Margaret K. McElderry
[November 15, 2011]
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 really, really liked this book. In a time where many dystopians are becoming the same, this one was completely different.
Charlie as a character doesn't stand out much to me. She's another YA protagonist. What I did love about her is the devotion she had to her little sister, because it's something I really connect to. The sibling relationship was fantastically done. I did love Charlie's friends and Max. Max was kind of easy to predict, but her other friends were much more surprising.
But this story? Oh this story. The rich history of the world, the political turmoil, the rebellion. It was just so, so, SO fantastically done. I wanted to get lost in that world and how complicated it was.
The writing was really good. It kept me super entertained and intrigued in the story. I mean...the story itself was enough, but if there wasn't good writing, I couldn't keep going.
Read this for the fantastic plot. Read it now so you can suffer in the wait for book 2 with me! (Or be smart and wait until Book 2 is closer...but really you should read it now.)