Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
(Excerpt from Goodread)

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

I was really excited when I bought this book. I saw it on the shelf and started reading before I even left the shop. Not even out of chapter one and Ember loses her mom, reunites with her childhood sweetheart and gets thrown into some whacky mental institution type place. The only bright side was Rosa who I liked right off the bat.
What did I learn about this book? Never trust anyone, even if you saved their son’s life. When the world is bleak, even the weak will turn vicious.
What I would like to know: what started the war? Who fought? Who survived? Is the whole world gone? Who’s in charge? Why do they have the rules they have (it was never explained why they would kill all the people who have children out of wedlock.) These are just a few of the questions I have that I’m hoping Ms. Simmons will answer with her second book?
What I did like about the book, Chase. He was real. You could feel his pain at the things he was forced to endure. You could see his drive wanting to fix his mistakes. He was brave, a real soldier. He really made the story and I would happily read a story just on his life.

2 thoughts on “Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

  1. I really wanted to like “Article 5” but it just didn’t live up to the hype (or even the description!) It was an okay read, but that’s it…just okay.

    First of all, I felt as if I had read this book before. Totalitarian society, complete with militia? Handmaid’s Tale, the Hunger Games, even 1984 (if you replace the militia with thought police) have that. Reform schools for teens? Declaration is one of many books that comes to mind. A resistance and underground railroad of sorts? Sounds like When She Woke or dozens of other dystopias. There was literally nothing unique in this story and the world just wasn’t developed enough for me not to feel like it was a retread. My major issue was that the main character, Ember, was completely unlikable and in fact, rather naive and, well frankly, stupid.

    I’m sure I’ll read the next book, primarily because I’m very interested in finding out more of the backstory on the war and the destruction of much of the United States. There was very little of that in Article 5 and I think just a little bit more context would have helped the book.


    1. I wasn’t a fan of Ember myself, honestly. I think it was Chase that really brought the story forward. I’m hoping the next book will really open up to the backstory rather than focus on the run as much.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my review! 😀


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