Book Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

SERIES. Article 5, Book One
RELEASE DATE. January 31, 2012
PUBLISHER. Tor Teen
PAGES. 362
FORMAT. Hardcover
AGE GROUP. Young Adult
GENRE/S. Dystopian, Post-apocalyptic
FIND IT. Amazon | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS. 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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.

THOUGHTS. Wow could already be an understatement for this book. But wow is the only word I could think of for Article 5.

Simmons brought me to another appalling and exciting world of a dystopian. The world she built is one of the worst and the bleakest world ever written—even compared to the actual wars and worst events in the recorded history of mankind. It reminded me of the German Nazi and Martial Law in the Philippines but much worse. The world in Article 5 isn’t just an imagination. It was all too real for me: the corrupt government, the heartless soldiers, and the cruel acts. Simmons made me cringe and angry with the world she created. Thus, she crafted one of the best—and terrifying—dystopian books ever.

At the same time, it wasn’t easy to tear away from Article 5 especially with characters that are engagingly and vividly written. Ember and Chase both embody the classic dystopian characters: strong, willed, hopeless, and flawed. I loved how Simmons brought them together to fill each other’s needs. Simmons also captured the essence of both love and hatred to every character in the story. The level of romance she laid was neither too plain nor too much but at times complicated which left the next book more room for romance.

With every page, she managed to soak in different dystopian elements that had me promptly turning the pages, kept me up the whole ungodly nights, and heavily gasping for air: action-packed scenes, escalating tensions, and perplexing surprises.

At nearly four hundred pages, expect only the best in Article 5: pure action, pure adventure, and pure cruelty at its best. The world Kristen Simmons etched will stay long with you even after reading it. Even if you closed your eyes, images of war, death, guns, soldiers and maybe even Ember or Chase would linger on the back of your mind. It’s addictive. It’s irresistible. It’s unbelievable. I couldn’t ask for more.

Just like The Hunger Games and Divergent, Article 5 is undoubtedly a mind-blowing action-packed novel. All you need to do is grab it quick and read it quick or else you’ll get a citation for not doing so.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Kristen Simmons has a master’s degree in social work and is an advocate for mental health. She lives with her family and their precious greyhound Rudy in Tampa, Florida.

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