Article 5 by Kristen Simmons.
Published January 31, 2012.
Published by Tor Teen.
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
I have a very clear idea for this one of what I liked and what I didn't, and I can quite easily divide those sections into two clear breaks, so that's how I'll write this review.
Plot: Almost Awesome.
Set up so well and jumps into action right away. Quite fast paced, moves really well. I definitely enjoyed how the world building was woven into the plot, instead of having the two separated and dealt with one at a time. They don't have to alternate; they work into each other and are great together. I really enjoyed the idea of the novel, the plot, and how much I learned about the future that the novel is set in. I just wish the characters' actions felt worked better with where I wanted the plot to go. It seemed like Ember was constantly moving off the path and away from what I had hoped for, and Chase did not help move it back much. I also wish their *ugh* romance was better than it was. They were terrible to one another. On a better note, I mostly have to agree with Booklist who says on the back of the book that "The action never stops." And this is great. There is usually something happening. Thank goodness for this, because otherwise I would have to really deal with the characters. On that note...
They made me so frustrated! Ember has a one-track mind determination about her, which leads to a complete lack of logic on her part. She acts on impulse and fear and stupid snap decisions. I constantly felt like she just wasn't thinking, ever. She acts out constantly and is awful to Chase, when really he only deserves a little bit of anger. She also can't seem to make up her mind about him. She loves him, then she hates him, then she loves him again, then she regrets it, then she's scared of him, and on and on. It gets tiring. There is also a point near the end of the novel when she gets some really bad news and instead of this motivating her to stand up and do something, she gives up and gets people, including herself, in danger. This was beyond frustrating for me.
Chase was also a bit of a pain in the butt, although he actually used his brain. He tries to protect Ember, but the entire time he is completely cold towards her. Emotionless and even mean at times. No thank you, that is not what I want from a rescuer. I definitely like old Chase more than new Chase and I hope more of old him comes out in the sequel. But the lack of brains and logic in one character and the lack of emotion in the other made this novel plot-based enjoyment only for me.
So overall, the fact that I do want to read the sequel rounds this up to: