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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Article 5 (Article 5, #1) by Kristen Simmons

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 The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.


Can you say impressive? I was incredibly blown away by this novel, more than I would have expected. Sure, the summary sounds interesting. Sure, the cover looks cool. But with the current dystopian trend just building and building, I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting. Certainly not something that would rival my beloved Wither or even The Hunger Games.  

It has a considerable amount of action, more than other dystopians that I've read--although not as much as The Hunger Games--and it definitely manages to keep you on the edge of your seat. The romance is the kind that is so frustrating, the tension between the two so apparent to everyone but them, that I swear I'd chewed off my nails by the time I read the last page. 

Ember and Chase are as developed as two characters can get, and Ember's voice is strong. She's a great heroine and pretty kick butt, admirably so. Writing was exceptional, and the futuristic world was constructed in a way that was startlingly believable. The plot was so outstanding I wouldn't even know how to explain it, so the best I can do is give you a shove in the right direction--go read this novel!

Grade: A++++++


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