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 read this book back in 2012 and never got around to reading the sequel (mostly because it wasn't at the library). I now have the sequel available, so it was time for a reread. While I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the first time, I did like this dystopian.
Charlie lives in a world where each class system speaks a different language and there are many rules and regulation involving class and even looking at someone while they are speaking their class language. The issue is that Charlie has developed an ability to understand every language, an ability she much keep hidden. Charlie ends up meeting a boy named Max, who has his own secrets. It is them that Charlie begins to wonder what secrets is everyone hiding--Max, the queen, her parents--and what does it all have to do with her.
What I find very interesting about this book was the unique world. Not only does this take place in a completely different world and a dystopian-esque society, but the take on the language was something that I have never seen before in a dystopian novel and loved the take on it. Sadly, this book did feel like most dystopian and fantasy novels in the way it was formatting, but I still enjoyed reading it and I did like it. There's nothing wrong with it really, I've just read so many YA books that I can detect the similarities.
I think my main issues lie with Charlie and how quickly things seemed to go, or how quickly she seemed to trust others. Especially Max. There was a very short interaction with Max in the club and then Charlie wouldn't stop thinking about him. I really thought that was really quick, as they hardly said anything at all to each other.
I know I'm saying more I disliked than liked, but I really did enjoy reading this book. For the most part, this book is your run-of-the-mill dystopian with fantasy elements thrown in and a very fascinating premise. Again, not that that's a bad thing. I really did like this book and I recommend this to fans of both dystopian and fantasy, as well as fans of Kimberly Derting. Also, I plan on continuing the series. In fact, I've already read The Essence!
Meaning: I liked it