Hardcover: 362 Pages
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Narration: First Person: Ember
Source: The Strand Bookstore
Article 5 Series
Book One: Article 5
Book Two: Breaking Point
Book Three: Unknown (2014)
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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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
I've heard about this novel here and there but never payed much attention to it, because although it had a pretty cool looking cover, the synopsis didn't draw me in. Sure, it was well written and summed up the story pretty well, but it lacked individuality and ended up sounding just like any other Dystopian synopsis I've read, albeit with a few meager variations. I wasn't planning on reading Article 5 anytime soon, but after I found a paperback copy in The Strand (Which is the best bargain bookstore EVER, of course that might not mean a lot, considering it's the only bargain bookstore I've ever been to.), I thought, "Ehhh, why not?" Partly because I loved the cover.....and mostly because it was such a good deal that I couldn't resist. xD
It seemed like every single time I was beginning to like Ember as a protagonist, willing to set my annoyance at her petty thoughts and stupid actions behind me, she did something, once again, to make me want to fling my book across the room. Actually, there were a couple of times when I did slam it on the floor, taking advantage of the fact that I was holding a physical book in my hands for once, instead of my fragile Kindle. Anyways, I digress. Ember seemed to contradict herself every other line. At one moment, she would call Chase a monster, someone she didn't even recognize anymore, and in the next, she was pleading with him to help her and her mother escape, screaming at him when he didn't, even when there was absolutely no possible way he could accomplish what she was asking of him. One minute she trusted him and felt nothing but safe in his arms, and then all of a sudden she was afraid of him, flinching at every move he made towards her. Make up your mind, woman!
She seemed to think that the whole world revolved around her, that everything would end up working out in the end if things were done her way. Ember never thought out her plans nor did she think about the consequences that would follow soon after. She ran on instinct alone, and because of that she wound up running face first into trouble more often than not. Although she did fight back when she was in danger, she reminded me a lot of the damsel in distress type that I despise so much.
Luckily, there was only one love interest in this novel. Thank God! I don't know if I could take the angst level if there were two men vying over her affections. Chase was logical; he thought things through before executing his plans, unlike the impulsive Ember who failed to see the bigger picture. He knew when the odds were in his favor, but he also knew to surrender and fight another day when there was no possible way of winning, or a very low chance of escaping with his life and Ember's intact. I can say with the utmost certainty that Ember did not deserve Chase, at all. If she changed her...well...entire personality, then maybe. But the childish, jumping to conclusions way she acts right now? Definitely not.
This first sixty or so pages were pretty slow paced. I probably picked the book up and set it down dozens of times. The plot, the characters *Cough,Cough Ember*, and the world building just couldn't hold my attention. Everything was very Blah, and I even found myself falling asleep in a couple of scenes. However, once I passed the sixty page mark, the novel picked up speed gradually, and I soon found myself enjoying the storyline, despite the difficulties I had with the protagonist. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the plot after that mark, the world building left a lot to be desired. I couldn't, and still can't, imagine the world there living in.
Overall, Article 5 had weak world building, a great plot once you reach a certain point, a very yummy love interest, and an annoying, impulsive protagonist who I hope will grow in character throughout the next installment. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopians, is in the mood to drool over a swoon worthy guy, and who doesn't mind a whiny, self-centered protagonist.