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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
Article 5 (Article 5 #1)FeaturedHot
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.
The concept of this one is so cool. Article 5 is a prime example of where the whole corrupt government really worked – I was just so intrigued by it, and wanted to find out more. It was just all very concise, and it was fascinating. It was entirely believable.
I loved that I could never guess where the plot was going to go next. I kept making assumptions, but most of the time, they ended up being wrong. Article 5 had such a twisty plot, with betrayal and so many other motivations behind every corner. This one definitely had a bit of a darker undertone to it.
I wasn’t super crazy about Ember – she definitely had her moments, but overall she just kind of bothered me. She had too much of a one track mind, which really distracted from the plot at times. I LOVED Chase. He was such a great character. One of the great things about Article 5 was how all the minor characters really played a role in the story and I remembered them all very distinctly in my mind.
I am so excited for book 2. The stage has definitely been set for what I assume will be a brilliant sequel to continue Ember and Chase’s story. I cannot wait to see where Kristen Simmons will take her characters in this dynamic dangerous world. Article 5 takes readers for an intense ride filled with betrayal, action, love, and so much more. In the polluted stream of dystopians that fill the shelves, Article 5 is a book that will stand out with it’s refreshing story and wonderful characters.
I really liked Ember, the main character. She seemed like a strong, well-developed character that worked with teh novel. It was a good character for the circumstances of the book. Ember was one of my favorite characters. I also liked the backstory Ember had and how close she was to her mother. The relationship between her and her mother was very important in this book and I liked how important it was in the plot of this book.
Chase was a very confusing character. And I liked that. His character had a backstory and that was nice. He was also a well-developed character which was good. I liked how throughout the novel we see different angles of Chase, whether it was determined, angry, loving, etc. The different angles of Chase was great.
I liked the background characters in this book. The people in the reformatory, the people met on the journey, and the revolutionaries. All these characters really brough the book together for me and I liked that.
The plot did lag in some parts of this novel, but for the most part it held a nice pace that worked with the plot of the book. This book also had lots of action which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I thought the world building could have used a little work. I wasn't really sure what time this book took place and I wished that could have been made a little clearer. But there was a history to why the world was now like this and I liked that aspect.
I thought Article 5 was supposed to be a dystopian, but having learned NOTHING about the world the protagonist, Ember, lives in, I can’t force myself to label it as such. From what I’ve gathered, there was a war. Why that war was started, who was involved, how the current reigning establishment found itself in power, how an entire nation allowed itself to become governed by a specific Christian-esque religion, and how any person allowed their basic human rights to be completely stripped away, were never explained. We were expected to take this world at face value, without explanation. Had that world made any modicum of sense, I might have been able to shrug off my increasingly growing questions. Unfortunately, I’m unable to picture a future society where I could be sentenced to death for having a child out of wedlock, and so I was unable to suspend any amount of disbelief in order to find such a future plausible.
It definitely didn’t help that Ember was an infuriatingly frustrating protagonist. Holding herself and those around her to high levels of reproach, Ember was absolutely appalled by starving citizens who robbed a dying (re: dead) homeless man of his sweater and shoes and she was disgusted with Chase for attacking men who had been trying to rape her. In a society where someone can be jailed for owning the wrong magazine, am I really supposed to believe that Ember is this innocent? That she has been that sheltered from the lengths people must go in order to protect themselves and those they love? Her decision making process was atrocious; she attributed every failure to Chase and gave herself way too much credit when plotting any deviations from Chases’ plans. Having failed to escape from reform school on her own, how does Ember react to finding out Chase has gone AWOL in order to get her to a safe house? She sulks because he won’t answer all of her questions while he attempts to get them to relative safety. Having just needed Chase to get them out of a tough situation, what does Ember do? Plot to run away. When she finds herself in another situation that she can’t handle and Chase saves her life, again, how does she react? Angry with Chase for not realizing that she hadn’t wandered off, that she had made the conscious decision to run away. **SPOILERS** When she finds out that her mother is dead, and Chase has known since he helped break her out of reform school, does she ask him to explain himself or his motivations? Does she try to see that, while misguided, he was merely doing what he thought was best by keeping her safe? Nope, she slips outside in some sort of daze and gets herself caught by the FBR (Article 5's military). **END OF SPOILERS** I just wanted to strangle the stupid girl.
