February 28, 2013

Review: Article 5 by: Kristen Simmons

Article 5 by: Kristen Simmons (2012)
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates Book
362 pages
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Romance

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 The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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

My Review

My first thoughts: I will read the second book in this series. I have grown to really love these characters and I want to see how their lives play out. Although this was not a great dystopian novel, there were some issues I had with it, it was still really enjoyable.

In my last review I complained about how boring the first part of the novel was and how there was too much background information. Well this book was the exact opposite. The novel started off with a bang. There was no shortage of action and I loved it. BUT, and I hate to have to say this, there was not nearly enough information about how the U.S. came to be such a horrid place. The author only briefly mentioned a war that lead to the new articles everyone must follow, but there wasn't any detail. And this my friend was frustrating. To really fully immerge myself in a book I want to know about the world I am stepping into. I think I could have given this book a higher rating if it would have been better formed. I will say that the Articles hit on a lot of interesting controversial social subjects, but they were not emphasized enough besides the article Ember gets in trouble for.  It makes me sad because I wanted to give this book a higher rating. Although you don’t technically need the hard core details, I’m one of those readers that likes to know.

The characters are enjoyable and I may have once again fallen in love with a fictional male character, Chase.  I love Chase’s complex character. I not only wanted to hug him and smack him at the same time but I wanted to applaud him for fighting and doing the best he can. It takes a while for Ember, the female lead, to really understand what it means to fight to survive and she comes off as weak at times. Don't worry though, she gets better. The chemistry between Ember and Chase is wonderfully perfect. It helps that this wasn't insta-love, this was best friends that turned into more over time.  The flashbacks really showed off their relationship even more. I know there was a focus on the love story in this dystopian book instead of always the bad government, but I enjoyed the change. These two characters may have their ups and downs and some may get frustrated by this, but I thought it seemed appropriate for their situation.

I love a book with a lot of action and this one lived up to those expectations. I was always wondering what danger was lurking around the next corner.  It kept me glued to the pages.

So as you can see I have mixed feelings about this book, but I liked it enough that I will keep reading the series and suggest that others should take a chance at it. If anything I want to see where the author will take this story in the next book. I’m giving it a shot with an open mind. Luckily the second book just came out so I don’t have to wait long.

In the end, if you don’t delve too deep in breaking down the world Simmons created, you will really enjoy this book. 

RATING 4/5   Buy Article 5


  1. I agree on wanting more deets, and actual prefer a slow start with tons of detail, but such is not the case in YA. I have read and reviewed book two and liked it more, we get some deets but I think the author is purposely leaving us in the dark about a lot of things. Wonderful review!

    1. I can't wait to read the second one! Thanks for the heads up. I don't always mind when there isn't a lot of details and background at the beginning but this one I felt like had none.

  2. Like you, I think I'd like to hear more about how/why the state of the governement and society changed. I've found that background knowledge always lends more dynamic to the state of things as they are now (in the book). It just makes things make sense. I do like how the novel starts off with such a high impact and it's unfortunately that the author doens't keep up the same momentum throughout. Still a great concept and I look forward to reading it!

    1. It was a very interesting book and I can't wait to get my hands on the second one! I just like a little bit more background information, I think it makes the story better, gives me more of a reason to root for the characters that are against the new system.

  3. I have this on my TBR pile so it's good to know there's really something to look forward to with this one!

    1. There is! I hope you enjoy it. I can't wait to read the next one!

  4. You convinced me to pick this up! It was always kind of sitting there and I just haven't thought much about it but now I am intrigued. I find that not getting enough of the background story is really common among Dystopian's / books very unlike the norm - I imagine some ideas are so absurd that there isn't a logical path to explain? What's worse - a background story that is impossible to believe or one that is absent? (i don't have an answer myself)

    Great review! :)

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