Title: Article 5 #1
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publish Date: January 1, 2012
Pages: 362 Content Rating: Mild
Type: Hardback (own) ART: 3 Hrs
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
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I am between liking it and having major issues with it. If I just read it and not focus on the inconsistencies and blatant sexism. The beginning starts off with an interesting premise, if not a bit trope-ish. Article 5 starts off with the main character, Ember comes home and sees her mother being arrested for being a radical nonconformist. Now the premise is a great idea. It just wasn’t executed (unlike the main character’s mother*) as well as it should have been.
The premise is a dystopian idea where the world ends, not with a bang. It ends with a neo-conservative man overthrowing the government and taking a lot of things and beliefs back to the 1800s. But Simmons never seem to explain the hows or the whys it happened? Which is strange considering the character states in the beginning that she lived through the whole thing. I do like that new idea of using a character that lived through the ‘end’. I just have so many unexplained questions, which granted this a trilogy. Like, why is 99% of this book centered around sexist and stereotypical religion extremists?
This dystopian novel comes across as an angsty road trip across the states with a love interest where it’s all crazy people and no morals. I felt like singing, “where have all good people gone?” I prefer world building compared to romance. The book was situated around Ember and Chase. No was there long enough or developed enough to keep a spot in my brain.
Ember is alright in the beginning. She starts off strong, taking care of her mother and herself. She gets whiny and on a moral high horse about 3 chapters into the book. She is redeemable since she spends the last chapter of the book being badass. She does grow as a character, it’s just slower than moss creeping up a rock. Chase is a survivor and he keeps Ember from dying. Chase is honestly my favorite character. He has many flaws, but like an adult, he can admit them. But he spends so much of his time being angsty or saving Ember. She treats him like crap, and never thanks him for rescuing her. All the problems between could have been fixed, if they would have talked.
Simmons created a good dynamic between characters. I also have to give her props for subtly giving a character a mental health issue. Chase has PTSD and seems like to me a dissociative personality. Which completely explain his constant switching in the book. So I liked the action and premise. But the lack of world building, backsliding characters in strength dropped my rating. The saving grace is that Simmons seems to have a great way of creating a tense atmosphere during important scenes. 3 out of 5 Stars.