Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5 #1
Published by Tor Teen on January 31st 2012
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
A world in which people lives are directed not by the government as we know it, but rather moral statutes. A world where people are arrested for the most minor offenses and they may never come back? Article 5 piqued my interest with this harsh government. I just had to know more.
Our story opens with Ember, a normal girl trying her best to follow the Moral Statutes, and her mom, a single mother who secretly does her best to maintain life as she knew it before the war, before the Moral Statutes, before everything… But everything changes with the addition of Article 5. An article declaring that it is illegal for children to be born out of wedlock. And all this would be more than enough for a young girl to go handle… but to make matters worse is the addition of the only boy that Ember ever loved. And he is one of the arresting officers. From the safety of her home, Ember is thrust into a rehabilitation center. And Ember must fight. Fight for her freedom. Fight for her mother. Fight for the boy she once loved… no matter what.
Article 5 is a stark world. War. Control. A world where disobedience is not tolerated. Where people disappear daily to never be heard from again. Simmons instantly drew me into this world. I wanted to know everything about it. And while Simmons did a wonderful job exploring her world, there were still aspects that were not as explored as I would have liked. The War was the biggest offender. It is hinted at as the cause of the Moral Statutes, but I was never completely sure why this War had happened.
As for our characters, loved them! Ember is a brilliant female lead. I loved her from the very beginning. She has the fight and resilience to be a force to be reckoned with. Never give up is definitely her motto. And when she was paired with Chase. Oh boy, the sparks flew. Chase was a nice foil to Ember. Very sensible. Very hard. A boy after my own heart. While I adored the romance between Ember and Chase, the climax between the two characters never felt fully realized. It simmers and simmers, but it never overflows like I felt like it should have.
Article 5 is a fast-paced, well-written dystopian that never lets go. Two characters on opposing sides that capture your heart. A strict world that lives solely to inforce laws. A rebellion brewing that could change everything. Brilliant, I say!
Kate is the co-blog owner of The Book Monsters. I am a twenty-something year old who is passionate about reading. I currently hold a B.A. in English and am married to my high school sweetheart. We have two (cat) children, Gracie and Kit, who are total divas. I have an insane and possibly unhealthy passion for reading. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book.
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