Em: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons – BOOK REVIEW

Article 5 by Kristen SimmonsArticle 5 by Kristen Simmons
Release Date: January 31st, 2012
Tor Teen, 362 Pages
Sub-genre: Dystopian
Source: ARC via ALA 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Article 5 #1

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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.

Hello fellow dystopian lovers! I think I have found another winner in the midst the hordes of dystopian novels out there.

Article 5 follows the story of Ember Miller, who was born out of wedlock, loses her mother due to the new Moral Statutes that the government has put in place. It is this specific statute, Article 5, that her mother has violated and has been carted off for a trial and sentencing. Ember is taken to a girls rehab and reformatory to learn how to be a “good model” for the rest of society.

I absolutely adored Ember. She was feisty, determined, and headstrong. She surely did not go quietly and never gave up hope for finding her mother. Her beautiful next door neighbor and wolf-eyed boy, Chase, was drafted by the FBR (Federal Bureau of Reformation) to be a soldier. These soldiers keep people like Ember and her mother in line, but when Chase accompanies the soldiers who come to take Ember’s mother away…you can be sure things won’t be the same. Chase has changed into a cold, seemingly heartless robot with dead eyes and Ember fears that the boy she was in love with is gone forever.

This story follows Ember and Chase on their journey of rebellion against an oppressive government in a not-so-distant future that has gotten entirely too power hungry. No one can be trusted. Nothing and no one are as they seem. Time is of the essence and danger is everywhere. Watching Chase and Ember grow and change is truly something to marvel. Simmons has done a fantastic job with world building (or in this case, world destruction & attempted rebuilding), character development, and conveying the character’s’ emotions so artfully that they are palpable.

Thank goodness this is a series because the ending is a fantastically crafted cliff-hanger! I recommend this to anyone who loves the dystopian sub-genre. I really enjoyed how the setting and circumstances of this novel are of a future that are entirely possible for our great nation. It made the story that much more believable and terrifying at the same time.

  • July 22, 2013 - 5:37 pm

    Pam@YAEscapefromReality - I loved this one too! I really liked both Ember and Chase and I agree, the author did a fantastic job all around. The next one is great too.ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 10:36 am

    Tara - I wanted to read this when it came out last year…and then never did :/ I should look back into 2012 and get on those books that I totally spaced on — including Article 5!ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 11:45 am

    Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - I loved this book too – I loved Ember and Chase and some of the twists and turns that the book took. It felt really doom-y and dystopian and I had an easy time visualizing the scenes, I felt. I read the second book a while back and while I didn’t *love* it as much as I did this first book, I’m excited to see what will happen in the final book. Also, these covers really give a good feel for what the books describe, I think.ReplyCancel

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