Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

The Pledge (The Pledge, #1)
Hardcover323 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry

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.

Review and Rating: 3.5-4
My heart says 4 but my mind says 3.5. I really enjoyed the main characters. They definitely had some good twists which really added to the plot. I found the main plot predictable (but what plot isn't now?) but the twists in the characters and minor plots definitely helped make up for it. Derting definitely created a new world and interesting characters. I feel it ended too quickly but that may just be because its addictive and therefore got finished fast. I'll definitely be reading the rest of the trilogy to see what happens to our lovely Charlie and others.

I really just have to say I love the cover. The contrasting colors definitely catch the eye and with the model its just beautiful. Its definitely a cover well done and when the cover is what catches the eye and raises interest that's a good thing that a lot of books miss out on but this one did great.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Essay Contest for Aspiring Writers of YA/middle grade fiction

Win a literary agent or acclaimed author's feedback on your unpublished manuscript for young adult or middle grade readers.  This rare opportunity is being offered to the six winners of an essay contest recently announced by the literacy charity Book Wish Foundation.  See for full details.

You could win a manuscript critique from:
  • Laura Langlie, literary agent for Meg Cabot
  • Nancy Gallt, literary agent for Jeanne DuPrau
  • Brenda Bowen, literary agent and editor of Karen Hesse's Newbery Medal winner Out of the Dust
  • Ann M. Martin, winner of the Newbery Honor for A Corner of the Universe
  • Francisco X. Stork, winner of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for The Last Summer of the Death Warriors
  • Cynthia Voigt, winner of the Newbery Medal for Dicey's Song and the Newbery Honor for A Solitary Blue

All that separates you from this prize is a 500-word essay about a short story in Book Wish Foundation's new anthology, What You Wish For.  Essays are due Feb. 1, 2012 and winners will be announced around Mar. 1, 2012.  If you win, you will have six months to submit the first 50 pages of your manuscript for critique (which means you can enter the contest even if you haven't finished, or started, your manuscript).  You can even enter multiple times, with essays about more than one of the contest stories, for a chance to win up to six critiques.

If you dream of being a published author, this is an opportunity you should not miss.  To enter, follow the instructions at