Saturday, January 28, 2012

ARC Book Review: Article 5

Author: Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5 #1
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Pages: 384
Read it in: 5 days
Source: ARC received from the author
Summary: 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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.

LC's Take:

So basically... I could not put this book down! I was hooked from the first chapter, I stayed up late into the night just to get a little further, I cried at one point, and I obsessively thought about it whenever I wasn't reading it. Yeah! Seriously, this is one book that you guys are going to want to have near the top of your To-Be-Read lists because I am still in awe at just how flipping phenomenal it was.

Article 5 takes place in a post-apocalyptic United States, right after a major war has devastated basically the entire country and caused all the major cities to be evacuated. Now a new government has taken over, replacing the Bill of Rights with a new law called The Moral Statutes-- everyone must comply with these incredibly strict laws or face worse than death. Ember Miller and her rebellious mom live together quietly until one day when soldiers from the Moral Militia come to their house and arrest her mom for breaking the Statutes. When Ember fights back, she is taken to a nightmarish Reform School for girls. It is now up to her to escape and save her mom... oh, and also come to terms with the fact that Chase, the only boy she has ever loved, was one of the soldiers who took her mother away.

Ember was an awesome main character-- she goes through so much that you really have to admire her strength and courage and how well she holds herself together. Whether it's watching her mom being dragged away by soldiers or being beaten by a sadistic school teacher or barely getting away from the creepiest psycho lady you will ever read about (OMG you'll know when you get to that part!), Ember never gives up on her goal of finding and saving her mother, and doing whatever she can to resist the cruel government that has ruined their lives. She had a wonderful heart and was both vulnerable but willing to fight at the same time-- even when the odds were completely against her. I definitely loved Ember's strong, rebellious character, and was on her side rooting for her the entire time!

And then we have Chase-- Chase was Ember's love interest and the reason I liked him so much is that you are never **really** sure what his deal is throughout the story-- is he good? Is he bad? Has he been brain-washed? The author keeps you guessing for awhile! I won't give anything away about him, but I will say that the relationship between Chase and Ember builds up throughout the story, going back and forth--which I also loved, because things between them are realistically tough and complicated. (AKA, You don't have to worry about them falling madly in love within 3 pages-- so annoying when that happens right?!)

The one and only (very) small caveat that I'll mention is that I wish a few things about the actual dystopia had been explained a little more... What exactly happened to society and why has it become the way it is? Who was "the War" against and who bombed out all the cities? Who is the President? Of course these things may be explained more in the sequel which I will definitely be reading! And also, let me just emphasize that in the case of Article 5, I enjoyed the story so much and was so invested in the characters that I didn't mind as much not having everything explained. Honestly, I think that this dystopian was done much, much better as far as dystopian world-building goes than some others I have read (**cough, cough, Matched! cough, cough**) in the YA genre.

So in conclusion, I just loved this book-- I was absolutely, completely blown away. Every chapter was full of suspense, action, terror, escapes, fights, romance, and basically everything else that makes a book impossible to put down! I highly recommend Article 5 to all my blog followers, it is one YA dystopian that you are NOT going to want to miss! 

~Cover Talk~

I am definitely digging this book cover-- I love the image of the bombed-out, abandoned city and the picture of Ember and Chase gazing off into the distance. I really love how the title is done in the red and stands out so starkly against the rest of the sepia-toned design, especially since it ties in with the "Red Zones" in the book, which are the evacuated city areas. And, you know, I have to say that I think sometimes it is really difficult for a book to pull off a hand-drawn illustration instead of using a highly-edited photograph (a la Wither or City of Bones) without coming across as looking a little... cheesy. But this cover design works so well because the illustration is so detailed and life-like! I'm definitely a fan.

LC's Rating:
I am just speechless... Article 5 was an absolutely stunning debut! Action-packed and  full of suspense, I could NOT put this book down-- It totally blew me away. Make sure this one gets added to your TBR list!


  1. Did you say creepy psycho lady? I'm so in! I love creepy characters. Okay, so I was gonna read this anyway, but nor I'm even more excited. Glad it has your seal of approval. It's at the top of my list. Great review as always.

  2. awesome review yes a few things could have been explained a bit bettr/the distopia part but i really love this one/ ember[rad name] and chase

  3. A wonderful review Lea! I am really anxious to get hold of this book when it is released.

    Sharon @ Obsession with Books

    PS. I am eager to read your thoughts on Cold Kiss..

  4. Wow! I'm really glad you loved it. I've been seeing this around, but I'm still debating on reading it. Your review of it definitely has it higher up my list though. I think I may give it a try later in the future. Great review!

  5. I am so happy for you. Ill have to wait a few more days and then I'll get to read it too. Maybe I'll like it as much as you did :D
    No insta-love feeling? Now I really want to meet Chase..and Ember. I can forget even the not-so-great world building for a cute love story ;))
    Happy midnight reading!

  6. Lea! I got cold chills reading your review. I have this one pre-ordered, and I will be fighting NOT to read it the moment it downloads, because of other commitments. It just sounds SO amazing and your passion for the book comes through loud and clear. :)

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  7. I feel exactly the same; I agree with every point you made! I loved this book! Wonderful review, Lea!

  8. I really want to read this one! I can't wait to buy it. I'm really happy that you enjoyed it. Great review!

  9. Arghhhh.. your review makes me angry at myself for not picking this up yet :/ Seriously, I have heard nothing but raves and you just confirmed what I already knew : I need to read it ASAP! I love books that make you feel, and if you cried, I am pretty much 100% sure I will too. That's OK, crying is an essential part of a good, emotional book, and this one sounds like a solid gut-wrenching, thrill ride! :)
    Thank you so much for making me realize just how much I was missing by not picking it up yet. I'm on it!

  10. I need this book! Your review really make me want to read it even more. Especially the start where you said you couldn't put it down. So thanks for sharing!


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