Article 5 (Article 5 Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview


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 The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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...
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Article 5 (Article 5 Series #1)

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Overview


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 The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
S. has changed since the war and the bombings. It is no longer a country of freedom and tolerance; instead, sexism is disguised as morality. From life choices to clothing, men and women must adhere to strict gender roles. Ember's mother is arrested under Article 5, a law criminalizing the birth of a child out of wedlock. It does not matter that Ember was born long before the war. While her mother is in jail, the teen is sent to a reform school to make sure that her illegitimate birth has not polluted her beyond redemption. To make matters worse, Chase, the boy she loved and who seemed to love her, is the drafted soldier who transports her there, and he treats her with a cool disdain and detachment. At the reformatory, she is beaten and threatened by the guards. Months pass, and one day Chase shows up to take her to her mother's trial. What follows is a harrowing adventure played out by an AWOL soldier and an escaped prisoner. Ember cannot figure out why Chase came for her, but he seems willing to go to any lengths to protect her. Will they make it to freedom? Article 5 can be compared to Lauren Oliver's Delirium (HarperCollins, 2011) in terms of the control of emotions and morality imposed by society. The escape story is interesting, as is the fragile rebuilding of trust between the teens. Ember's feelings of helplessness are palpable. The story is well written, and the descriptions are vivid. Fans of dystopian books will love this debut novel, the first in a series.—Melyssa Kenney, Parkville High School, Baltimore, MD
Publishers Weekly
In her debut novel, Simmons portrays a right-wing dystopian America still reeling from a vaguely described war. Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller lives quietly with her free-spirited mother, trying to avoid the puritanical Federal Bureau of Reformation and their increasingly stringent Moral Statutes. When Ember’s mother is arrested as morally suspect (she’s an unwed mother), Ember is carted off to a repressive reform school that is essentially a concentration camp. Worse, one of the soldiers involved in the arrest is Ember’s former boyfriend, Chase, now barely recognizable in military uniform. The novel details naïve Ember’s experiences first as a prisoner, then as a fugitive, with the emotionally scarred and secretive Chase as her companion. Heavy-handed in its delivery, the tale is well-written, though there are occasional clunkers (“I answered as assertively as I could. I was so mad my organs vibrated”). Simmons’s story includes a fair amount of believable action, a few mildly horrific events, and some not quite R-rated romance on its way to a conclusion that sets up the next installment in this planned trilogy. Ages 14–up. Agent: Browne & Miller Literary Associates. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
“Kristen Simmons’ Article 5 is a gripping, atmospheric story of survival. Alongside a fierce depiction of oppressive government, Simmons has created a bleak portrait of an America lost. I could hardly put it down. Ember Miller and Chase Jennings can be my post-apocalyptic wingmen anytime.”—Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood

 

“Subversion. Defiance. Desperate, struggling humanity in the face of state-sponsored tyranny. This book was engrossing, unpredictable and thoroughly REAL. Loved it.”Jay Kristoff, author of Stormdancer

“Fast-paced, emotional and nail-bitingingly intense, Article 5 gripped me from page one and didn’t let me go once.”--Parajunkee.com

“There are only a few books that managed to keep me up at night this year, and ARTICLE 5 is one of them. A MUST read for any fan of the dystopian genre…even if you are not, it’s a must read anyways.”—Book Reader Addicts

VOYA - Cassandra Rondinella
Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller lives in a world dictated by Moral Statutes and the Federal Bureau of Reformation (FBR). Since an internal attack on the United States, a set of laws and a new branch of the military has been created to establish order to the nation. With these laws comes the surrender of many constitutional rights. People are fined and taken away for violating the Moral Statutes and vanish without a trace. Ember's mother is in constant violation of the Moral Statutes and is one day arrested for an Article Five violation; having a child out of wedlock. Ember's ex-boyfriend, Chase Jennings, who was drafted into the FBR, is an arresting officer who also helps deport Ember to an out-of-state, girls' reformatory and rehabilitation center—a boot camp that forces inmates to submit to regulations or be brutally punished. In an attempt to save and reunite Ember with her mother, Chase goes, helps Ember escape from the center, and both are now searching for a modern underground railroad used to keep violators safe. Chase and Ember experience dangerous situations at every step; from starved, disgruntled citizens to close calls with FBR officers, never knowing who to trust and who is a threat. The story that Simmons tells paints a picture of a world that could easily be our future. Her fluid writing creates an easy-to-read story that opens the eyes of readers to what the loss of civil liberties could entail. This book is a must have for all young adult collections. Reviewer: Cassandra Rondinella
Kirkus Reviews
In an unimpressive dystopian romance, a girl flees a repressive institution with the soldier she once loved. After a war whose details never quite emerge, the U.S. government authorized the Federal Bureau of Reformation, better known as the Moral Militia, to arrest any citizen in violation of the stringent "Moral Statutes." Ember's mom is arrested for violating Article 5—having conceived a child out of wedlock—and Ember is sent to a girls' rehab where rule-breakers are punished with violence and those who try to escape are shot. Ember does escape, however, with the help of Chase Jennings, a friend who joined the Moral Militia years earlier, and most of the book chronicles the pair's tense and treacherous journey in search of Ember's mother and safety. That the two have feelings for each other is immediately clear, but drawn-out misunderstandings and a tedious unwillingness to communicate keep the two travelers at odds. Despite the book's implicit critique of sexism ("[women]'s subservience" is mandated by the Articles), Chase is portrayed as knowledgeable, street-smart and in charge, while Ember is loose-tongued and impulsive, frequently requiring Chase's assistance to get out of a scrape. There are a few engaging action scenes here and there, but overall, it's a disappointment for romantics, feminists and dystopia fans alike. (Dystopian romance. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429987738
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Series: Article 5 Series , #1
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 15,708
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • File size: 765 KB

