I was seriously contemplating giving this one star. The Pledge had an interesting premise, but it utterly failed.
The sole reason I didn't give this one star was Xander and Brooklynn. They were definitely the most interesting characters (far more so than Max and Charlie) and if the story was written from one of their perspective, it would have been so much more fun to read.
I really didn't like Charlie. Something about her rubbed me the wrong way. But I hated Max a hundred times more than Charlie. Max was a condescending smug ASSHOLE. He follows Charlie. He lies to her. He acts strange and then pretend like he doesn't know what she's talking about when she calls him out on it. He's super protective of her, and he met her, like what, two days ago? Come on! Stop being a stalker, Max. But it's not like Charlie cares. She likes him and he's "intrigued" with her from the moment they meet. Can you say Insta-love? Yup.
This "dystopia" world that the author tried to create did not work. So, apparently Ludania at war and there's a lot of "restriction" and "rules" and stuff. Yet they're allowed to go to parties and clubs and stuff? And school? They're free to just wander around the whole city, basically. What? It doesn't make sense.
So I was unhappy about how The Pledge turned out. Then I read the author's note at the front of the book, and found out this was based on an interview with a woman who was a child during the Holocaust. WHAT THE FUCK?! How about instead of making a FAKE "dystopia" world (and a crappy one at that), you write a historical fiction that pays homage to the REAL VICTIMS!!! Huh? Is that too hard, Ms. Derting?!
If you can't tell, I don't recommend this book.