Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: Article 5 by Kristin Simmons

Article 5 (Article 5 #1) by Kristen Simmons 
Release Date: January 31, 2012 
Publisher: Tor Teen 
Source: Publisher 
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
Review: 
I waited so long to read this book. After reading endless numbers of dystopian novels, I didn’t want to delve right into this book. I didn’t want to be disappointed. After a string of contemporary novels, I picked up Article 5 hoping to be blown away like everyone else was. I wasn’t blown away.

I wanted to love Ember with all my heart. She sounded so strong and willful but I just didn’t connect with her life I wanted to. I can’t even explain what the hell it was but I just couldn’t like her a whole lot. Ember has been dealt with a bad hand and in a world such as the one Article 5 is set in, the government has taken complete control of everything. It should have made Ember weak and wounded but she wasn’t. There was this air of defiance within her that I loved. Her determination to search for her mother was strong and fierce and I loved that. But that was all in the beginning of the novel. Maybe it was because once Chase came into the picture, I felt that this determination to find her mother got pushed to the back; sure they had to survive in the wilds and run from the government, I just didn’t like that when Ember would get a chance to take a breather, she’d suddenly remember her mother. Maybe it was just me. I just didn’t appreciate this about Ember.

Now for the plot: In any dystopian novel, it’s important for the author to explain why or how something happened to make the world in the book…what it is. How did the Articles come to be? What happened to America? None of those questions were answered in this book and that didn’t make me happy. And then there was everything happening in the book. Basically, Article 5 was a road trip with two teenagers who are in love but won’t admit it and there is a lot of angst and lots of focus on romance. Of course, it seems that this makes Ember loose (as I said) all of her determination to mind her mother and be safe. Plus, Ember kept going on and on and on about how all of this drama and trouble would not have happened if Chase hadn’t become a soldier. Um, what? I got tired of reading Ember musing about this on and on and on and I just about had it with her.

Sigh.

Overall, Krisitn Simmons did have a great writing style that got overshadowed by her characters and the plot. I’m not sure if I’ll be reading Breaking Point, book 2 since Article 5 didn’t leave me pleased with it’s contents. I do think people should read this for themselves though!
Rating:
2/5
Cover Comments: 
I actually really like this cover! It gives a great view of a dystopian city and the boy and the girl are also significant! 
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