Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Release Date: January 2012
Published By: Tor Teen
Goodreads Rating: 3.85
Review: Seventeen-year-old Ember is just old enough to remember a time when there was a Bill of Rights instead of Moral Statutes, when there were police instead of soldiers, and when being arrested didn't mean never coming back. But she has perfected keeping a low profile, something of a necessity with a rebellious mother like hers. Except her mother is arrested for violation of Article 5 of the Moral Statutes, and one of the arresting officers is Chase, the boy she used to love.
ARTICLE 5 introduces the readers to a frightening dystopian world that was well-written and fleshed out. I found the concept of Moral Statutes with harsh punishments for violations to be intriguing, and while this kind of world isn't exactly one hundred percent unique, it wasn't painfully derivative or cliché. The only part of this that bothered me, however, was that it was never really explained why the world became like this to start with, when it would have been nice to have some sort of explanation to make it more believable.
Still, while the background wasn't the best it could have been, I absolutely adored the romance. It's rare for me to love a YA romance this much, but I truly enjoyed reading about the budding relationship between Ember and Chase. They both felt like real, honest characters and the love that grew between them was both natural and passionate. The relationship developed very nicely over the course of the story and will, I'm sure, continue well into the sequel.
What worked especially well were the flashbacks sprinkled out throughout the pages. They worked nicely with the pacing of the novel and didn't detract from the story at all, and they provided great insight into who Chase used to be. It was with these that we are able to see the large contrast between the Chase of Ember's memories and the Chase she meets in present time, and it makes the romance all the more sweeter.
Overall, ARTICLE 5 hit just the spot for my dystopian craving. From a fairly creative and scary world to a multi-dimensional cast of characters, this novel is well-written and well-executed. If you're not such a big fan of dystopian, this book probably isn't for you, but anyone who enjoys a good mix of romance and dystopia should eat this book up!