Kathryn Patterson's Reviews > Article 5

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
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's review
Jan 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: dystopian-society

I checked this book out of my public library, but immediately lost it to my son, who read the entire novel in three days. Then he bugged me to read it quickly because he wanted to talk to me about it.
I must say, I completely understand his enthusiasm. "Article 5" captures your attention and holds on, from the first chapter until the very last page.

The story follows a typical teenage girl, Ember Miller, as she tries to adjust to life under a new, strict theocracy. Ember keeps her head down, draws little or no attention to herself, and studies hard in school because she fears that girls will not be allowed in certain classes soon.

Then, disaster strikes, as soldiers show up at her house to arrest her mother for breaking Article 5. Ember also gets taken away, not officially "arrested" but now government property; Ember must find a way to reunite with her mother, at all costs.

The strength of "Article 5" relies on well-defined characters and believable action. The most defined character is Ember, as she grows and changes through her experiences. I expected this. But I did not expect the complexity of Chase Jennings, Ember's old friend/boyfriend. Ms. Simmons reveals his character slowly, building it piece by piece so that the reader learns about Chase at the same time Ember does.

As for action, well, let's say I had trouble putting the book down. Ms Simmons writes wonder action scenes that convey the confusion, the violence, and the moments of clarity experienced by Ember.

I almost rated this book 5 stars, but it still have a rough around the edges feeling to it. But I am waiting with bated breath for the sequel.

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