Article 5 by Kristen Simmons Review

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons (Facebook)
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publish Date: January 31, 2012
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher

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 The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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

Things have changed in the realm of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There are new laws in place, there's an omnipotent governing body and things are definitely not how they used to be. But Ember remembers what life was like before...before the raids and the trials and the fines. There is always risk though, and even though Ember knows her life depends on anonymity for the most part, she's thrust into a spotlight when her mother is arrested. Her life changes in that moment. Life is no longer simply black and white, but shades of gray because Chase is at the center of it all, and there is always a choice.

Dystopians have become so hit or miss for me lately. They're almost the new paranormal, in a sense, as they continue to spin the same old, same old story. Because of this, it's a breath of fresh air when something challenges the boundaries of the genre, setting a new height and goal for other novels to reach. Article 5 is one of those books. It's that perfect blend of spine-tingling action, breathtaking suspense, vivid imagery and fabulous characterization that lends to a story line that soars far greater than the synopsis or summary can even allude to. Kristen Simmons has crafted an incredible story that is extremely well-written, flows beautiful and paints a painfully bleak and frightening future world.

There's a subtle undercurrent and theme that carries throughout Article 5 that, above all else, I feel the need to point out. We all have choices. Right or wrong, good or bad, obedience or defection...every single person has a choice. That applies to every member of society from the very top and trickles all the way down. Ember was a powerfully evocative character that displays this so incredibly well. She's forced into a terrible situation and she's faced with the easy decision to submit, or she can choose the hard path - to escape. In a nutshell, it's her choice that forces Article 5 into heart-pounding action. Her counterpart and love interest, Chase, is everything I wished for and more. He's lit from within, and his personality resonates. He's forcible, but kind, and there's a hardened exterior around him that acts as an armour, shielding him from the pain of society and every action he has to take. The progression of his dynamic with Ember was tragically beautiful, and yet powerfully hopeful, as well. The true power of the novel rests in the ability to skillfully paint the harsh reality of the world in which the characters live. The world was so very bleak, gritty and and raw, and the words perfectly painted that picture, nearly rubbing salt in the proverbial wounds with each turn of the page. And, ultimately, the characters, the writing and the brilliant story line merged seamlessly to provide an engrossing new dystopian that keeps you guessing and cheering for your favourite characters long past the last page.

I am always so happy when I book knocks me out of a so-so reading funk, and Article 5 most certainly did that for me. It was an incredibly well-executed debut, and I can't sing its praises enough. I give it a 5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy futuristic dystopian novels.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. Another good dystopian :D Oh there are so many to choose from! I have no idea about anything any more

  2. Sounds like a modern spin on 1984, a little creepy, but so good. I'll have to give it a try :)


  3. I love dystopians and this one has been on my list for awhile as it sounds awesome. I'll definitely have to get a copy soon! Great review :)

  4. I've actually tried to stay away from dystopias for a while because they all seemed to blend in to one another and it's hard to tell them apart. I like how this one stands on its own ground and the characters seem great too. I'm hoping this one will get me out of my dystopian funk. Thank for the review!

  5. I've been really curious about this one for a while, and it makes me happy to know that you think it's a wonderful read!

  6. YESSSSSS! So glad you gave this a 5:) I feel like I've been waiting on this one forever and I was really worried it wouldn't be as good as the synopsis suggests. I will be buying this one at the bookstore asap. Stunning review as per usual!

  7. This book was amazing, and you know what? The further out I get from having read it, the more I think about it, and the more I LOVE it. It's really EXCELLENT. And you're right, Chase is awesome. Such a great, complex character - mysterious - definitely a favorite of mine.

    Great thoughts! I loved reading them, Melissa!

  8. Oh wow. Sounds fantastic. GREAT review. I love what you said about choices. So very true.

  9. Ooo, wow, a 5 out of 5? This one sounds incredible. I know what you mean about dystopians becoming the next paranormal - so glad this one is different!

    Awesome review, Melissa, as always :)

  10. YES! Love this book! I can't wait to read the next one :)

  11. This was a great story but I had a serious love/hate relationship with Chase! But he was one of the more "real" characters I've read in a while. Looking forward to seeing where she takes this world.

  12. Wow, this sounds like my kind of book, thanks for sharing!

  13. So glad you loved it! I totally adored this one, and I think a lot of it had to do with the characters.

  14. I've been seeing mixed reviews of this one. I'm glad you liked it! I think I will have to give it a try to get my own opinion of it.

    Magical Urban Fantasy Reads

  15. Knowing your feelings on dystopians, (I feel like you're the queen of them) if you say this is a five then it must be a five and worth my time and money! I'll definitely give this one a try! Thanks for the great review.


  16. I've been so on the fence about buying this book. I agree about dystopian being the new paranormal. I either love them or hate them. I've been sold by your review! Definitely picking up a copy!

  17. GREAT review/ i loved it
    glad u did to

  18. I haven't read this one yet, but you definitely have me itching to pick up my copy!

    Dystopians are becoming hit or miss for me as well, glad to know this one is worth the time.

  19. So-so reading funks are the pits. Glad to hear this one broke you out of it! I've been hearing more and more great things about Article 5, and I like what you pointed out about the theme of choices in the book. It's SO true! And 5 out of 5? WOW! I guess I'll have to check this one out!

  20. I agree that this book seemed out of the ordinary dystopian YA; unfortunately it wasn't quite to my taste as I don't really like stories where the characters are on the run. I tend to find them pretty boring so even the strong writing in this book couldn't save it for me.

  21. Article 5 was definitely compelling--it was a book that brought me back from a reviewing slump that I was on. I don't think I loved it, but I definitely enjoyed it more than any dystopian I've read for a while. I'm with you--they are like the new paranormal--and that means they tend to follow the same formula. Article 5 stands out to me because of its execution, not its premise. Also, because of Chase. Ember, I think, was a little too self-righteous at times, but I think I came around to liking her in the end.

    Fantastic review!

  22. Started out slow...but then became very good. Good story line. Couldn't put it down after awhile. If you liked divergence..enclave..the burn..arena will love this too.

    Cath Brookes (Alaska Search Marketing)


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I always do my very best to return the favour :)

Please note that this blog is an award-free zone!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover