Title: Article 5 (Article 5 #1)
Author: Kristen Simmons
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: A copy was sent by the publisher for a blog tour
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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'm not usually fond of Dystopian novels - other than the usual suspects (Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium series), I think I've only read a few. I guess it has something to do with the world-building (or lack thereof) - to elaborate, whether or not the worlds presented by the authors are the least bit believable. When I read dystopian novels, it's a plus when I actually I see this world being the one where we live in in a few decades or so - do you guys get what I mean? And for me to think that, at least some facets of the created world must be plausible. Also, I think you guys ought to know by now just how much I hate info-overload when it occurs during the first few chapters of a particular novel. Anyway, the point is simple, really - if the world-building is off, there's just no way I can like the dystopian novel in question.
Given that I'm very picky when it comes to dystopians (is that even a word?), you guys should believe me when I say that Article 5 is GOOD, and that you all should read it. It usually takes me a LONG time to read dystopian novels (I usually can't stand reading them in one sitting because all the unnecessary details get on my nerves), but it took me only a few hours to read Article 5. And I finished it in one sitting, so there's that!
I'm not going to say that Article 5 is without faults, but I found those faults easy to overlook, and I don't think they'll bother anyone too much. (I think most people's complaints center around the main character, but I'll get to that later.) My biggest gripe probably is the lack of a more detailed back story. While I had no problem when it comes to how believable and how realistic the word created is (I truly can envision our would being rather similar to the world depicted in Article 5 if wars and such became more prevalent) I would have appreciated a more broad and encompassing approach while painting just how this said world came to be - just how exactly did everything become so horrible? Just what prompted the Bill of Rights to be deemed null and void?
What I liked the best about Article 5 is how fast-paced the plot is. There isn't any boring part in the novel - it's jaw-dropping action all the way, and I thoroughly enjoyed how I was on the edge of my seat while tearing through the pages as fast as humanely possible. I also enjoyed reading about the characters - yes, even Ember, our beloved MC. Truth be told, I loved how stubborn Ember was - I loved how she knew what she wanted, and that she was willing to do absolutely anything to get it. She wasn't easily derailed from her goals, and though she made illogical decision upon another, I can't help but admire her bravery to do the unthinkable. I don't think I have ever met a more determined character! It would have been so easy for her to do what she's told, but she's not easily distracted nor sidetracked from what she wants the most - to be reunited with her mother.
Never once did I think that the romance in this novel was forced, or that it just suddenly blew up in my face with no warning whatsoever. It was always there - you knew it was going to make itself known in one way or another. I liked how Chase calmed Ember down and slowly earned back her trust; and I love how it took a while for Ember to trust Chase, because he was one of the soldiers who took away her mom, after all. It wasn't just blind love and adoration for these two - they were initially wary of each other, but that slowly goes away as they spent more time together and talked. The flashbacks also gave a lot of depth to Ember and Chase's relationship, and I particularly enjoyed reading those parts.
As I have previously mentioned (a gazillion times, it seems), I don't usually enjoy dystopia as a genre, but I loved Article 5. I most definitely will be with Ember and Chase as they continue their journey, and I can't wait to dive into the sequel, Breaking Point! (I might just do that in 3, 2, 1...)
Rating: 4 Stars