Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: 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.
Review: This book was great! I thought it had a great, interesting, new take on the class system! Having a specific language for your class, and knowing any other classes language could mean your death if found out... I thought it was so interesting. Especially the part about looking into the eyes of someone of a higher class. I mean, I've looked in peoples eyes and still had no clue what they were saying. Lol. I felt so bad for Charlie! She had the gift of knowing all the languages but if she let other people find out about it she could have killed! It must have sucked trying to hide such a big secret especially when she knew what those people were saying about her in other languages! I also really liked how Charlies sister Angelina had a special gift as well. At first it confused me why the two of them, and only the two of them had special gifts but then as the story went on I pieced it together. I also loved how protective Charlie was over her little sister, it reminded me of how I'm protective of my little sister I am.
Ok, I have to get this out! Brooklynn... At first I thought she was a normal girl like Charlie (at the beginning (without the language thing)) (lol) but then as the story went on I started getting the idea that there was something off about her but I didn't figure out exactly what it was until it was revealed pretty much. MAX!!!!!! OMG!!!!!! I knew right from when we first met him in the club I'd like him. And then after he wrote the special note to Charlie!!! I swear my heart melted a little bit when we finally got to read what the note said. He tried so hard to protect her even though she was really stubborn about it at first. I was really glad that he was there for her though, especially near the end!!! Gosh, when Charlie learned just exactly why she and her sister had special gifts and about her bloodline... WOW! I was definitely starting to guess it about halfway through the book but it was still a wow moment when my thoughts were confirmed! And all that happened at the end in the palace... Talk about using Charlies weakness against her! So not cool!!! But after that ending I definitely cant wait to read The Essence!!!!