Monday, April 30, 2012

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Publisher: McElderly Books
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pgs

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 believe that Kimberly Derting has a way with words, it may just be me, but whenever I read any of her novels (the Body Finder series) I feel as if I have become that particular main character and am living that person's life as my own. For some reason I get highly attached to the characters she creates.
         My favorite character in this novel is Charlaina(Charlie), not because she is this novel's heroine but because she is very strong willed, and brave. Strong willed due to the fact that two very hot guys are interested in her, and she is still capable of functioning properly, and brave because she is courageous enough to look at the pros and cons before flinging herself at a boy.  What I really admire about her is the way Charlie puts others before herself, selflessly taking care of her younger sister when she could be doing something a lot more enjoyable. I was actually quite impressed by the way she handled her little sister, it even inspired me to be a little nicer to my own....for like a day. 
          I simply could NOT put this book down, and finished it in a single sitting. The story line was so full of shocking twists and turns towards the end that I felt as if I would miss something if I didn't read the page over again like seven times. If I had requirements for a perfect book, The Pledge would surely meet them.
       I recommend this book for anyone who likes a tale of adventure.

  • “Curiosity is an addictive drug.”
  • “I saw the folded note peeking up from behind the cover of the book in which I'd hidden it. 
         I brushed my fingertips across the lineny surface, my skin sparking with electricity, my                      fingers itching to pull it free. 
    I shoudn't, I told myself, even as I held my breath and watched myself withdrawing it from the book. I tried to tamp down the feeling of anticipation coursing through me at the same time I argued that it was a mistake to look at it again.
    It didn't deserve anymore of my time. He didn't deserve the space he already occupied in my mind.
    I glanced around to see if anyone had noticed me there, tucked beneath my desk, reading a note that I'd already memorized.
    No one paid me any attention.
    I held the letter, vividly picturing the six words written inside the folds. Six words that I already knew by heart. Six words that meant more to me than they should.
    I unfolded the top third of the paper, then the bottom, purposely keeping my eyes unfocused for just a moment.
    My heart stopped.
    And then my eyesight cleared.

    I pledge to keep you safe.”

Monday, April 9, 2012

Croak by Gina Damico

Publisher: Harcourt
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 311 pages
Series: Croak #1  


Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?