Review: Article 5 {Kristen Simmons}

Article 5 (Article 5, #1)

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington have been abandoned. The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes. There are no more police — there are soldiers. There are no more warnings — there are arrests and people who get arrested don't come back.

Ember Miller is remembers that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark.

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 non-compliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is Chase Jennings — the only boy Ember has ever loved.

 Ember was a wonderful character who was able to stay strong despite everything that was happening to her. Clearly, she is petrified, yet she remains stiff-lipped and likeable. When she suffered, I winced and when things got good I cheered.

Her relationship with her mother is complex and Ember feels the weight of responsibility for her, taking it upon herself to take care of her mother. This was a frustrating aspect as it's something I've found is a common theme in YA and, really, I'm a little tired of it.

The relationship between Ember and Chase, however, was extraordinary. I don't want to reveal too much but, let me just say, YES. Yes to Chase on all accounts. His character was brilliantly-developed and just as complex and three-dimensional as Ember. His story plays out nice and slow, so we're always left wondering what his true motives are.

Simmon's writing really shines here. Ember's narrative is intelligent and engaging and she is portrayed as a calming and mature force amidst such a horrible and dangerous society. The descriptions are perfectly balanced, detailing the horrors and the romance without going overboard and the soldiers were shown to be heartless and bloodthirsty, which was a thrilling element.

Simmons is a fantastic writer and I enjoyed this book so much I finished it in one sitting, barely breaking for food (which is a big deal for me). Though I do wish we found out more about why society had become the way it did I was so engrossed in Ember's story that it really didn't matter all that much in the end. Article 5 is definitely one of my favourite books of the year and manages to blend dystopian and romance seamlessly to create a fantastically thrilling novel.

"How cold and foreign this city seemed, that even death could pass unnoticed."


Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.