Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons


Review: Article 5 by Kristen SimmonsArticle 5 by Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5 #1
Published by Tor Teen on January 31st 2012
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 362
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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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.


Article 5 is basically a dystopia teen road-trip. When Ember is sent away because her mother had violated article 5, Chase breaks her out from the girl’s reformatory and rehabilitation centre. Soon after they’re on the  run from the MM around the country to a safe house to find her mother.

There are definitely some horrible bad guys (as there should be) but who would have guessed the person that I may have disliked the most would have been Ember. I surprised myself still giving this book a 3 out of 5 stars considering how selfish I found Ember to be and therefore was utterly annoyed by anything she did. She got on her moral high-horse pretty early in the book and boy did I just want to give her a swift kick in the butt. I actually liked Chase given the dramatic and emo-funk that he was in the majority of the book, but he at least does try his best. Overall though there was definitely a lot of teenage romance angst all around.

The plot itself wasn’t bad, though I wish there was more background information for why society is in this state of dystopia. Bits of the story dragged, mostly when Ember was being selfish and unreasonable, but there’s enough “action” to keep me going. Simply speaking, it’s because Ember managed to finally get her crap together at the end that I was able to deal with this book (hence the 3 stars).  Definitely a need to be in the mood-for kind of book and as most first books of a trilogy it can be a “stand-alone” (in a sense that the main conflict -but not overall arc- does wrap up) but leads up to the second book quite well leaving us the potential for a better second book (if Ember manages to not revert back  to her “old” self).


About Kristen Simmons

Kristen Simmons is the author of the ARTICLE 5 series, THE GLASS ARROW, and the upcoming METALTOWN (Tor Teen). She loves her family, Jazzercise, and chocolate cupcakes. She currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

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