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April 28, 2012

Book Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5 #1
Release Date: January 31st 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Age: Young Adult
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
Dystopias are pretty popular right now. I like some of them, but my problem is that I get tired pretty fast. That's why I wanted to read Article 5, it sounded different. I was curious, it wasn't about a natural disaster or a disease, but a past war and a new 'government'.

Ember lives in a world of soldiers and articles. If you don't follow them, you're punished. So she's keeping a low profile to live a peaceful life, but when her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes, her life changes forever.

I really liked this book. It has a little bit of everything, and I think it was realistic. Ember is obliged to attend a 'reformatory' for girls like her...Articles 5. They treat her badly, hurt her and practically abused of her. It was pretty bad (but not as bad as it could have been). When she's about to receive the worst punishment, she's 'saved' by her ex-boyfriend, Chase Jennings, who now is a soldier. She can't trust him, so why is he helping her?

I liked Ember, but sometimes she was too naive. I had an idea of what happened to the other girls at the reformatory when the soldiers decided to punish them, but I can say she was very strong. I liked her love for her mother, she really wanted to find her, but again, she thought they could live a normal life after being arrested?

Chase was a great character, and I think he kind of stole the story. I wanted to know more about him, his suffering and what was on his mind when he decided to help Ember. Also, I liked their 'romance'. I wouldn't call this a romance book, but it's definitely there. But it was realistic (yay!), not ridiculously sweet but more like 'I love you and I will save your life not matter what'.

But, I wished there were more explanations, like why The Bill of Rights has been revoked and why people accept this new regimen. There was bits of explanations, a war from the past, but nothing full. Also, I didn't like Ember's actions sometimes. It was like she was acting exactly as they expected...there was some kissing (not with Chase) that I didn't understand...she was playing with fire.

Overall, I enjoyed Article 5 and definitely recommend it for someone who wants to read a book full of action. It's a great debut, and as I believe it's the kind of thing that could easily happen in our world.


  1. i know scary right
    i loved this book
    yes 4.5 for me as well
    gr8 review

  2. I am so glad you enjoyed this one..i loved it and I am hoping book two clarifies some of our questions! great review

  3. I'm curious about it and will probably will read it to satisfy the Dystopian challenge that I'm participating in. But I will say that I really dislike when there aren't enough explanations especially when introducing a completely change world. This is important to disappearing into the setting I think.

    1. I know! I needed to satisfy my curiosity, but maybe in the sequel?

  4. Maybe, I do want to read more dystopia but I just feel like I get burned every time. I love book 1 and then it goes down

  5. I need to give this one a try, I just need more hours in the day. Thanks for review.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog