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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
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About 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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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?
OHMABOOGERS. I swear, this is probably one of the best books I've ever read in my life. Since it was on my to-read list since forever, I decided that I couldn't wait to get the book and that getting the ebook would be better. Oh, how right I was.There are no more Bill of Rights. Instead, America is run by the motto "One Whole Country, One Whole Family" -- the Moral Statutes. There isn't anymore police reinforcements, now there are soldiers nicknamed the Moral Militia.Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller had nothing to do with the new government of the United States, called the Federal Bereau of Reformation, until they arrived at her doorstep claiming that her mother had violated Article Five of the Moral Statues. In a frenzy of moments, Ember finds herself in a rehabilitation center away from her mother. She then makes friends and escapes, but is soon reunited with her lost love, Chase Jennings, whom she realizes is another one of many heartless and emotionless FBR soldiers. They soon embark on a series of dangerous adventures, but once Ember realizes that her government is not what it seems, will she ever be the same?Firstly, I am so surprised that this book is not even a full 4 stars. Secondly, I love this book. And third, the characters were beautifully crafted and so real.Ember Miller is just so respectful. You cant help but look up towards her; she's strong and never falters. She might cry a few times, but she's a girl, isn't she? If I was in her situation I would most definitely not be able to make it.Anyway, she's really very attached to her mother. It was why she embarked on so many dangerous journeys -- just to get close to her mother. The only thing I probably didn't like about her was that she was a pessimist. Chase Jennings.OHMAGOD. Tall. Dark. Mysterious. 6' 3" . Forebording. Tortured. Black hair. Wolf-like milky eyes.What more could you ask for?He's a poor tortured soul through the whole book, and you realize why at the end of the book. And it's a good reason.So. Back to what I was saying.He's dark and mysterious, but not heartless. He may appear so, but he's saying more than he lets on. That's why I love him -- he's dark, but caring. He changes so much from the beginning of the book to the end that you fall in love with him even more. And wish you were Ember. ;__;Let us now look at the writing style/plotline.It was in first-person. I have to admit, I'm jealous. Whenever I try to write write FP, I sound like a first grader. .__.Plotline! Such adrenaline and suspense! And really great descriptive fighting scenes! Chase fighting is like watching Lee Min Ho from City Hunter. Fo shizzles, man.Okay, I'm tired now. I shall update this when I'm not tired. .__.[This review was posted on Goodreads.]
I really wanted to like Article 5. As soon as I came across it in a bookstore I knew it was a book that I wanted to read. And I was really, really hoping that it would help me make some important points to my pre-teen children. Unfortunatley, the book that Krisen Simmons wrote was not the book I wanted to read. The dust jacket suggested that I was going to read a book about what our country might look like if a far-right Christian government were to come to power and amend the Constitution and laws to reflect their beliefs. I wanted to see what life in that environment might be like and to hear the characters talk about the oppressive nature of religiously-imposed laws. But that isn't what Article 5 is about. In fact, while the dust jacket of the book talked about the new "moral laws" in detail, the book didn't really even describe them. The protagonist hadn't really even paid enough attention to the new laws to tell the readers about them in any great detail. And, as a result of the "on the run" nature of the story and the viewpoint it's told from, we never really get a feel for what the broader country is like. There is no information at all about how people reacted to the new laws or much detail at all about the "War" that allowed this new government to take power.Apparently Simmons' interest was in writing a teen romance set in a dystopian future; sort of a Hunger Games placed 15 years in the future instead of a few hundred ... and a Hunger Games that focuses less on the games and more on the relationship between the protagonist and her ... well, does she love him or hate him? And that's fine. Many people will enjoy that story. But it wasn't the story that I wanted to read. And maybe it's just that I'm a 46-year-old male, but I found the 17-year-old female protagonist to be whiny, whiny, whiny. You thought Bella from Twilight whined a lot? She's got nothing on Ember Miller.Oh, well. It was an easy and quick read. But I doubt I'll be on board for the second book in the series unless I learn that the focus of the story changes dramatically.
I thought that this was a pretty good book about a time where there is basically no government to the united states besides the military force that everyone must follow just to survive. Article five is the article that makes it illegal to be someone that was born out of marriage. The people that are article fives are sent to houses that teach them to be better men or women. They use cruel punishments to make sure that everyone pays attention and anyone that tries to get out or gets too close to the gate they are shot. There was only one person in the camp that Ember Miller the main character in this book is sent to that has ever escaped and she died of frostbite close to the gate that she escaped from. Ember tries her best to struggle against the guards and do whatever she has to to get free from the camp that she is being held hostage from. She doesn't care about herself as much as she cares about her mother staying alive. Her old boyfriend Chase who is now an MM soldier comes to break her out of that camp and they start their long journey to get to South Carolina where they have people that are working against the MM. That is where Ember's mom is but it is a long drive to get to her and they have to do it with the MM looking for them.I thought that this was a good book that told a pretty good story about things that happen after a war that happens within the United States. After the was a group called the MM take over and put a bunch of laws into affect. These are called Moral Statutes state differnet things that the original constitution never had in them. They take away a lot of the rights that the people that are living in the country have. They make it illegal for people to leave to live in different countries and they make it very difficult to go to certain areas of the country. Article five the one that the main character of this book was charged with was not considered a citizen because she was not conceived by two people that were married to each other. Everything is changed at this time compared to what it was before in the US. It is a good book for people that like that what if kind of thing like what if our country that we work for goes down the drain.