Meet the Author


KRISTEN SIMMONS has a master’s degree in social work and is an advocate for mental health. She lives with her husband, Jason, and their precious greyhound Rudy in Tampa, Florida. Article 5 is her first novel.
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Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER
1
 

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. Curfew rounds wouldn’t begin for another two hours, and freedom was stolen in moments like these.
“Slow down, Ember,” Ryan called.
Instead I walked faster, pulling away from our pack.
“Leave her alone,” I heard Beth whisper. My face heated as I realized how I must look: not like a conscientious friend who was minding her own business, but like a bitter third wheel who couldn’t stand seeing other couples happy. Which wasn’t true—mostly.
Sheepishly, I fell into step beside Beth.
My best friend was tall for a girl, with an explosion of dark freckles centered at her nose and a cap of squiggly red hair that was untamable on chilly days like this one. She traded Ryan’s arm for mine—which, if I was honest, did make me feel a little safer—and without a word, we danced on our tiptoes around the massive cracks in the sidewalk, just like we’d done since the fourth grade.
When the concrete path succumbed to gravel, I raised the front of my too-long khaki skirt so the hem didn’t drag in the dust. I hated this skirt. The matching button-up top was so boxy and stiff that it made even busty Beth look flat as an ironing board. School uniforms were part of President Scarboro’s new Moral Statute—one of many that had taken effect after the War—mandating that appearances comply with gender roles. I didn’t know what gender they’d been aiming for with this outfit. Clearly it wasn’t female.
We stopped at the gas station on the corner out of habit. Though it was the only one in the county still open, the lot was empty. Not many people could afford cars anymore.
We never went inside. There would be snacks and candy bars on the racks, all priced ten times higher than they’d been last year, and we didn’t have any money. We stayed where we were welcome—on the outside. Three feet removed from the hundreds of tiny faces imprisoned behind the tinted glass. The board read:
MISSING! IF SIGHTED, CONTACT THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF REFORMATION IMMEDIATELY!
Silently, we scanned the photographs of the foster-care runaways and escaped criminals for anyone we might know, checking for one picture in particular. Katelyn Meadows. A girl with auburn hair and a perky smile, who’d been in my junior history class last year. Mrs. Matthews had just told her she’d gotten the highest grade in the class on her midterm when the soldiers had arrived to take her to trial. “Article 1 violation,” they’d said. Noncompliance with the national religion. It wasn’t as if she’d been caught worshipping the devil; she’d missed school for Passover, and it had gone on to the school board as an unauthorized absence.
That was the last time anyone had seen her.
The next week Mrs. Matthews had been forced to take the Bill of Rights out of the curriculum. There was no discussion permitted on the topic. The soldiers posted at the door and at the recruiting table in the cafeteria made sure of that.
Two months after Katelyn’s trial, her family had moved away. Her phone number had been disconnected. It was as if she’d never existed.
Katelyn and I hadn’t been friends. It wasn’t that I didn’t like her; I thought she was all right, actually. We always said hi, if not much more. But since her sudden disappearance, something dark had kindled inside of me. I’d been more on guard. As compliant with the Statutes as possible. I didn’t like to sit in the front row of class anymore, and I never walked home from school alone.
I couldn’t be taken. I had to look out for my mother.
I finished my review. No Katelyn Meadows. Not this week.
“Did you hear about Mary What’s-her-name?” Beth asked as we resumed our walk to my house. “She’s a sophomore I think.”
“Let’s see, Mary What’s-her-name,” said Ryan pensively, pushing the glasses up his sharp nose. His uniform jacket made him look studious, whereas the other guys at school always looked like their mothers had dressed them up for Easter Sunday.
“No. What happened to her?” A chill tickled my skin.
“Same thing as Katelyn. Moral Militia came to take her to trial, and no one’s seen her in a week.” Beth’s voice lowered, as it did when she suspected someone might be listening.
