Friday, January 27, 2012

Article 5 ~ Kristen Simmons (ARC) review

Article 5
Tor Teen
January 31, 2012
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy on Amazon

It's been three years since the war ended but already life in the United Sates is almost unrecognizable. Seventeen year old Ember Miller remember what it was like before: when there were police, not just the soldiers, the Federal Bureau of Reformation; when there was the Bill of Rights, not the Moral Statues; when you could read the books you wanted, go out after dark, when there was enough food to go around, new things were still to be had and cities - and people - were whole.

Now, though, cities have been abandoned, some destroyed, too, by the war. The FBR, or MM (Moral Militia) as Ember and her friends call them, rule all. Despite her single mother who seems to all but love breaking the rules (reading inappropriate books and magazines) that can lead to citations and arrests, Ember has learned how to stay under the radar, how to get by.

Until, that is her mother is arrested.

Arrested for not complying with Article 5 of the Moral Statues.

What's even worse is that one of the MM officers at the arrest is Chase Jennings. The boy who left years ago. The boy Ember still loves.

Ember's life falls apart when her mother is arrested . . . but that moment is only the beginning of a dramatic journey for Ember in this new, drastically different society.

Kristen Simmons' debut is so, so splendidly amazing. It's a book that will keep you up late reading and inf you do have to sleep (darn you, sleep), you'll find yourself putting off everything else during the day (breakfast, personal grooming, work, whatever) to finish it. It's truly remarkable that this is her debut novel.

The chemistry that is present between Ember and Chase - even while they are doing their best to deny it to each other, themselves, and anyone who might notice or listen - is absolutely enticing. It's the kind of chemistry that draws you in as a reader and makes you want to somehow be a part of it. (Though, like literal chemistry, adding another element would likely cause some sort of combustion, explosion, fizzling or other harm ) The fact that Simmons can so well portray the relationship between these two characters given the situation (and I won't give it all away) that they find themselves is that much more impressive.

I'm kind of in love with both of them - separately and together.

Another thing that really makes Article 5 shine is how well the author conveys emotion. The language and phrasing she chooses is just phenomenal and really pulls at you. I looked for quotes I wanted to use but as I typed them in, I worried they were to spoilery. . . trust me?

Kristen Simmons creates characters, makes you care about them, places them in a world that could seem absurd but really, truly does not, and then jerks those characters around (and you, the reader with them). You worry for the characters, you feel their pain, there's suspense, you feel their hope, there's anger. When I say Article 5 is an emotional book it's not just emotional because it's sad at points, it has the full spectrum of emotions.

The only, only thing that - while reading - I could possibly have wanted from Article 5 that I didn't get was a little description of the war or how it started or why there wasn't water or if it was just the US. Background, I guess. But, the book stays so in the now, in the present, that I soon forgot about all of that. After finishing the book, I'm not sure it was necessary or a missing element, actually.

This is a gripping, emotional debut with two main characters I need to read more of...

Requested from TorTeen for review

Other Books You Might Like: Beyond the Gates (Tomorrow Girls #1) by Eva Gray and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


  1. never heard of this one... good review

    1. Thank you!! It was a really great book :) (I hope maybe you're interested now?)

      Thanks for visiting Book Sp(l)ot Reviews!


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