As for the romance, I think it’s what your enjoyment of Article 5 will hinge on. Most of the development of the relationship is told in flashbacks, which I couldn’t really connect with because I was so bothered by the Ember in the present moment. Personally, I was waiting for Chase to get fed up with this useless and demanding girl, and dump her ass on the side of the road. At one point, he even reminds Ember that he doesn’t need her, unlike how she needs him. Unfortunately, he was just playing the tortured soldier card, waiting for Ember to acknowledge his mistakes and forgive him for letting the army break his soul…or something like that. I really disliked the constant back and forth, with Ember opening up to Chase, only for him to shut her out and for her to believe it was because he no longer cared. It was obvious to anyone who was paying attention that he was merely carrying around a lot of guilt because her mother was already dead and he obviously had a hand in it, so Ember’s constant inability to see past his facade seemed to serve only one purpose: to further the plot. If he was as changed as Ember fooled herself into believing, he wouldn’t have stuck around for all of her whining and petty childishness.
Fortunately for Article 5, though it was too little, too late, for me, we did get to see some character growth from Ember towards the end. While it definitely didn’t make up for the first 4/5 of the book, it was nice to see her acknowledge that she was living in an age where people were going to have to do deceitful things to get by, and that there might be more important things to worry about than her once-relationship with the boy-next-door.
This book is written in 1st person point of view of Ember. For me, the second half of the book was more intense and interesting compared to the first half. What I really loved about this book, other than Chase, is the love interest between him and Ember! Instead of the girl playing hard to get and mysterious, it was the guy! At the beginning you will be like “what the heck is this guy’s problem!” and then towards the middle you’ll be left “awww”-ing.
The writing style was good and I could picture everything easily. I had no problems with the characters and liked all of them. You could see how Ember’s and Chase’s character and relationship changed since the beginning which is really important in a book. I enjoyed the little flashbacks that the author threw in of when Chase haven’t joined the military. You could really tell how the military took effect on him.
The only thing I was kind of “ehh” about is that more twist and surprises could’ve been added. Two thumbs up to the romance though. Overall I recommend this book to everyone especially to those who love dystopian books.
And oh my god I am SO GLAD that I did. I originally picked Article 5 up planning to read 10 pages or so before getting started on my homework…and I literally ended up reading 200 pages before I had to pick someone up, and then I immediately picked Article 5 back up again and finished it.
Yeah, talk about an engrossing story. I mean, Article 5 is INTENSE. It’s way more violent than I expected it to be and I was so nervous for the characters half the time – I felt like I was watching an action movie!
Okay, and the characters! Ember! I loved her. She is LOYAL. She loves her mother. She wants to save her mother. I admire her dedication and her strength and even though she does some dumb things, she pushes onwards. And Chase. I have such a thing for the name Chase and I had such a thing for this Chase because even though he was self-sacrificing to the point it made me want to shove him out of a car, I still wanted him to protect me (or Ember, whatever) from all the bad guys in the world.
Okay, back to the story – the moral statues were SO MESSED UP. I can’t even begin to imagine living in the world Ember and Chase lived in, and after reading Article 5, I don’t even want to try!
There are a lot of really excellent dystopian novels with literary goodness and emotional what not. But I thought Article 5 was original in its badass-ness. The characters were real, they were loyal and interesting, the story was engrossing and intense and if I had been watching Article 5 as a movie, I would have had to cover my eyes a few times. It doesn’t have the overly descriptive writing of some dystopians, but the writing inspires imagery just as well.
Seriously, if you guys like awesome protagonists and stories that suck you in (and don’t mind a couple of gun fights), you really ought to go pick up Article 5 by Kristen Simmons. It’s a fabulous debut and I can’t wait for the next book.
Review originally posted on my blog http://hobbitsies.net/2012/02/article-5-by-kristen-simmons/
The plot, though a bit tiring, progressed very well and straightforward so I never got lost. I thought that it was a bit too focused on Ember's thoughts and probably could do with more of the actual action part. Even so, I did find that the story was based around action. One thing about dystopia is that now the genre has become so big that it's difficult to find a truly different storyline. While this one wasn't shabby, I think that the story itself could improve a bit.
The setting I find was okay. It wasn't rushed, and I knew clearly where I was, but only in the geographical sense. I wouldn't be able to tell you whether or not the road was dry and cracked, or if it had dust puffing up behind Ember's steps. But since the story was based around action, I guess the story's focal was getting it going instead of deep soulful descriptions of the world around them. Nevertheless, I really would love a description of the environment because I love getting suckered into the story with those descriptions.
Ember is no doubt a strong heroine, though I had doubts at some times. She would be the caretaker for her carefree mother who just can't seem to be able to resist breaking the rules. She's supposed to be the one wary in the world and cautious of things around her, yet she's quite clueless and sheltered from many things in her world. Another point against her was her whining and spur-of-the-moment decisions. I mean, Chase is willing to help you, yet you chose to trust some lady who turns out to be a nutcase? It's obviously not going to turn out good. Still, I have to admire her persistence. No matter what comes her way, she always puts her mother first and relentlessly does whatever in her power to release her mother.
