Article 5by Kristen Simmons
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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./p>/p>
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
“Fans of dystopian books will love this debut novel, the first in a series.”
—School Library Journal
“[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.” —Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood
“[A] fun read...a good amount of adventure and action.” —Wired
Read an Excerpt
By Simmons Kristen
Tom Doherty AssociatesCopyright © 2012 Kristen Simmons
All rights reserved.
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.
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.
Excerpted from Article 5 by Simmons Kristen. Copyright © 2012 Kristen Simmons. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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 Cincinnati, Ohio. Article 5 is her first novel.
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 Cincinnati, Ohio. Her popular books include the Article 5 trilogy, The Glass Arrow, and Metaltown.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 !
...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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
She sat down waiting for others
It's emphasizing the word. You /are/ cool. You /are/ weird.
Not a bad way to spend an afternoon
I loved it! It was a fresh new story with a different outcome then I had expected and I enjoyed every bit of it!!!
If you like Hunger Games, Divergent, Graduation Day, etc you'll probably enjoy this book too. The second book in this series I like a bit better, it gets more in depth with the dystopian society plot, less love story, so dont give up on the series right away...
The book was the one of the worst books I've ever read. It had every romance cliche and basic world sucks cliche. The characters were flat and sterotypical. The heroine is stupid and only there to be part of the romance. Its a boring sterotypical romance in an destopian setting. When I first started the book, I thought the setting was unique and interesting. The sad thing is the author does litte to expand it. They never explain why or how, just that it happened. The author was clearly more focused on the love story, rather then establishing history.
“Article 5″ is a dystopian novel that is set in a world where a super-charged version of the moral majority has taken over in a civil war. Ember is forcibly removed from her home for committing the “crime” of being born out-of-wedlock. When she is arrested by the former boyfriend who was drafted into the military, her entire world seems to fall apart. This was a terrifying book for me and a good cautionary tale against becoming overzealous with ruling by morality alone. What I would have liked to see more of was the backstory of how the war started and why they ended up in such a dire governmental system. The book would have been much more enjoyable had those explanations been present, but I am holding out hope that it is covered in the next installment. Ember is a character about whom I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, she has led a sheltered life in one very small section of a city, only to be suddenly yanked into a very terrifying world. On the other, she seems hellbent on not trusting Chase, who can reasonably expect to be changed due to traumatic circumstances. The problem is that she does not bother to ask, or believe a word or action from him, and it became frustrating to me. She is an intelligent girl, so writing her with such a slow ability to adapt in some areas while adapting quickly in others was very out of character. The action is what makes me want more. It was fast-paced and intense. Lots of questions are unanswered, but the end of the book and change in character awareness make me want to know more. I have high hopes that the next book will build on the improvements found at the end of this one. The writing is solid and obviously from a talented author who has the potential for great storytelling.
This book had some definite positive and negative points. The story itself is interesting. It has a good plot line and I like the idea behind it. However, I HATE the main characters. They are soooo...immature and wishy washy. I kept having to turn the page and roll my eyes during some points when she would describe her thoughts and feelings about Chase. Their relationship was ridiculous and not believable at all. She hated him, she loved him, she hated him, she loved him. Bipolar much? Over all, I was kind of disappointed I spent time reading this book. I wouldnt recommend it to a friend and wont be reading another Kristen Simmons novel...