I'll admit it -I'm such a sucker when it comes to dystopian novels. I've been in love with the genre long before it became the next big thing on the YA scene. When I saw Article 5, I was really excited. I feel like much of this rapidly growing genre has been saturated with far too many novels that are all about teen romance, rather than creating a unique and interesting dystopian setting that offers some sort of social commentary, or makes readers think. It looked like Article 5 was right up my alley, and a little closer to the classic dystopian novels that I've loved for so long. This line of the blurb especially caught my attention: "The Bill of Rights has been revoked." But even though this book started out with promise, it just didn't deliver at the end.Set in a somewhat post-apocalyptic future, America has been reduced to little almost nothing, with many of the country's major cities abandoned after a crippling war left the country in shambles. But most important, the government has become a sort of Fascist government that imposes their Moral Statutes on the people. Ember Miller tends to be a little rebellious, frequently reading contraband materials. Ember's single mother is a little rebellious too -that is, until she is arrested for breaking Article 5 of the Moral Statues, and Ember's life is turned upside down.The book started out with plenty of action and conflict -in just a few dozen pages Ember is ripped away from her family and set to a girls' "rehab" center as a ward of the state. Sadly, not long after she finds herself in this horrible home -that seems to have no real goal other than to just abuse Ember and make her resent the government more -that she must escape. After all of this is established, within the first 100-ish pages, then rest of the book is all about Ember's escape across America and budding romance, with little action and not much meaningful conflict other than the typical running away from the government.I was so bored. I quickly found myself hoping for the fast-paced action of the beginning of the book, and that gave more insight into the book's setting and unique dystopian elements. Then, it seemed like it just fell apart. The setting seemed to be thinner and thinner, with little else added to the dystopian backdrop past the original set-up. But most importantly, they never explained why the statutes even existed in the first place, or how the government transitioned into a moralist Fascist regime. The setting seemed to only exist to create enough conflict to have a story and felt hazy and underdeveloped past that.Other than the initial disappointment, the lack of compelling conflict, and the flimsy setting, Article 5 might still be appealing for fans of lighter YA dystopian novels or even dystopian romance novels that were more about relationships than anything else. The writing is solid and straight-forward, the character are decent but not incredible, the plot is readable though not exceptional. I suppose my hopes were just too high for this book, and I was hoping that it would be something else that it just wasn't. Frankly, there isn't much under the surface here, and Article 5 reads like the average YA dystopian novel that doesn't bring anything new or compelling to the genre.
I want to go on record and say Chase Jennings is my new favorite book boyfriend. That boy is so broken and tortured, but deep down he just wants to save Ember. Mostly, throughout the whole book, I just wanted to give him a hug. Don't get me wrong, there were also times when I just wanted to smack him, because he was being so frustrating. He definitely made the book for me, because he was such an integral part of what was going on. It wouldn't have been as good if there hadn't been a Chase, in Article 5. I know, I know, there is another character in this book who is just as important. Ember was a solid female lead. She had a whole heap of issues, with good reason, but she could hold her own and was willing to fight as hard as she could for what was right. The two of them have been through so much, together and apart, and it was wonderful watching them grow and get to know each other again. Aside from the great characters, this book has so much going on, and that is definitely a good thing. The action starts immediately and really never lets up. Something big happens and the characters trudge through it, get some resolution, but you are nowhere near the end of the book and you think 'it can't be this easy'. Then you read a few pages more, and BAM!, something else goes down and you're off again on a new adventure. I can't believe she was able to fit so much into one book and manage to pull it off so seemlessly. If we get this much action and great storyline in the first book, I can't wait to see what Kristen has in store for us in book two. I want to tell you so many things, but because there is so much in this story, I can't say much without spoiling it. So I will leave you with this. Chase Jennings is MINE, but I'll gladly share if you promise to read Article 5 :0)
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: This breakout novel takes off running, pulling the reader into a scarily realistic world where America as we know it no longer exists. Fabulous prose and deep, continually developing characters will grip the reader until the last page.Opening Sentence: 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.The Review:This novel begins with Ember¿s mother being taken, for violating Article 5 which states the requirements of a family according to the Federal Reformation Bureau (colloquially referred to as the Moral Militia). According to the Moral Statutes, family is made up of a man and a woman, who are married, and their children. Ember was born out of wedlock, and the new regulations say any child under the age of 18 is in violation of Article 5. Ember is sent to a Girl¿s Reformatory and Rehabilitation Center run by the Sisters of Salvation¿meant to counteract feminism¿who are lead by the terrifying Ms. Brock. The most terrifying thing about Brock, which is also what makes the FBR fantastic villains, is that she completely believes everything she¿s been told. Women in their proper place. Insubordination punishable by beatings. And, of course, the Moral Statutes.The plot of the story follows Ember as she tries to escape the reformatory and find her mother. She was arrested by Chase Jennings, Ember¿s old