Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Book Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: 31st January 2012
Read In: April 2012

Goodreads - Amazon.co.uk/.com
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 The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
I need to learn to stop assuming things about a book before I read it.

“Conner and Bateman pulled my mother away. Morris’s hands were still on my wrists. I heard nothing over the ringing in my ears. And then I saw him. “

Everything I expected this book to be about, after reading the blurb, happened within the first 100 pages. I didn’t like that. It felt too rushed. Straight away the book dropped in my opinion, but then I didn’t know where the story was going to take me.

I’m glad that I stuck with it, because once I adapted to the fact that the book wasn’t what I theorised in my head, I started to enjoy it.

The best thing about this book is the character of Chase and his feelings for the main character, Ember. Oh I love Chase. I always have a special place in my heart for tragic characters; Snape from Harry Potter, Sebastian from The Mortal Instruments, Warner from Shatter Me to name a few off the top of my head. I just always fall for them. When you list the things that he has been through, boy you know he has had it rough. All the way through I was feeling sympathy towards him. Maybe that’s just my understanding nature.

I liked Ember in some ways but not in others. Not only does she not want to understand Chase’s view of things in the beginning but also makes some downright stupid decisions. However I found her realistic as a character. She is not a brave kickass female like other YA heroines, but she is not really wimpy either. She sticks up for herself and genuinely cares about others; a little too much in some incidents. She also grows as a character which is what I like to see. I found myself relating to her (not when she makes stupid choices though).

I loved the way that the relationship between Ember and Chase was portrayed in the end; even if I got annoyed with Ember at times. I liked the flashback scenes to when both of them were younger. We get to know Chase as the person Ember knew so we could see how he has changed over the years. They have not been kind to him (tragic character sympathies coming though :D). I am also glad they were childhood friends. It would not have worked otherwise.

As for the society, I would have liked a bit more explanation. There were many references to a “war” throughout the book but no explanation as to what it was about or the cause. The characters have no excuse for forgetting; it only ended three years before the beginning of the story. I’m also really wanted more of an insider’s view to the life of an MM solider from Chase. Hopefully more detail will be given in the upcoming books.

Overall I enjoyed it. Time for Chase swooning until the second book comes out methinks :)


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