GoodReads Summary: 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.
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“I loved voices, I always had. Words held meaning, but voices held emotion.”
What if you lived in a world where people are divided into different classes? One class superior, each using a language the other doesn't understand. What if you lived in a world where if you're caught looking directly at a person speaking in another language you're in danger of being prosecuted. This is the world that Charlie lives in. This is Ludania...
Kimberly Derting has done a fantastic job with the world building. Ludania is a country with strict rules and a cruel Queen. A country that is on the brick of war, a place where the citizens are never truly safe. The world Derting has created captured my attention right from the beginning of the book. In Ludania females consider themselves superior to men and I loved this change of roles. It's definitely refreshing from the usual male ruled stories.
I adored Charlie. She is stubborn, determined and willing to stand up for the ones she loves. These on their own are great characteristics to find in a female lead, but what got to me the most was her kindness. At one point in the story she saves someone who probably didn't deserve to be saved and worries for her well being - I really admired Charlie for this. I also loved her relationship with her sister Angelica. The bond between the two sisters was sweet and I was in awe at how far Charlie was willing to go to protect her and keep her safe.
The romance between Max and Charlie was sweet and I can see why Charlie felt a pull towards him. Mysterious? CHECK. Tall, dark and handsome? CHECK. I can't wait to see where their relationship goes in book 2.