by Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: January 31st 2012
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New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned. The Bill of Rights has been revoked and replaced with Moral Statutes.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 don't usually come back.The premise of Article 5 sounds like just about any other dystopian novel on the market. It's set in a future with new rules and regulations, it's got a female heroine who tries to stay under the radar until absolutely necessary, and of course there's a bit of romance. Okay, a LOT of romance. Article 5 is the perfect example of a dystopian that tries so very hard to be dystopian, but ultimately ends up missing the mark.
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 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.
In the three years since the war ended, 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 what's worse, one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings.... the only boy Ember has ever loved.
Angst. OH THE ANGST OF THIS NOVEL! I haven't read anything quite this angsty since I read The Dead Tossed Waves over a year ago. I know there were other things going on in Article 5 but Ember and Chase's relationship definitely ended up taking center stage. The entire book was made up of Ember's feelings flip flopping like crazy.
Chase hates me.
Chase loves me!
He hates me...
No he loves me!
I HATE CHASE!
OH MY GOSH I LOVE CHASE!!!!!
Yep. That's pretty much how it went. By the end of the book I had totally lost count of how many times they had a misunderstanding or a falling out. The angst eventually got so bad that it was actually good in that "Oh my gosh this is so ridiculous that its HILARIOUS" sort of way. >.<
Other than the angst I also felt like the plot was really disjointed. One minute Ember's arrested, the next she's put in boarding school, and then suddenly she's running for her life? All within the first 100 pages of the book? Yeah, everything moved way too fast.
The characters were okay, but I found it hard to root for them because like I said they were just so dang angsty. Ember and Chase weren't just angsty in their relationship with each other they were angsty about everything! The war, who they were as people, their lives in general, it was all one big ball of angst! I also wasn't a big fan of Ember's characterization. It was like Kristen Simmons was trying really hard to make her angry and badass and it didn't feel authentic at all. Angst ridden characters as a rule are not badass....
So as you can tell I was not really a fan of this book. It was a decent read but the angst and only so-so plot line just ruined it for me. I know a lot of other people loved it so if you like you're dystopian novels with a side of angst (a HUGE side of angst) then you should give Article 5 a chance. If not, then I would probably pass it up.
I give Article 5 three out of five cupcakes.