Grace's Reviews > Article 5

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
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Mar 19, 12

bookshelves: 2012-all, 2012-new, dystopian, young-adult, library-brooklyn
Read from March 18 to 19, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I am of two minds about this. On the one hand, there are some definite flaws in this; on the other, it does have potential and I'm interested in seeing how this plays out. If nothing else, I want to find out what happens with Rebecca.

Even more than other YA dystopian novels, Article 5 suffers from an extreme lack of world building. The game changing event happens so early in the story (within the first 20 or so pages) that all we get is hints. We do get an outline of the first six moral statutes, but Brock references Article 7 and we never get that, so I have to wonder are there more we don't know about yet? And just, the world building in general was fairly weak. We got more hints as the story went on, but it still wasn't enough. In some ways, it worked because Ember herself was fairly in the dark about what went on, but not to the degree that we didn't get much of anything.

Because the majority of the story revolves around Ember and Chase getting to safety, the secondary characters aren't particularly well developed, although I know I'd like to know more about them. Particularly Beth and Ryan, Rebecca, and Rosa. Ember herself is a frustrating heroine because the combination of being naive and obstinate, and prone to overreactions she can't really afford. Why again, was she angry at Chase for hurting the people who were trying to kill them? I understand the entire experience has been traumatic and harrowing, but I find it difficult to understand why she was upset that he had protected them. Or at least the extent to which she was upset. For me, she's not an inherently dislikeable character, but she has a lot of growing up to do and she only started to show signs of that towards the end. The fact that she finally stopped blaming herself and other people for things that were forced on them by the FBR/government showed promise.

In terms of Ember's relationship with her mother, I was disappointed in this. I was hoping for more than Ember is the cool, calm, rule follower who takes care of her mother, and her mother is weak and doesn't pull herself together and has abusive boyfriends (who also rebels against the moral statutes by reading contraband books and magazines). Particularly because the actions of both women in the course of the book made me believe more of the opposite.

The romance. I didn't hate it, but I don't love it yet. I think I could like it if it got developed more. I believe they cared about each other before and they still care about each other, but it's kind of twisted and I need more of the gaps filled in before I can say I really like it. But they had moments where I thought I could like it. One of my favorite lines in the book was Chase's joke that she hit him for kissing her, so he thought it would be best to marry her while she was asleep. The fact that they occasionally forget themselves and joke in spite of everything that's happening is nice, I guess, in its own way. Also, on the plus side, NO LOVE TRIANGLES - at least from what we have so far. THANKFULLY.

In terms of plot, things took a while to come together. It was obvious from the beginning that they hadn't just let her mother go and that Ember was being lied to. I don't necessarily fault Chase's logic, but it was still frustrating the way things played out. There are more than enough unanswered questions: What are Beth and Ryan doing back home? What happened to Rebecca? What happened to the rest of Kaitlyn Meadows' family (since I would assume they ALL got arrested)? What about Rosa? Etc.

And as a side note, can I just say that it's distracting to have a book where every other teenager is Beth and Ryan and Rosa and Chase, and the main character is Ember? Because it is. It's noticeable.

Not a particularly strong beginning, but I am curious enough to read more.
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Reading Progress

03/18/2012 page 171
47.0% "So far, I am torn between being frustrated and wanting to like it. I don't know."
03/18/2012 page 255
70.0% "On the plus side, I'm over halfway through this and I don't see the setup of a love triangle (yet). Otherwise, I'm still stuck in a not-sure-about-this place."

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by CL (new) - rated it 1 star

CL (www.loveisastateofmind.net) Seriously, don't waste your time.


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