Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

10677277Article 5 Discussion

Title: Article 5
Series: Article 5, Book #1
Author: Kristen Simmons

Hardcover, 362 pages
First published January 1st 2012

Seventeen year old, Ember and her mom live in a scary world. Several years before the start of the book, a great war broke out in the United States.  After a devastating war, a corrupt and super-conservative government was put into place. The military is in charge of the country, and women have lost their rights.  If a citizen breaks the law, there’s no fines or community service—its detainment or execution.  The laws are retroactive and you can be punished for a crime someone else committed.   

Life has always been hard for Ember and her single mother, but after the war life gets worse.  Ember’s mom has a long history of bad relationships and has a rebellious strike that always keeps their family in the military’s crosshairs.  If things couldn’t be made worse, the military starts detaining Article 5’s, even more serious—retroactively. Article 5:  Children are considered valid citizens only when conceived by a married man and wife. Ember’s parents weren’t married when Ember was conceived.  One night solider come and takes Ember and her mother away and separate them. 

Ember is taken to a reformation school, where she abused and beaten by Mrs. Brock, the principle, and her lackeys.  Determined, Ember makes a deal with one of the soldiers in hope of escaping Mrs. Brock’s tyranny.  But, the getaway goes wrong. 

Okay, I’m not going to summarize the whole book.  Just enough to get ya’ll hooked, and hopefully read it.  I’m just going to let you know, there’s some murder, violence, romance, deception, misidentification, hallucinations, and a whole lot of rebellion against the government—which makes this book a lot of fun to read.

At first I thought it was a little and slow-paced (but that was probably because I had just read the first two Divergent books and a Percy Jackson—they are so fast-paced).  I enjoyed the story and the characters.  To be honest, I figured out the twist pretty early; I’ve talked to some of my friends who read it and they also knew the twist.  Regardless, it was a really enjoyable book.  It would be great for readers who like more realistic dystopians that Hunger Games like fans of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

     >>  I like how the love interest, Chase, and Ember’s love is based on a little history. In lots of YA books, the romance is too Disney-isk—meaning the characters go from strangers to soul mates in less than a week. It's refreshing to see something a little more realistic
        >>I love how fickle Ember is with her feelings for Chase.  She is going through so much.  It’s hard for her to sort out how she feels.

·        >>Sometimes I had to reread a couple paragraphs to know what going on, not sure I was reading to fast or if I am distracted or if it's just not written clearly.
·       >> Also, I wish the author would have described Chase's appearance when she introduced his character not 100 pages later. I had a mentally imagine of a scrawny, white, brunette boy not a muscular Latino hottie.

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