My stomach sank. They weren’t actually called the Moral Militia, but they might as well have been. The uniformed soldiers actually belonged to the Federal Bureau of Reformation—the branch of the military the president had created at the end of the War three years ago. Their purpose was to enforce compliance with the Moral Statutes, to halt the chaos that had reigned during the five years that America had been mercilessly attacked. The hammer had come down hard: Any violation against the Statutes led to a citation, and in the worst cases, resulted in a trial before the FBR Board. People who went to trial—like Katelyn—didn’t usually come back.
There were all sorts of theories. Prison. Deportation. A few months ago I’d heard a crazy homeless man spouting off about mass executions, before he’d been carted away. Regardless of the rumors, reality was bleak. With each new Statute issued, the MM became more powerful, more self-righteous. Hence the nickname.
“They took a freshman from gym, too,” said Ryan soberly. “I heard they didn’t even let him change back into his uniform.”
First Katelyn Meadows, now Mary Something and another boy. And Mary and the boy within the last two weeks. I remembered when school had been safe—the only place we didn’t have to think about the War. Now kids never ditched. There weren’t any fights. People even turned in their homework on time. Everyone was scared their teacher would report them to the MM.
As we turned up my empty driveway, I glanced next door. The boxy house’s white paneling was stained by dust and rain. The bushes had overgrown so much that they connected over the concrete steps. Long, fragile cobwebs sagged from the overhang. It looked haunted. In a way, it was.
That had been his house. The house of the boy I loved.
Deliberately, I looked away and climbed our front porch stairs to let my friends inside.
My mother was sitting on the couch. She had at least four too many clips in her hair and was wearing a shirt that she’d stolen from my closet. I didn’t mind. The truth was I wasn’t much into clothes. Sorting through a collection of worn hand-me-downs at a donation center hadn’t exactly cultivated my desire to shop.
What I did mind was that she was reading a paperback with a half-naked pirate on the cover. That stuff was illegal now. She’d probably gotten it from someone she volunteered with at the soup kitchen. The place was chock-full of unemployed women spreading their passive-aggressive contraband beneath the Moral Militia’s nose.
“Hi, baby. Hi, kids,” my mother said, hardly moving. She didn’t look up until she finished reading her page, then she jammed a bookmark in place and stood. I kept my mouth shut about the book, even though I probably should have told her not to bring that stuff home. It obviously made her happy, and it was better than her reading it on the porch, like she sometimes did when feeling particularly mutinous.
“Hi, Mom.”
She kissed me noisily on the cheek, then hugged my friends at the same time before releasing us to our homework.
We pulled out our big heavy books and began deciphering the mechanical world of precalculus. It was horrid work—I detested math—but Beth and I had made a pact not to drop. Rumor was, next year, girls weren’t even going to be able to take math anymore, so we suffered through in silent rebellion.
Smiling sympathetically at my expression, my mother patted my head and offered to make us all hot chocolate. After a few minutes of frustration, I followed her into the kitchen. She’d forgotten to water her ficus plant again, and it drooped pitifully. I filled a glass from the sink and poured it into the pot.
“Bad day?” she ventured. She spooned the chocolate powder into four mugs from a blue canister with a picture of a sunrise on the front. Horizons brand food was government owned, and all we could get with our meal rations.
I leaned against the counter and scuffed my heel against the floor, still thinking about the two new abductees, the contraband. The empty house next door.
“I’m fine,” I lied. I didn’t want to scare her by telling her about Mary Something, and I still didn’t want to rag her about the book. She hated when I got on her back about the rules. She could be sort of reactive sometimes.
“How was work?” I changed the subject. She didn’t get paid at the soup kitchen, but we still called it work. It made her feel better.
She didn’t miss my obvious avoidance, but she let it drop and launched into a full story about Misty Something dating Kelly Something’s boyfriend from high school, and … I didn’t bother keeping up. I just nodded and soon was smiling. Her enthusiasm was infectious. By the time the teakettle whistled, I felt much better.
She was reaching for the mugs when someone knocked on the door. I went to answer it, thinking that it was probably Mrs. Crowley from across the street, stopping by to visit my mother like she did every day.
