Series: Article 5, #1
Author: Kristen Simmons
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
So, this is actually my 2nd time reading Article 5, but I apparently never wrote a review. I remember reading it and just falling in love with this dystopian work created by Simmons. And so I waited for the rest of the series to come out before I even picked up the second book. And I’m so glad I did! I fall even more in love with the first book and ended up reading the entire series in just a few days!
The world that Simmons’s creates is almost like a world where a different kind of Hitler exists, taking control and dictating the life of others. I found that to be a pretty scary thought, but it made for a very interesting story. It was very dark at times, gritty, and held a very realistic dystopian feel. I enjoyed that immensely. She also created a cast of characters I couldn’t help but either loving or hating. And some you weren’t sure if you should love or hate. Each one held depth, history, and an intricate part.
Ember is one of my favorite heroines, because she is not only strong, but scared and unsure at times. She spent her life laying low, trying not to draw attention to herself or her mother, for fear of the MM. She loves fiercely and deeply. And will do everything in her power to protect those she loves. But when Chase comes back, and not in the way she expected, her world gets turned upside and for once she can't keep her head down anymore. I loved Ember because she was unsure at times, scared at times, and made mistakes as well. But no matter what she got back up, faced her fears, and learned from her mistakes.
Chase is a character I absolutely love! When he appears in the book you aren’t sure if you should like him, trust him, or not, but you can’t help but be intrigued by him. His history with Ember is intricate and deep, full of meaning and longing, but Chase has a very complex and deep past. One that has made him harden and closed off. But with the flash backs that Ember gives of their past together, you see a completely different Chase and that gave me hope to who he is and who he could be. Of course that made me just love him! What I loved about him is his strength and determination to do what must be done to protect Ember, and who he is by the end of the book.
Other than the very realistic dystopian feel of the book, I simply couldn’t get enough of the romance, though light in this book. Simmons did it well and it’s the kind of love, romance, I just eat up! No triangles, just two people who have loved each other since they were kids, overcoming obstacles, learning who each other is again and themselves. Being tested together and separate. Learning that they can overcome their past, their failures, and mistakes together.
The detail in this book is vivid, making the world appear harsh and unforgiving, but Simmons also hides a beautiful hope within that dark world. The pacing was just to my liking, and the story played out beautifully. I loved that she isn’t scared to write about an unforgiving, dark world. She doesn’t shy away from testing her characters and making them face very formidable circumstances. She also writes a very beautiful romance and characters you can’t help but love. The book is also thought invoking. All in all, this is a series I just love and I highly recommend it to readers of the dystopian genre.