take a few minutes to learn more about this amazing author!
How would you describe The Pledge in three words?
Dark. Dangerous. Secretive.
In The Pledge, what language you speak is extremely important. How did you get this idea? Do you speak other languages?
The original idea for The Pledge didn’t come all at once (like it did with The Body Finder). This book came to me in pieces. The first piece was just a simple question: “What would it be like if someone could understand all languages?” But I definitely wanted the story itself to be bigger than just that component. I spent a lot of time—over a year—thinking about how Charlie’s ability would work, what kind of world she would live in, and creating the monarchies and her friends and family, before I’d ever written a single word.
I talk more about how I got the idea here:
All of your stories have an element of fantasy/magic or the paranormal. Why do you feel drawn to these genres?
For me, I love writing in this genre because it takes me back to my childhood when absolutely nothing was impossible. I had a pretty wild imagination, and was always the kid in class who was staring out the window daydreaming. (Although, I’m pretty sure I never fantasized about being able to find dead bodies or having my soul stolen by an evil queen.)
Out of all the characters you've written, which do you connect with the most? Which do you enjoy writing the most?
As far which character I have the most in common with, I’d have say Chelsea from the Body Finder series. She’s a say-it-like-it-is kinda girl who likes to use shock value to get attention. I’m not nearly as bad as she is, but I definitely had a mouth on me in high school. I think I’ve outgrown that trait. Mostly.
But asking me which character I most enjoy writing is practically like asking me to choose which of my kids I like best. I’m totally gonna do it, though (the favorite character, not the favorite kid!). Here goes…
She’s adorable and smart and may have a few secrets of her own.
If you could visit a world created in a book, which book would you choose? What would you do there?
I love this question! I think I’d choose the world of Holly Black’s Curse Worker’s series (White Cat, Red Glove, and Black Heart). And I’d definitely, absolutely, totally buy some illegal curse charms! (And if you haven’t read the books yet, you totally should!)
What can you tell us about the next book in this trilogy?
Probably the most I can say is that there will be a lot more of Queen Sabara in book two. And Charlie is not very happy about it.
I am very excited to have one copy of THE PLEDGE to give away!
This contest is open to residents of the U.S. only. Must be 13 to enter. Please see my Contest Policy for more information.
This contest will close on Saturday, December 23 at 12:00 AM CST.
Today the Best I've Read blog is featuring WOLFSBANE by Andrea Cremer and THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin! Please click here to learn more about this book and author!