“Ember, wait—” The fear in Beth’s voice made me stop and turn back toward the living room. She was kneeling on the couch, her hand on the curtain. The color had drained from her already-fair complexion.
But it was too late. My mom unlatched the dead bolt and opened the door.
Two Moral Militia soldiers stood on our front steps.
They were in full uniform: navy blue flak jackets with large wooden buttons, and matching pants that bloused into shiny boots. The most recognized insignia in the country, the American flag flying over a cross, was painted on their breast pockets, just above the initials FBR. Each of them had a standard-issue black baton, a radio, and a gun on his belt.
One of the soldiers had short brown hair that grayed around his temples, and wrinkles around the corners of his mouth that made him appear too old for his age. His narrow companion brushed at his tawny mustache impatiently.
I sagged in disappointment. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I had hoped that one of them was him. It was a fleeting moment of weakness whenever I saw a uniform, and I kicked myself for it.
“Ms. Lori Whittman?” The first soldier asked, without looking her in the face.
“Yes,” my mother replied slowly.
“I need to see some ID.” He didn’t bother to introduce himself, but his name tag read BATEMAN. The other was CONNER.
“Is there a problem?” There was a snarky tinge to her tone, one I hoped they didn’t pick up on. Beth came up close behind me, and I could feel Ryan beside her.
“Just get your ID, ma’am,” Bateman said irritably.
My mother pulled away from the door without inviting them in. I blocked the threshold, trying not to look as small as I felt. I could not let them search the house; we had too much contraband out to avoid a citation. I tilted my head subtly to Beth, and she meandered back to the couch, stuffing the romance novel my mother had been reading beneath the cushions. My mind raced through the other things she had: more inappropriate paperbacks, old magazines from before the War, a home manicure kit. I’d even heard that my favorite book, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, had made the list, and I knew that was right on top of my nightstand. We weren’t scheduled for an inspection tonight; we’d just had one last month. Everything had been left out.
A burning ignited in my chest, like the flicker of a lighter. And then I could hear my heart, thudding against my ribs. It startled me. A long time had passed since I’d been aware of that feeling.
Bateman tried to look past me, but I blocked his view. His brow lifted in judgment, and my blood boiled. Over the past year the MM’s presence in Louisville—and all the remaining U.S. cities—had increased tenfold. It seemed there wasn’t enough for them to do; harassing citizens appeared to be a high priority. I stuffed down the resentment and tried to stay composed. It was unwise to be impolite to the MM.
There were two cars parked on the street, a blue van and a smaller car that looked like an old police cruiser. On the side of each was the FBR emblem. I didn’t need to read the motto below to know what it said: One Whole Country, One Whole Family. It always gave me a little jolt of inadequacy, like my little two-person family wasn’t whole enough.
There was someone in the driver’s seat of the van, and another soldier outside on the sidewalk in front of our house. As I watched, the back of the van opened and two more soldiers hopped out onto the street.
Something was wrong. There were too many soldiers here just to fine us for violating a Statute.
My mom returned to the door, digging through her purse. Her face was flushed. I stepped shoulder to shoulder with her and forced my breath to steady.
She found her wallet and pulled out her ID. Bateman checked it quickly before stuffing it into the front pocket of his shirt. Conner lifted a paper I hadn’t seen him holding, ripped off the sticky backing, and slapped it against our front door.
The Moral Statutes.
“Hey,” I heard myself say. “What are you—”
“Lori Whittman, you are under arrest for violation of the Moral Statutes, Section 2, Article 5, Part A revised, pertaining to children conceived out of wedlock.”
“Arrest?” My mom’s voice hitched. “What do you mean?”
My mind flashed through the rumors I’d heard about sending people to prison for Statute violations, and I realized with a sick sense of dread that these weren’t rumors at all. It was Katelyn Meadows all over again.
“Article 5!” Ryan blurted from behind us. “How could that apply to them?”
“The current version was revised on February twenty-fourth. It includes all dependent children under the age of eighteen.”
“February twenty-fourth? That was only Monday!” Beth said sharply.
Conner reached across the threshold of our home and grabbed my mother’s shoulder, pulling her forward. Instinctively, I wrapped both hands around his forearm.
