Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Book: Article 5
By: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: January 31, 2012

Description: 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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
My Thoughts: Article 5 was the first book in the Kristen Simmons Article 5 series. It was an interesting book about a post apocalyptic society governed by rules and enforced by soldiers. It follows the main character Ember as she searches for her mother after she is arrested.

I'm going to start this review with some of the ogod things I liked about it. I enjoyed learning about the world Ember lived in. It was interesting how it was run and how everyone lived in fear of the FBR (Federal Bureau of Reformation). Some began to go crazy, neighbor turned on neighbor and all hell basically broke loose to create what we read in this book. I could see exactly how the world became how it was. It made sense to me and I liked that.

I also liked Ember's drive. She has a one track mind and would do anything to achieve her goal. Once she had a plan, she stuck to it and it was hard to get her to think otherwise. Even while being punished, she still knew how to hold her own. he was strong and did what she thoughht was right no matter what. I love characters like this.

The relationship between Ember and Chase is something I also liked. They switch back and forth between the old relationship they had before Chase became a soldier, and the relationship they have now and I liked how it changed, and I liked how they grew. It made sense to me.

Nonetheless, there were quite a few things I didnt like. First, the dialogue in some sections of the book seemed to dramatic for me. Thing soap opera mixed with the Twilight movies mixed with 13 year old hormonal girls. Everything was just soo emotional that sometimes it made it hard to believe. I grew annoyed at some points.. I also didnt like how some of the settings and people were described. Although I could kind of picture some things in my head, I usually couldnt focus on who looked like what, or what color this person's hair was or where whis was taking place? Was this shed a nice shed or was it run down? What color was the house? How many people cornered you. I often reread sections of the book hoping to picture everything in my head and just couldnt. It caused me to generalize what things looked like. This is a basic farm house, this is a blue pickup truck, this is a manequin speaking to you, no real anything. It made me a bit frustrated. and it took out the feeling I search for of being sucked into a book.

I also didnt always like the romance aspect of the book. I always felt like Ember and Chase were stupid. "Why are you not paying attention? It's obvious he's still in love with you!" or "Why would you do that you idiot? Do you honestly think that because he was thinking a little violently to someone who tried to harm you that he would turn around and harm you too?" or even "Really? You really thought that you could take off running on foot and make it somewhere before someone in a truk can. Nevermind the fact that you have NO IDEA where you're going!!!" I always wanted them to speak their minds and talk about stuff instead of holding it in. I also didnt like some of her decisions. It made me begin to imagine her as a small girl with arms outstretched flailing aimlessly about in search of something she can do, screaming and crying about how her life is awful and everyone ruins it and she cant trust people and blah blah blah, when its obvious there's nothing to do but follow instructions. Shut up and stop crying.

I liked Article 5. It was an interesting book set in an interesting world, but it wasnt the best read for me. I think the hype was too overrated. I was planning to fall madly in love with this book and what I got was an average book. I'll probably read the next book whenever it comes out, but I will most likely not preorder it or go out on opening day in search of the book. My Rating? 2.5 stars.


TheReadingPenguin said...

Hmm, yeah, I'm on the fence about reading this one. I feel like there are so many dystopians coming out, an if I read to many I'm going to get bored with the whole concept. Great review!

Lan said...

I think I read the excerpt of this one a while back and the writing itself was a little bit boring. I think I had the exact opposite problem where the description is what killed it for me. Not that it was too much but that it wasn't done all that well. Besides, I didn't understand why Chase would let ember's mother be taken but come back to help her. I don't get people. But I suppose that's what makes them interesting. At the end of the day, regardless of everything else, I'd pin whether I liked the book on ember as the MC and I'm starting to worry that she's one of those Too Stupid To Live heroines :(

Sherre said...

TRP: I completely understand. It's easy to get bored these days when everything is pretty much a different version of the same old concept.

Lan: Ha! I understand. Those were my feelings exactly, but when I saw the reviews from all the people who said they loved it and it was amazing I decided to give it a shot. I probably shoulda stuck with my original thought.

Anonymous said...

I'm scared of reading books with hype. I get the feeling that I might be let down. I might give it a shot though.

Kim@Time2Read said...

This is one I've had on my list for awhile. Now I'm not so sure I'm going to read it. I probably will at some point, but I'll knock it down a few notches for now. Thanks for the review.

Sherre said...

Yea give it a shot. Who knows? I may be wrong. As I always say, this is my opinion.Someone else may have a different experience.

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