Thursday, August 30, 2012

Article 5 - Kristen Simmons

Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Release Date: January 31st, 2012, Hardcover
Publisher: Tor Teen
Group: Young Adult Literature
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned. The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.
I really liked Article 5! However it didn't live up to my expectations. Anymore I just have such high standards for dystopian books that they just aren't possible anymore. I blame Hunger Games, Legend, and Shatter Me. Those books are just so good that I can't help but have expectations for other dystopian books. Don't get me wrong, Article 5 is a really good dystopian book and I probably would have given it five stars if it wasn't for a little problem I had with it. I felt like it was forced. The writing and characters felt forced.

Article 5 tells the story of Ember Miller. She lives in the ruins of Louisville, Kentucky. There is a new government and rules that the people must live by. When Article 5 gets changed, to where any child under the age of eighteen was born out of wedlock than the mother gets arrested and the child becomes owned by the government basically, her mother gets arrested and she gets taken away. Ember is also in loved with a boy who was drafted into the Military and she hasn't seen him since he left, until he shows up with the Military to arrest her mother and take her away.

There is a lot of action and traveling that takes place throughout this story. Ember and Chase end up all over the eastern side of the USA it seems like. While there are some flaws with Article 5; I still couldn't put it down. I kept reading until my eyes hurt and got a headache from not eating. That tends to happen to me when I'm hungry for some reason. Anyways, I just couldn't take the suspense and just knew something awful was going to happen to Ember and Chase by the end of the book.

Earlier I mentioned that I felt like the writing and characters were being forced. What I meant by that is Ember has some strange characteristics. She would go on and on about Chase. "I love him. I hate him. Why does he not talk to me? I don't want him to talk me. What has happened to him? He is a monster. No he isn't monster." Just OMG, make up your mind Ember! That inner babbling about it got annoying after a while. Also Chase just didn't feel real at first. He was so mean and tough that I started to roll my eyes. I'm sorry but I just don't find that attractive at all. I guess he was trying to be protective, but he should have just been up front with Ember to begin with. Instead of this wild goose chase he was sending her on. I know why he didn't tell Ember about her mother, but couldn't he discuss his feelings and what has happened to him instead of having to listen to Ember guess about two thousands time until the end of the book? I don't know. Ember and Chase just frustrated me to know end, but at the same time I loved them! Funny how that works out I guess.

I also feel like I don't have clear image of this new America that they are living in. I get that the Bill of Rights is gone and that the major cities have been abandoned. So is the new country like have a communist government? Who is the leader? All we ever hear about is the Military soldiers. Who is the leader over them? When did this new America start? I hope that these answers get answered in the next book.

Overall, I really liked Article 5! I know it sounds like I didn't like it, but it was just easier for me to list things I didn't like instead of things I did like with this book. I recommend it! Especially since this is a 2012 debut author! The writing is so good for this being Kristen Simmons first novel! I can't wait for Breaking Point! I just hope that Ember and Chase won't be as frustrating and distressing.


  1. I've still got this book waiting to be read on my shelf :) Great review though!

  2. I get what you mean by inner babbling. That got a bit annoying for me too. I hope we got more information about the society in the next book. I agree it was lacking some what here. Glad you enjoyed it anyway. :)

    Becky @ A Reader’s Devotion


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