“Let go, miss,” he said curtly. He looked at me for the first time, but his eyes were strange, as if they didn’t register that I was present. I loosened my hold but did not release his arm.
“What do you mean ‘arrest’?” My mother was still trying to process.
“It’s quite clear, Ms. Whittman.” Bateman’s tone was condescending. “You are out of compliance with the Moral Statutes and will be tried by a senior officer of the Federal Bureau of Reformation.”
I struggled against Conner’s firm hold on her shoulder. He was pulling us outside. I asked him to stop, but he ignored me.
Bateman restrained my mother’s opposite shoulder, dragging her down the steps. Conner released her arm for a moment to jerk me aside, and with a stunted cry, I fell. The grass was cold and damp and soaked through my skirt at the hip, but the blood burned in my face and neck. Beth ran to my side.
“What’s going on here?” I glanced up and saw Mrs. Crowley, our neighbor, wrapped in a shawl and wearing sweatpants. “Lori! Are you all right, Lori? Ember!”
I sprang to my feet. My eyes shot to the soldier who had been waiting outside. He had an athletic build and gelled blond hair, neatly parted on the side. His tongue slid over his teeth beneath pursed lips, reminding me of the way sand shifts when a snake slithers beneath it.
He was walking straight toward me.
No! The breath scraped my throat. I fought the urge to run.
“Don’t touch me!” my mother shrieked at Bateman.
“Ms. Whittman, don’t make this harder than it has to be,” responded Bateman. My stomach pitched at the apathy in his voice.
“Get the hell off my property,” my mother demanded, fury stabbing through her fear. “We’re not animals; we’re people! We have rights! You’re old enough to remember—–”
“Mom!” I interrupted. She was just going to make it worse. “Officer, this isn’t right. This is a mistake.” My voice sounded far away.
“There’s no mistake, Ms. Miller. Your records have already been reviewed for noncompliance,” said Morris, the soldier before me. His green eyes flashed. He was getting too close.
In a split second, his vicelike fists shot out and trapped both my wrists. I bucked against him, retracting my arms in an attempt to shake him loose. He was stronger and jerked me close, so that our bodies slapped together. The breath was squashed from my lungs.
For a second I saw the hint of a smirk cross his face. His hands, cuffing my fists, slipped behind my lower back and drew me in tighter. Every part of me went rigid.
A warning screamed in my head. I tried to get away, but this seemed to drive new excitement into him. He was actually enjoying this. His hard grip was making my hands prickle with numbness.
Somewhere in the street I heard a car door slam.
“Stop,” I managed.
“Let go!” Beth shouted at him.
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.
His hair was black and gleaming in the last splinters of sunlight. It was short now, cleanly cut like the other soldiers’, and his eyes, sharp as a wolf’s, were so dark I could barely see the pupils. JENNINGS was spelled out in perfect gold letters over the breast of his pressed uniform. I had never in my life seen him look so grave. He was nearly unrecognizable.
My heart was beating quickly, fearfully, but beating all the same. Just because he was near. My body had sensed him before my mind had.
“Chase?” I asked.
I thought of many things all at the same time. I wanted to run to him despite everything. I wanted him to hold me as he had the night before he’d left. But the pain of his absence returned fast, and reality sliced at my insides.
He’d chosen this over me.
I grasped on to the hope that maybe he could help us.
Chase said nothing. His jaw was bulging, as though he was grinding his teeth, but otherwise his face revealed no emotion, no indication that the home he’d been raised in was twenty feet away. He stood between where Morris held me and the van. It occurred to me that he was the driver.
“Don’t forget why you’re here,” Bateman snapped at him.
“Chase, tell them they’re wrong.” I looked straight at him.
He didn’t look at me. He didn’t even move.
“Enough. Get back in the van, Jennings!” ordered Bateman.
“Chase!” I shouted. I felt my face twist with confusion. Was he really going to ignore me?
“Don’t speak to him,” Bateman snapped at me. “Will someone please do something with this girl?”
My terror grew, closing off the world around me. Chase’s presence didn’t soothe me as it had in the past. The mouth that had once curved into a smile and softened against my lips was a hard, grim line. There was no warmth in him now. This was not the Chase I remembered. This wasn’t my Chase.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of his face. The pain in my chest nearly doubled me over.
