Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Review | Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Article 5 is the first book in Kristen Simmons's Article 5 series.

Book Description

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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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

Few things can sell me on a book like a lot of action. I love action packed page turners, and the idea of a YA dystopian novel with non-stop action was too good to pass up. Unfortuntely, Article 5 turned out to not really be my thing.

The dystopian premise of Article 5 is the government enforcing strict moral statutes on its citizens. I could never figure out what would cause society to evolve that way. The statutes were still being rolled out through the states yet the states enforcing these moral statutes were already executing people.

The main character of Article 5, Ember, was born out of wedlock 17 years ago. Article 5 of the moral statutes dictates that only children conceived by a married husband and wife are valid citizens. When the government updated the statute to include existing minors, Ember's mother became an automatic violator and Ember became property of the government.

As I stated, there is a lot of action in Article 5. Ember is on the run from the government and trying to save her mother. I normally love a good chase book where the characters are on the run, but I never understood why anyone cared or why all those resources were being used to such an extreme toward individual citizens like Ember and her mom.

Ember was a sympathetic character but she didn't have much snap to her. I wanted to holler at her a lot.

In the end, the action taking place throughout Article 5 wasn't enough to make me a fan. I needed a reason to believe the events would even happen and the characters were more frustrating than they were likeable. I will not be reading more books in the Article 5 series.

4/10: Not My Thing


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  1. I had heard a lot about this book... Funny, no one actually explained what Article 5 was about. I agree, why would society evolve that way? If there's no explanation for that, I'm afraid I can't really get into books (yeah, I'm picky like that).
    Thanks for the honest and great review! :)

  2. Sounds interesting! I'm glad it avoided the whole insta-love thing. :) Thanks for the review!

    Cath Brookes (Seward Fishing)


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