Hardcover, 323 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.In a distopian world where United States has turned into a monarchy ruled by a totalitarianian queen, people are split up in classes by the language that they speak. Communication between languages is punishable by death and people are almost nearly expendable. However, Charlie is in the vendor class and has the ability to understand everything anyone's ever said.
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.
After randomly picking this book up I'm really happy it was so good. I had no idea what it was about and just really wanted to see if Derting could write something as good as her Body Finders series. And I'm glad to say she did.
I love the world they live in, I mean, not that I'd want to live in it, being oppressed by the man (or in this case the woman). It sorta reminds me to Divergent with awesome underground clubs and rebels that know what their doing. It's not long in the story until Charlie meets Max, a mysterious guy who hangs out at the clubs and takes a liking to him. Who Max turns out to be isn't really a huge sercret, I figured it out almost instantly, but adds to the awesome angst none the less. Their relationships drives the story. Their chemistry is undeniable. *swoon* Why can't you be real Max? Huh?
With the Royal Crown at her heels wanting her for who-knows-what and mysterious bombing attacking the city, Charlie has to rely on her best friends Aron and Brooklyn to help keep her and her sister safe. The only thing that got me was the lack of appearance of Aron who I thought was going to be a bigger part of the story. I mean, if I can't have Max, I'll have him. Sophie, the ex-bully, seemed sort of pointless, she's there at the beginning, and when they don't need her anymore she's gone. Xander on the other hand was amazing. After she meets him at an underground club her life gets even more complicated. He helps save her life and wonderfully adds to the story. I really wish we got to see more of him.
I really, really liked this book. It's a weird romantic distopian version of Princess Diaries, minus the idealism of Disney and the happy-feel-y stuff. Read it!