Review: Article 5 (Article 5 book 1) by Kristen Simmons


Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher/Year: Tom Doherty Associates, 2012
Length: 384 pages
Series: Article 5 book #1


Most of the major cities in the US have been abandoned (New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.) The Bill of Rights has been revoked and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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. 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.

Where this story takes us 

At the very beginning we meet Ember at a time when her life is completely turned upside down by the MM (Moral Militia).  There had been rumors of other kids from school being picked up for non-compliance of the statutes (some for religion and some for reasons unknown).  Ember had thought they were safe since they had passed inspection a month earlier and hadn’t overtly done anything, but unfortunately, rules had changed just a few days prior and the soldiers were doing a sweep of the city to get rid of anyone that may have a mark against them.  Ember’s mother, being single and not married broke a rule and as a result, she’s taken away, Embers carted off to a ‘rehabilitation center’ and life will never be the same.

While they are being picked up by the soldiers, Chase, Ember’s ‘love’ who had been drafted into the militia appears, because he’s part of the unit that’s taking them away and has no way of helping.  This is where Ember realizes that life sucks and she’s forced to grow up.

At the rehabilitation center, Ember finds herself with a roommate named Rebecca who’s been there for 3 years already partly due to not having anywhere to go (her parents dropped her off there) and partly because she’s in love with one of the guards there.  Through conversations and an awkward beginning to a friendship, Ember learns that she can try to escape however it will most likely be unsuccessful.  (no one’s done it before and lived to tell about it).

The night that Ember tries to escape, she’s caught, and Chase some how comes to her rescue as he’s there to take her to trial.  (which is interesting since the common assumption is that trials had been all but done away with).  This is where the true story begins.  Chase and Ember running from the militia since they are both known to be escapees or AWOL, and all for the goal of finding their way to a safe house that Ember’s mother is supposed to be waiting at.

Relationships get complicated, the past is rehashed a bit, and the future is uncertain.  i’m looking forward to reading Breaking Point tonight to see what’s next for these 2.

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