neighbor and ex. The Moral Militia doesn¿t support relationships when their soldiers should be devoting themselves entirely to the cause, and Ember finds herself torn between the old Chase and the new, broken Chase. Chase is first exposed to the reader as a completely unlovable¿though attractive¿MM soldier, but through a series of flashbacks and his continual attempts to protect stubborn Ember, I found a deeper, even more lovable character than I could have expected. He¿s broken, but he hasn¿t stopped fighting. Ember, on the other hand, starts out naive and single-minded before learning to understand the world around her and the people in it. It was hard to love the characters at first, because the story was moving so quickly there wasn¿t much to grasp onto. But Simmons more than made up for that later. Chase and Ember grow throughout the novel, which is one of the hardest things for an author to show realistically. They grow both individually and together as they fight to survive in a world dominated by terror and mindless obedience.America in Article 5 holds true to the America we know today, at least geographically. There are the same types of cars, same kinds of clothes, but it¿s a country that was blown apart by war. The best part about the world Simmons built here is that it¿s not just any dystopia. It holds true to human nature. To our desire to survive, even if survival means conforming to ideals we may not believe in. She¿s created secondary characters that flesh out this terrifyingly realistic world. Simmons has built this world with meticulous attention to detail, which helps pull the reader into her fast paced plot.We get flashbacks that go back to before Chase left and came back a soldier. Unlike in many books, these flashbacks aren¿t a cop out but a way to contrast the present fear and pain with Ember¿s new reality. They¿re well written and sparse, giving the reader just enough information without throwing it in our face. Her writing is blunt (this is a good thing) and grounded in great metaphors which really bring home the traumatic atmosphere people are forced to live in.I absolutely adored this book. It¿s jarring at first, to believe that America could fall into such a horrible world, but it was a great read. Kristen Simmons has a wonderful career ahead of her if she can keep writing with the beautiful narrative voice she created for Ember. I can¿t wait to read the next one!Notable Scene:¿Where are they taking us?¿ I asked Rosa.¿They won¿t say,¿ she said. Then she smiled. Ther
ARTICLE 5 was a book that came highly praised to me. I¿m clearly a big fan of politically-based dystopian fiction ¿ I hold a degree in political science, after all. THE HANDMAID¿S TALE, WHEN SHE WOKE, 1984. THE HANDMAID¿S TALE holds an especially high place in my little geeky heart ¿ the book is beautiful and evocative, and they filmed the movie near my house! Win! The first in a series by debut author Kristen Simmons, ARTICLE 5 follows Ember, arrested and sent to a reformatory by the Federal Bureau of Reformation for being a child born out of wedlock. One of the arresting officials was her old flame, Chase, a boy who seemingly has become a monster just like the rest of them. And when he shows up to take her to trial, she doesn¿t know what to think or believe¿Let me just start with the biggest pet peeve I had with this story ¿ Ember. She is rather whiny. Threatened with punishment for raising your voice? She argues. Saved by someone she knows she can trust? Oh, let¿s just run away! I can get 200 miles in 2 days on my own in a future where cars are hard to come by and safety is at a premium. Safety again? Oh, I¿ll just climb out this window and wander aimlessly¿Ember¿s mother is her main drive in this book, but sadly we are never really let into the reasons why Ember¿s mother is in the state that she¿s in, or why she¿s like it. I could say that her mother needs help from thinking it¿s safe to read fashion magazines or date in a world where contact between the sexes is expressly regulated, but it never came off like that. I was led to believe that possibly her mother was bipolar or schizophrenic, but this is never mentioned, which makes the story less plausible.I also did not really believe the political environment. It sounds like a Tea Party wonderland ¿ morality taking over, non-Christians and the sexually active and children born out of wedlock 17 years before being thrown into prison. But the world described sounds like the Tea Party did the morals and the Democrats destroyed the economy. Economic stratification seemed non-existent in ARTICLE 5 ¿ everyone seemed poor, guns were illegal, and the free market destroyed. Yes, this is the politician in me talking, but this future seems very implausible to me with both parts included. Morals, yes. Economic collapse, sure. Both at the same time as pictured? Nope.But there is also a lot of good in this story. I love when an author is willing to take on controversial topics, such as the radicalization of religion. What we play witness to as the reader in this is what could happen if religion became an all powerful force in politics, even though the vision wasn¿t as believable as I¿d hoped. Chase, the designated love interest in this story, is full of power and courage. He¿s brave and he stands up for Ember, risking his life repeatedly just to save her ¿ and because he is in love with her. The romance could have been strengthened ¿ the reader was left wondering what Chase could have seen in Ember, a character so reluctant to trust him for even a second.A lot of work went into the settings and vivid descriptions, from the city of Louisville to the countryside of western Virginia. The set up was fantastic, and I really enjoyed some of the characters in the background ¿ Rosa, in particular, was snappy and fun for the most part. Brock, the warden of the girl¿s reformatory, was a scintillating villain that I really enjoyed. But the real villain of this story is the world, and it really was a fantastic villain.For me, this story fell short based on the narrator. I wish she had been less wishy-washy and prone to making dumb decisions based on a poor intuition. Also, I wish the romance had been more solid and less one-sided.VERDICT: With a great setting and attention to the politics of its world, ARTICLE 5 has great promise before falling short on the shoulders of its weak narrator. Still, worth a look.
