Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons site
Format: ARC, 362 pages
Published: 1/31/2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Received from the publisher for review

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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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

Ember is one of the most annoying protagonists I’ve ever encountered. She was very, very dense. She had to have even the most obvious things spelled out for her. And when she made obviously bad decisions, there didn’t seem to be any motive behind it. Needless to say, she wasn’t very likable.

I feel like Chase’s character was really see-through, and had been done a million times before. He is the muscled and attractive boy next door with a tortured past, that comes back into the picture after a long absence. He’s supposed to be kind of mysterious with a hidden secret, but it’s a very easy secret to guess.

In short, I didn’t really care for either of the main characters.

Plot and Story:
For the most part the plot was alright. It progressed enough to keep you reading. But it wasn’t as balanced between romance and dystopia as I would have liked. Although the things happening in the dystopian world get in the way on occasion, it’s really about whether or not Chase and Ember will get back together after both of them have changed so much. This set up can be appealing to some, but it definitely isn’t for me.

And I wish that the author had been clearer in her descriptions throughout the book. A lot of times it would seem as though the two main characters were alone having a conversation when out of nowhere there would be another character. Or it would seem like Chase and Ember were either riding or sitting in the car, but they were actually hiking. These seem like small inconveniences, but they all really add up and make reading the book confusing. 

Point of View:
Article 5 is written in first person from the point of view of Ember.

Although the premise/synopsis of the book was intriguing, Article 5 left me disappointed. It was a very hard book to finish, especially with such an unlikeable main character. I don’t think I’ll be pursuing a sequel. I give it 2 of 5 stars. 


  1. I've heard a lot of great things about this book. I'm sorry it didn't meet your expectations. I appreciate an honest review. I've been trying to take a break from YA, because it's been getting repetative for me. I'd like to try this one at some point.

  2. I am afraid that it might not be living up to the hype. I have not read Article 5 yet, but will have to try it at some point. The mixed reviews make me think that it could still go either way. I appreciate your thoughtful and honest review.
    I have tagged you. I look forward to reading your answers. Read the Questions...

  3. I've heard so many great things about this book - I'm interested to hear your differing perspective. Thanks for your honest review. Now I'm definitely curious whether I'll like this or not!

  4. When I first heard about this book, my first thought was that it didn't sound all that original. Still, I was curious to read it.

    Thanks for steering me away from it.

  5. tnx 4 the honest review
    i quite liked it/ 4/5