Morris jerked me up, and instinct tore through me. I reared back, breaking free from his grasp, and wrapped my arms around my mother’s shoulders. Someone yanked me back. My grip was slipping. They were pulling her away from me.
“NO!” I screamed.
“Let go of her!” I heard a soldier bark. “Or we’ll take you, too, Red.”
Beth’s fists, which had knotted in my school uniform, were torn from my clothing. Through tear-filled eyes I saw that Ryan had restrained her, his face contorted with guilt. Beth was crying, reaching out for me. I didn’t let go of my mother.
“Okay, okay,” I heard my mother say. Her words came out very fast. “Please, officer, please let us go. We can talk right here.”
A sob broke from my throat. I couldn’t stand the obedience in her tone. She was so afraid. They were trying to separate us again, and I knew, more than anything else, that I could not let them do that.
“Be gentle with them, please! Please!” Mrs. Crowley begged.
In one heave, Morris ripped me from my mother. Enraged, I swiped at his face. My nails caught the thin skin of his neck, and he swore loudly.
I saw the world through a crimson veil. I wanted him to attack me just so I could lash out at him again.
His green eyes were beady in anger, and he snarled as he jerked the nightstick from his hip. In a flash it was swinging back above his head.
I braced my arms defensively over my face.
“STOP!” My mother’s pitch was strident. I could hear it above the screaming adrenaline in my ears.
Someone pushed me, and I was flung hard to the ground, my hair covering my face, blocking my vision. There was a stinging in my chest that stole the breath from my lungs. I crawled back to my knees.
“Jennings!” I heard Bateman shout. “Your CO will hear about this!”
Chase was standing in front of me, blocking my view.
“Don’t hurt him!” I panted. Morris’s weapon was still ready to strike, though now it was aimed at Chase.
“You don’t need that.” Chase’s voice was very low. Morris lowered the stick.
“You said you’d be cool,” he hissed, glaring at Chase.
Had Chase told this soldier—Morris—about me? Were they friends? How could he be friends with someone like that?
Chase said nothing. He didn’t move.
“Stand down, Jennings,” Bateman commanded.
I scrambled up and glared at the man in charge. “Who the hell do you think you are?”
“Watch your mouth,” snapped Bateman. “You’ve already struck a soldier. How much deeper a hole are you looking to dig?”
I could hear my mother arguing through her hiccuping sobs. When they began to move her toward the van again, I lunged forward, my hands tangling in Chase’s uniform. Desperation blanketed me. They were going to take her away.
“Chase, please,” I begged. “Please tell them this is a mistake. Tell them we’re good people. You know us. You know me.
He shook me off as though some disgusting thing had touched him. That stung more than anything could in this moment. I stared at him in shock.
The defeat was devastating.
My arms were pulled behind me and latched into place by Morris’s strong grip. I didn’t care. I couldn’t even feel them.
Chase stepped away from me. Bateman and Conner ushered my mother to the van. She looked over her shoulder at me with scared eyes.
“It’s okay, baby,” she called, trying to sound confident. “I’ll find out who’s responsible for this, and we’ll have a nice long chat.”
My gut twisted at the prospect.
“She doesn’t even have her shoes on!” I shouted at the soldiers.
There were no more words as they loaded my mother in the back of the van. When she disappeared inside, I felt something tear within me, loosing what felt like acid into my chest. It scalded my insides. It made my breath come faster, made my throat burn and my lungs clench.
“Walk to the car,” Morris ordered.
“What? No!” Beth cried. “You can’t take her!”
“What are you doing?” Ryan demanded.
“Ms. Miller is being taken into custody by the federal government in accordance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. She’s going into rehabilitation.”
I was getting very tired all of a sudden. My thoughts weren’t making sense. Blurry lines formed around my vision, but I couldn’t blink them back. I gulped down air, but there wasn’t enough.
“Don’t fight me, Ember,” Chase ordered quietly. My heart broke to hear him say my name.
“Why are you doing this?” The sound of my voice was distant and weak. He didn’t answer me. I didn’t expect an answer anyway.
They led me to the car, parked behind the van. Chase opened the door to the backseat and sat me down roughly. I fell to my side, feeling the leather dampen from my tears.
Then Chase was gone. And though my heart quieted, the pain in my chest remained. It stole my breath and swallowed me whole, and I tumbled into darkness.


