Thursday, January 12, 2012

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
2012, Tor Teen
Series: Book 1 of Article 5

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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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

Why read: Requested from Amazon Vine

What impressed me: I enjoyed Ember's time at the Rehabilitation Center. How it worked, the other people there, what exactly they were trying to achieve by locking girls up in this camp, all of it was very interesting. I wish she could have just stayed there.

What disappointed me: My biggest gripe with Article 5 is the basis for the story. While I found the synopsis very promising, I  found myself disenchanted very early on in the book. The Moral Statutes that people must now follow could have made the book terrifying. The idea itself is terrifying. Unfortunately, the book focuses on a new statute that says children can't be born out of wedlock. That's all well and good, but then the government starts arresting parents and taking their children away. Children of all ages. Ember is seventeen, meaning her mother violated this statue almost two decades previous. Even in a horrible dystopian society, how is it realistic that the government would go after her mother? Really, it's just not all that plausible. Couple that with the fact that the majority of the story is Ember and Chase on the run, which just never works for me. They run, they argue, they find themselves in precarious situations and then run some more. The story was always moving, but never felt like it was getting anywhere.

Recommended: Not really. While the premise sounds fascinating, the book aggravates more than entertains.

Continue series: Most likely not.

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