Chase is overall a good guy. Very predictable story there. Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy. Boy leaves for army. Girl devastated and betrayed. They meet back again in some very unfortunate circumstances that would tear them further apart. The two then gets thrown together and there's the spark. While I love how Chase wouldn't be added to my list of "Male counterparts that are jerks," I find that I don't know a lot about him enough to get all "OMG, TEAM CHASE!"
One other notable character is Ember's mother. She's the type of person who'd have the motto "Life for the moment" and in my opinion, is not very responsible. Nevertheless, I think that she may have been my favourite character although she didn't appear in many of the pages. What I admire about her is her heart. She's the kind of person who forgives, no matter what. After the arrest when Chase went to see her, she didn't scowl and back away. She basically welcomed him in a way that startled Chase a bit, because of her kindness. In the story, it mentioned something about Ember having to drive off one of her previous abusive boyfriends. Ember's mother, at first, was upset because she loved the man, but forgives her eventually. While I find that her being upset at Ember for driving the abusive guy away, I felt really touched for some twisted reason. It was the kind of love that victims of domestic abuse hold to their spouses, and the way that she forgives her abusers felt . . . so kind in a way that the world of Article 5 does not allow.
In conclusion, while I thought Article 5 was a very enjoyable story, it doesn't rank among my favourite dystopias. It's certainly entertaining, but I would say this is only a casual dystopia.
Article 5 falls into the vein of dystopias that clearly stem from our modern society. The direct correlation to forces at play in current politics makes this a great read-a-like for Cory Doctorow's Little Brother. In Simmons' horrific future, the fundamentalists have taken over, after various factors caused problems. The country is policed by the FBR, also known as the MM (Moral Militia). Women are being forced back into a subservient role: wives and mothers. There is talk of no longer allowing women to take math, for example, because what use is that to ladies? Women must wear appropriate clothing. All sorts of reading materials (ex. romance novels) and actions (ex. doing anything romantic outside of marriage) are prohibited.
Even more horrifying, the military now has such power that trials for crimes are becoming a thing of the past. Even if a trial is planned, nobody looks to closely if a 'criminal' dies in an 'escape attempt' or something of that sort. Not only that, but you can now be held responsible for something done years before. Take, for example, our heroine's mother, arrested at the beginning of the book for having a child out of wedlock. Note that the child she had is 17 year old Ember. The law didn't exist when Ember was born, but it's written now, so off to jail you go.
Ember was a wonderful heroine. She has so much personality and I really felt like I knew her. Told in the first person from her perspective, I just loved the way Ember thought and phrased things. She has a sarcastic and occasionally off-the-wall humor that I really appreciate. I thought the storytelling was effective, and that, though I knew Ember best, I did get a hint of depths to some of the other more minor characters.
What I really love about Ember as a heroine is how ordinary she is. Now, she is cleverer than average and definitely braver, but she has no special physical skills or powers to aid her in her quest to save her mother from prison. Despite that, Ember is a force to be reckoned with. She fights back, even when that is really not the advisable action. Ember cannot NOT act when someone does something to her. She does not take abuse quietly. She stands up for herself first and foremost, and sometimes or others. The selfishness underlying most of her actions I really liked too, because, let's be honest, that's how she's going to have a chance of surviving.
Plus, her personality made the romance stand out from the ordinary YA relationships. Though on the surface, we have an obvious match with Chase and Ember, childhood sweethearts torn apart by his induction into the MM. Whereas most YA heroines when reunited with the strong, tall, gorgeous Chase would forgive him his trespasses and do whatever he asked, like good girls do, Ember does not trust him at all. Any trust he gets from her has to be EARNED. She knows well that just because she loved him before does not mean he is the same person now.
Chase and Ember's relationship appeals so much more to me because of the realistic way in which she views it. Though she's drawn to him, she can resist him. She can think logically in the face of his presence. She can use him to get what she needs. She listens to him when it's in her benefit, but also will disobey his orders if she feels that necessary. Despite his training and strength, she always does what she can to fight and comes up with great ideas, rather than expecting him to protect her.
Article 5 is chock full of action, awesome characters, sassy writing and a horrifying dystopian society that I dearly hope never comes to pass. Book two, Breaking Point, should probably make its way to my hands immediately; I want it like BURNING.
This book followed the same storyline as any other book set in a future world with a government power that is bringing the world to ruins. It also had a brave female heroine and a mysterious or broken boy who needs fixing that the heroine falls in love with. There should of been more twists and should of not followed the same basic storyline, even though it had some twists in the plot, it still was the same.
I think Ember was a bit to obsessed with her mother, all she really thought about was to get her mother safe, she hardly thought about herself, all focused on her mother. She should of taken the time to look around.
This was a good book that was written good, it needed more difference, but all in all, it was an alright book that you may enjoy if you like dystopians.