 
Copyright © 2012 by Kristen Simmons
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 116 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(64)

4 Star

(30)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 116 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Read...

    This book has quite a few twists and turns that keep you from putting the book down. If you like Divergent you'll like this one.

    23 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    This book is loaded with adventure from the very first page! I loved the excitement and tension the author created for the reader. There are so many emotions. Fear. Anger. And a full blown adrenaline rush while you are the characters running for your life.

    What I enjoyed the most about this book is the great plot line. A government implementing dumb laws. The reason that I fell so much into this book is cause I can see this happening. This is what is so freaky about the book. I loved that the author creativity of the plot and the characters really give the reader the chance to be in their shoes.

    The love interest is enduring. Not only have they know each other for long but the sacrifices they make for each other is selfless. I loved watching these two bicker, fight and then fall hard core in love. In the short moments of peace they steal together, it gives the right mixture for a love to bloom. Ms. Simmons definitely balanced out her book. Nothing is too much and when it seems like there is no rest for the weary, the reader is given peace with love.

    This is a superb book! One that is filled with action, adventure, on the run excitement. The world is told to the reader piece by piece and is not confusing. Article 5 is the start of something great! I can't wait for the next book!

    18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Article 5 was the first book in the Kristen Simmons Article 5 se

    Article 5 was the first book in the Kristen Simmons Article 5 series. It was an interesting book about a post apocalyptic society governed by rules and enforced by soldiers. It follows the main character Ember as she searches for her mother after she is arrested.

    I'm going to start this review with some of the ogod things I liked about it. I enjoyed learning about the world Ember lived in. It was interesting how it was run and how everyone lived in fear of the FBR (Federal Bureau of Reformation). Some began to go crazy, neighbor turned on neighbor and all hell basically broke loose to create what we read in this book. I could see exactly how the world became how it was. It made sense to me and I liked that.

    I also liked Ember's drive. She has a one track mind and would do anything to achieve her goal. Once she had a plan, she stuck to it and it was hard to get her to think otherwise. Even while being punished, she still knew how to hold her own. he was strong and did what she thoughht was right no matter what. I love characters like this.

    The relationship between Ember and Chase is something I also liked. They switch back and forth between the old relationship they had before Chase became a soldier, and the relationship they have now and I liked how it changed, and I liked how they grew. It made sense to me.

    Nonetheless, there were quite a few things I didnt like. First, the dialogue in some sections of the book seemed to dramatic for me. Thing soap opera mixed with the Twilight movies mixed with 13 year old hormonal girls. Everything was just soo emotional that sometimes it made it hard to believe. I grew annoyed at some points.. I also didnt like how some of the settings and people were described. Although I could kind of picture some things in my head, I usually couldnt focus on who looked like what, or what color this person's hair was or where whis was taking place? Was this shed a nice shed or was it run down? What color was the house? How many people cornered you. I often reread sections of the book hoping to picture everything in my head and just couldnt. It caused me to generalize what things looked like. This is a basic farm house, this is a blue pickup truck, this is a manequin speaking to you, no real anything. It made me a bit frustrated. and it took out the feeling I search for of being sucked into a book.

    I also didnt always like the romance aspect of the book. I always felt like Ember and Chase were stupid. "Why are you not paying attention? It's obvious he's still in love with you!" or "Why would you do that you idiot? Do you honestly think that because he was thinking a little violently to someone who tried to harm you that he would turn around and harm you too?" or even "Really? You really thought that you could take off running on foot and make it somewhere before someone in a truk can. Nevermind the fact that you have NO IDEA where you're going!!!" I always wanted them to speak their minds and talk about stuff instead of holding it in. I also didnt like some of her decisions. It made me begin to imagine her as a small girl with arms outstretched flailing aimlessly about in search of something she can do, screaming and crying about how her life is awful and everyone ruins it and she cant trust people and blah blah blah, when its obvious there's nothing to do but follow instructions. Shut up and stop crying.

    I liked Article 5. It was an interesting book set in an interesting world, but it wasnt the best read for me. I think the hype was too overrated. I was planning to fall madly in love with this book and what I got was an average book. I'll probably read the next book whenever it comes out, but I will most likely not preorder it or go out on opening day in search of the book. My Rating? 2.5 stars.

    14 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Great

    I love this book. I love the caracters. I fell in love with Ember and Chase's story. It starts off kind off slow, but after that i couldn't put it down. There are many twists and turns that will keep you from putting it down! CAN NOT wait for the second book!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Great Read

    This book was actually a really great read. I was a bit skeptical at first, but I enjoyed it. It didn't slow down, the characters are enjoyable and believeable, and the story is very compelling.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    I could not put it down!!!!

    One of my students gave me this book to read, and I am so happy she did. One of the best young adult books I have read! If you liked Hunger Games you will love this book! It is action packed. I will be recommending this book for our Lit. Library.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    Sounds to me like

    The way its dicribed it reminds me of the book dilirium same consept only in that book the take out the part of ur brain that allows you to love dont worry its not like it goes into alot of detail about the sugrey but once you 18 you cant love if the sugrey works right ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿!!!!!!!!
    If u like this book please read dilirium and see for you self.

    6 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Adventure. Love. Fear. Sadness . Anxiety . Loyalty . Suspense .