I am so loving the Dystopian genre. I really didn't know what Dystopian was until the beginning of 2011 but I have not read one yet.When Ember's mom is arrested for violating Article 5 Ember is taken away to be rehabilitated. The story follows Ember's journey to escape and find her mother at any cost. Chase the one person she loved and lost when he became a soldier has a huge part in helping her along the way.Ember was erratic, loyal, frustrating and hard headed but easy to root for. The one thing that was super annoying about her was her all out obsession with finding her mom it was a little over the top. I definitely thought she should be worried but it kinda consumed her and the decisions she made because of her obsession made me want to scream at her most of the time. Chase was hard to read but everything he did had a purpose and brought a little more understanding to the inner workings of his character. Their relationship was full of tension and frustration but was worth the struggle to get them together to were they needed to be in the end.The world building was fantastic. I could not imagine living with the ridiculous rules that Americans have to in Kristen's story. There was a ton of action and suspense throughout ARTICLE 5. The tension was knocked up a peg at every turn and the writing sucked me in. Count book 2 a must have on my wishlist.
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!
**MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!**Three years ago the war in the United States ended. In the shadow of fallen cities a new civilization is brought to order.The Bill of Rights is a thing of the past. In it's place sits The Moral Statutes. If you fail to comply with any of the Articles... punishment awaits.Ember Miller is a 17 year old high school student that remembers what it was like before the war. With only her mother at her side they have managed to survive this new world and still enjoy little luxuries like pre-war magazines, manicure kits, and books. All of which are now considered contraband .Ember is introduced to the harsh reality of what the world has become when she is forced out of her house and away from her mother. Ember's mother is in violation of Article 5 - Children are considered valid citizens only when conceived by a married man and wife. Now the soldiers are taking them to trial.Ember's hate of the soldiers is renewed when she notices the one taking charge of the arrest is also the only boy she has ever loved.Now facing her new life in a Girls Reformatory and Rehabilitation Center, Ember plans an escape and a mission to find her mom.When her plans fail and things are starting to look very grim, the soldier she blames for her arrest and once love, Chase, shows up unexpectedly to rescue her.Together, a runaway and AWOL soldier, need to fight for what is right and for each other. The odds are also stacked against them.This book scared me more than any other story about monsters, vampires, or zombies ever could. Kristen Simmons digs into what it is to be a human and turns that into a weapon.Article 5 was everything I love in a thriller as well as an adventure. There was plenty of heart-stopping scenes without any hardcore violence, swearing, and smut. The villains in this story are all too real and very believable.I would give this book to any 15-90 year old and not feel weird about doing so. With that, I did have a couple of minor issues with the story. First of all, Ember drives me a little bit nuts. I realize that this is a teen novel and should be read as such, but her character was really lacking in the maturity department. Again I have to keep in mind that this is supposed to be a normal 17 year old girl...so... yeah.Another issue I had while reading it was never knowing what really happened to start the war, who the war was with, what the time frame was... There is a big void. My final complaint is that the book just ended. It felt that there was part of her mission that was left undone. Nothing was really resolved by the final page, it was just over. All of that aside it was still one of those books that is opened and read in one sitting. I can look over these things for a couple of hours of pure entertainment.All in all it was a creepy, brilliant, and terrifying look into what could be (and hope never is).
This is a gripping, unputdownable dystopian about a world governed by morality police and increasingly strict morality statutes. The action is full of twists and turns, but it never sacrifices character for plot. I loved the romance between fierce, determined Em and strong, broody Chase, and I¿m already eager for the sequel.
She sat down waiting for others