Article 5 (Article 5 #1)
by Kristen Simmons
Rating: Really Liked It
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
One aspect I really enjoyed about this book is the fact that it actually doesn't really deal with a rebellion. The recipe for most dystopians is: character is oblivious, something happens, character finds out he/she has been lied too, starts to rebel/becomes part of rebellion, ect. This book, however, deals with Ember's journey to find her mother and escape her boarding house she is sent to after being arrested.
I really enjoyed the plot of this one. Even though I knew what happened very early on, I liked learning more and more about the society alongside Ember. Add in a crazy boarding school, road trips and tons of action and you've got a recipe for success. And politics. Gotta love politics!
I had a love/hate relationship with Ember. There were times I really liked her. She wasn't perfect but she was strong-willed and really cared about her mom, always an admirable trait. However, what I really hated was her attitude towards Chase. I liked the relationship itself because I could tell they truly cared about each other. But I hated the fact that she blamed him for everything. What was worse is the fact that if it's anyone's fault, it's hers. He was drafted. He didn't have a choice. But he said he'd run away for her and she says no because she knows the consequences, yet pretty much turns around and blames him and hates him for leaving her. Yeah, I don't think so hun. Other than that though, I believe she's a good character and her growth in all departments is exponential by the end of the book.
This brings me to the part that I actually was most interested in: Chase. While not explicitly stated, Chase suffers from PTSD. I've always been interested in this part of psychology and I also know people that suffer from it. I liked that the author delved into this aspect of his character and really showed the struggle he was going through. In my mind, the fact that he tried so hard made me fall for him hard. He truly is a kind, caring and protective guy who is just going through some incredibly hard times and trying to work through them. His heart is admirable and his struggles showed his strength.
I really enjoyed the plot of this book. Action-packed, adventurous and a swoon-worthy love interest? Definitely worth checking out. Even though Ember bugged me, her growth shows that she'll end up being a fantastic character.