    Adventure. Love. Fear. Sadness . Anxiety . Loyalty . Suspense . .Gripping . and much more.
    Are all the words that come to mind when i think of this book .
    Its crazy how it was only 200 almost 300 pages. When it had so much details and action that made it seem much longer.
    I think there is another book and i 'm very much looking forward to it .
    It was so REALISTIC. The scenes and situations that Ember Miller face , were so REAL . Nothing felt forced , fake or unoriginal in this book.
    One of my favorites of 2012 !

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2012

    Really great book! I couldn't put it down and read this in one d

    Really great book! I couldn't put it down and read this in one day. I hope the author decides to write another book for these characters; would really enjoy to see where they go from here.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Got it at the school library...

    ...and it was pretty good! Glad I didn't buy it though, because it wasn't at all what I expected. The ending was not that good, but everything till that part was great! Almost as good as the hunger games. Maybe the same when it comes to the terrible cliffhanger, undescribed endings.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    Good dystopian novel... i guess

    Article 5 was a well done book. The plot, while it didn't run circles around itself was intriguing and wasn't completely stereotypical. It was a good systopian novel, although some of the author's predictions seemed a little off from very believable idea of the future.
    SOME POINTS
    a) The military government was based on christianity becoming an enforced religion in the USA I thought simply wasn't to be. It didn't make any sense given the current movement towards tolerance and acceptence of EVRYTHING. I would have thought it would have shifted more towards a ban on expressing opinions or views rather than enforcing a prescribed religion. You don't see all that many dystopian novels that go in the direction article five did, and while i didnt think itnwas plausible, it didnt detract from the story overmuch so I think this isnt an issue that should discourage from reading the book.
    b) society: the government moved towards socialism on the extreme and you got hints that America had had a falling out with the rest of the world and was on the edge of a collapse into chaos. I couldn't foresee a way for the government to continue and operate and I think this should make the uprising a fun part of the sequel. I tjought this was very well done and very possible and The military bit thrown in was good for the action and for the villain.
    c) Ember, girl, 17 was well done. She was a good main charactor that was very human as well as very likeable. She seemed a little prone to selfpity, but thats not unusual in a first person novel. She was smartish, with a dogged loyalty despite confusing circumstances. I liked her for being brave and independent even though she was mostly a follower of Chase the other main character. She developed a lot over the course of the story and it was good change.
    d) Chase, boy 19 I think. Was alright but wasnt really all that exciting. He was your typical male main, tall, hansome, tortured with absolute devotion to Ember. He was nice but not memorable as far as main characters go. Also he was something like six three and Ember was five four so I wondered how they managed to kiss so much w/o the precense of a step ladder ( not really important, but seemed worth menchioning.)
    All in all it was a good read. Hope this review helps

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Personally, I thought the idea of this story was quite intriguin

    Personally, I thought the idea of this story was quite intriguing; however, I couldn't get over how the main character Ember overreacted to expected commotions. Originally, I was drawn to this book in search of another dystopian novel to match that of Legend by Marie Lu and Divergent by Veronica Roth, but the organization of the plot left me often confused and backtracked. As the story progressed, I felt like the series of events were poorly written. On the contrary, Article 5 is an "okay" book with a great main idea for a dystopian novel. If the plot was written differently, I think it would be spot on.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    Terrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I HATED this book! It was a very uncreative plot for a story like this.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    Anon

    Stupid book, full of teen angst. This girl should have died many times over with all the emotional paralysis she had in perilous moments. Obvious set up for a sequel, which I will not read. Also full of sheep that I do not recognize as authentically American. We are ingrained with freedom - it runs in our veins. The religious aspect of the evil perps bothers me, too. Though not particularly religious myself, I do recognize Christianity as an extremely tolerant religion. The parts do not add up here. It all irked me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Blank

    Beautiful. Action and suspense mixed with romance

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2012

    Leamonear

    Lemonear pads in and looks around

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 6, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Article 5 by Kristen Simmons is DEFINITELY one of THE BEST BOOKS

    Article 5 by Kristen Simmons is DEFINITELY one of THE BEST BOOKS SO FAR OF 2012!!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book when I saw it on one of my YA book blogs!!! It's got a great storyline as well as a great setting with romance between the two characters to top it off!!! I think that this is a good book for teens that love dystopian novels as well as for those who think to themselves: What will happen in the future?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2012

    New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned

    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.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    Very good.

    I read a lot of books and sometimes i come across some horrible books, but i really liked this book. If you liked Hunger Games, Legend, Divergent, then you will like this one too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    If you like Divergent and the Hunger Games, this is a good book for you!

    I really like it. I finished this book very quickly. I would highly reccommend it to any dystopian readers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 116 Customer Reviews

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