Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

I enjoyed this book immensely!  It’s a great dystopian novel and the story sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go!  It’s got the angsty feeling, the harsh environment, the rush to save someone, the need to save each other…I really liked it!  🙂

Title:  Article 5  (Article 5 #1)

Author: Kristen Simmons

Publisher: Tor Books

Summary (by Goodreads):

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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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

First3 Sentences:

Beth and Ryan were holding hands.  It was enough to risk a formal citation for indecency, and they knew better, but I didn’t say anything.  Curfew rounds wouldn’t begin for another two hours, and freedom was stolen in moments like these.

My take:

It felt a little slow in the beginning, but it’s like a snowball that picks up speed going downhill and just won’t stop until you reach the last page.  The world in which our characters are living is very harsh.  A government that has implemented “moral statutes” and has the power to be able to haul you off to a trial should you break one.  I took a pictures of the back cover of the book so you could see them.

Since these statutes aren’t properly outlined, there is a lot of “wiggle” room to expound on the articles however they feel like it.  Ember has seen classmates hauled off for violating these articles one way or another and is about to witness her own mother being carted off for violating Article 5.  Hence the name, ladies and gentlemen. 

Article 5: “Children are considered valid citizens only when conceived by a married man and wife.”

Ember is thrown into a reform school and her mother is taken an opposite direction for a trial and sentencing. What Ember can’t understand is why one of the arresting officers was none other than the neighbor boy from next door; the boy Ember loves, Chase Jennings.  Ember soon learns at her new school just how strict the government is and how power can turn people ugly.  All hope seems lost and that she’ll never see her mother again.

I liked the idea of the world and how everything is the same, but the rules have changed.  I wish we knew more about the other countries…not just a few states in America.  But obviously it’s a new government, new rules, one religion, and very military enforced.  The fear of non-compliance is everywhere and for good reason too.  I don’t think I would last 5 minutes in this book, I’m too rebellious….my mom can tell you that.

Like I mentioned earlier, this book was good!  I really enjoyed reading it; I want to say more about the plot, but don’t want to give too much away.  I liked the writing style and although there is a slight romance, I didn’t feel like it completely revolved around it.  It gave our characters time to breathe, trust, and learn to love.  They weren’t trying to be together right away…it felt “normal”.  I don’t know how else to put it…it wasn’t a ya fiction fairytale dystopian romance… 

One thing I will say though, if you’re not a fan of “angst”, then you may not find this novel fun to read.  Otherwise, I would recommend it!


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