Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Article 5

Author: Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5, #1


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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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

This book was nothing at all like I imagined it to be. And I don't mean that in a bad way. I actually really loved it. It was so intense right from the very beginning and had my heart racing at every minute.

Ember Miller lives with her single mother. And according to the new laws of the United States of America, that is illegal. For Ember to be considered a valid citizen, she must have been born to a married man and woman. And it is because of this, that her mother is arrested and Ember is taken to a rehabilitation center for girls. And in this world of Moral Statutes, one would think that the people would be nicer, more... moral. But in fact, they are not. They are vile and malicious and will do anything to maintain order and balance in their perfect little world, including violence: torturing and even killing. Ember learns this the hard way, when she arrives at the rehabilitation center in West Virginia, far away from her home and mother. She instantly realizes that this is not a place she wants to be and prepares to escape. But escaping is more difficult than she could have imagined, for the grounds are heavily guarded with soldiers, and anyone who tries to leave is shot dead. With a little help, she attempts her escape only to be caught and to her surprise one of the soldiers pretends that the two were "involved" so that Ember's punishment would be less severe. Before the punishment is administered she is saved by none other than Chase Jennings, the love of her life and the soldier who arrested her mother. And now they are on a dangerous journey to a safe house is South Carolina to find her mother.

I loved the relationship between Ember and Chase, although some of their actions weren't always good. Ember can be rather child-like, throwing tantrums and sometimes just outright not thinking at all. At one point while they were stopped and resting, she attempts to run away on her own, only to find herself in a rather strange situation and Chase comes to her rescue. And even after that happens, she still attempts to escape him. And not because he's a bad person or he's holding her hostage, but because he broke her heart when he left to join the military. And Chase has his moments of being a total jerk at times, but after what he's been through in training, I would imagine that would leave a person rather damaged and I find it amazing he isn't more messed up than he is. They end up in some frightening situations along the way, and I must say, I was terrified for them on several occasions, but I think all that they went through together on their travels only made their bond stronger. 

The only thing I can say that I didn't like about it, and I'm not sure as this qualifies as a con, but I would've liked to have gotten more of a feel for her life before the arrest. It happens at the very beginning of the book so I never got to know her friends well, and her mother was out of the picture for most of the book and the only thing you learned about her was from Embers memories. I wasn't expecting the arrest to happen so soon. Aside from that, Article 5 is a wonderful heart-racing read and I can't wait to read the next book!


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-Kelly