Release date: January 31st, 2012
by Tor Teen
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
Imagine a world where Hitler would have won. A world where if you don’t follow the right religion, you won’t ever be seen again. A world where its against the law to hang out with the opposite sex after curfew unless you’re married. A world where being born from an unwed mother can get you killed – or worse. This is life in Kristen Simmons’ Article 5. It’s a truly frightening world where everyone is helpless against this corrupt government and their inconceivable rules.
There is barely any room to breathe during this story. It’s so action packed that I’m surprised the pages can stay intact. This is surprisingly not overwhelming, however. It simply makes it a book that keeps you reading until you turn the very last page. As someone who’s read a lot of dystopians, this one still stands out and brings about a new shocking world that can’t help but fascinate you. It’s not a fun dystopian like Divergent or Uglies where you get a cheerful rush from the new exciting future before it turns ugly. This one starts, and ends, with the characters running for their lives. This is serious from the start; you are scared for them on Every. Single. Page.
Our protagonist Ember is a character that matures tremendously during this novel. She starts off as this timid girl, blind to the cruel world around her, but once her mother is arrested she is forced to grow strong and confident if she plans on surviving -and she does. Although she does tend to self-blame a lot which gets increasingly worse as the stress of the situation builds on her. This is probably the intention of the author, but it can get just a tad frustrating at times. Her incredible determination still makes it easy to root for her. I also enjoyed her relationship with Chase which is extremely rocky, like walking on eggshells. He’s been broken by what he went through since the war. Kristen writes his unpredictable state of mind incredibly well.
As a dystopian, Article 5 delivers with a gruesome world, non stop action and heart pounding energy. Fans of Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Marie Lu’s Legend should get a kick out of this!
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