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Review: Article 5

Article 5

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Purchase: Amazon | BookDepository
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian
Source: Requested from Publicist
Special: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
Rating: Perfect Bed Partner
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About the Book:
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
Beth and Ryan were holding hands. It was enough to risk a formal citation for indecency, and they knew better, but I didn't say anything...

Kristen Simmons gifts us a tale full of heart and insight; the emotion in Article 5 is so incredibly palpable! Simmons gradually and skillfully invites us into her characters' minds and feelings so that they feel beautifully human, spinning this connection that is overwhelming and genuine. The world of Article 5 instantly becomes our own, inciting fear in us for what may happen down the road to our own country. Is it possible that the United States could morph into such a terrible place as the one described in the book? There are so many well-written ties to history, a play at what might have been had the events of our ancestors' time unfolded differently. A harsh alternative universe is portrayed in this story, in which women must be subservient men, children born of wedlock need to be rehabilitated, and young men are ripped and pulled apart to create a new terrifying, heartless soldier. As we enter this redesigned U.S., we evidently see how rapidly reforms and fresh statutes are created, punishing the most miniscule error and no one is left unscathed. Article 5 brings back the horrors of old and exposes us to them so that they no longer seem like flat, inaccessible stories found in a heartless textbook.

Immediately the action kicks up, taking us first into the bleak reality of Ember's life, where teenage couples can't even hold hands without seeming reckless, then shoving us into the jarring arrest of her rebellious, though sweet mother. Reading as Ember is brutally torn away from the other half of what makes up her family sparks throat-clogging sympathy in us, leaving us devastated for a relatively newly introduced character. Matters only continue to worsen as the boy she once loved is forced to take part in the arrest. The sense of crushing betrayal engulfs us as Ember is shockingly turned against by the one other person she had always believed she could trust.

What stands out about Ember is her driving desperation. The frantic need to escape her consequent prison, to free her mother from wherever the cruel 'Moral Militia' has taken this woman so crucial to her life. Although she makes almost impulsive decisions to reach her goals, getting back to her mother is priority. As she progresses through the story, however, it becomes clear that she realizes her mother isn't the only important one, that her poorly thought-out methods can cause inifinitely more damaging effects, and it was a painful, though necessary internal journey to witness. As if that alone isn't enough for her to deal with, she must now also face the inescapable feelings constantly fighting to surface whenever she is near Chase, the boy she loved and lost. Not knowing what Chase's motives are was a tough thing to endure, but as we receive vital flashbacks into Ember's memory of him, he proves, between his actions of then and now, that he can be trusted. And rekindling their heartachingly lovely relationship isn't a distant possibility any longer, especially when faced with this changed Chase who goes to extraordinary measures to protect her, who wants her to return to him but is endearingly unsure of how to make that happen.

Article 5 would especially appeal to fans of Delirium and Shatter Me, not only through their shared threads of dystopian world-building but through the remarkable actions of the characters and their urgency in escaping these crooked worlds they find themselves in. I will have my ear firmly glued to the ground, on the lookout for any news of the sequel, which is deeply desired despite the wonderful non-cliffhanger ending. There is such heartbreaking beauty in the Simmons' words, her world, but most exceptionally the lovable characters she masterfully established in this fast-paced, gripping novel!

"He's not really a monster, anyway," I said [in reference to Frankenstein]. "It's everyone else that makes him that way because he's different. It's sad, you know? How people can tear you down like that. How you try to do the right thing but you just can't."
[Chase] tilted his head, eyes peering deep inside of me in a way that made me feel exposed, like I'd never really been seen before, yet the same time safe, like he'd never tell a soul what he'd found. His fingers laced with mine.
"It sounds lonely," he said. (234)


Kim said...

Really glad you liked it :) I can't wait to get my hands on this myself, since I've yet to see anything negative said about it. Your review has only made me all the more desperate read it! Fantastic review!

Liz. R said...

Oh wow, you've made me want to read this book even more. It sounds amazing. I loved both Delirium and Shatter Me, so I definitely think I'll like this one too. And I'm curious about Chase, especially after that little snippet at the end! Fab review Asher, so well-written that you've convinced me this one is a must read.

rogier said...

Really glad you liked it and fantastic/ i loved it looking 4ward 2 book2

Natalia Belikov said...

WoW! this is totallymy kind of book but since I haven seen many reviews around, It hast picked my attention that much. Now that you mention that this book will appeal to fans od Delirium and Shatter me, Im totally IN! Yet, I wonder if in Article 5 there is as much romance as there is in Delirum and Shatter Me. XD I'll check more reviews!

thnx for sharing my dear! great review like always!! muah!!

Dazzling Reads★  

Sophia said...

This book sounds amazinngggg! :) I really want to read it NOWNOWNOW, but I have to wait until March, when I have time. Action-packed and a romance? Please count me in! Great review! :)