BOOK REVIEW: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Review of: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Genre: YA, Dystopian

In a not-so-distant future, the country that used to be America is governed by a rigid set of moral statutes, and enforced by an army. Failure to completely comply with any of the statutes results in arrest, trial, and maybe even death. Ember Miller is 17 and know that it wasn’t always like this, but there seems to be nothing she can do except try to stay low, and avoid notice. That is, until her mother is arrested for failure to follow the statutes in Article 5, and the soldier taking her away is none other than Chase–the boy Ember has been in love with for ages. Suddenly, Ember finds that she can’t avoid notice anymore–not if it means watching her mother be taken away, never to return. She tries to fight for her mother, but since she is still underage, she is taken away herself and put into a home for orphans and other children who’s parents have been taken in by the Moral Police. Now that Ember is essentially behind bars as well, will she be able escape in time to save her mother?

This was a dystopian novel in the style of George Orwell’s 1984. It’s a little unsettling, because it doesn’t seem to be that far-fetched of an idea. A lot of the YA dystopian currently or recently popular is really only relateable in that it happens to a landmass and people very like our own. I find it nearly impossible to believe that The Hunger Games could ever actually happen, or the post-apocalyptic style dramas like The Mazerunner. Books like Article 5 though… they’re more unsettling because it’s not so far fetched. Little, seemingly inconsequential freedoms add up, and few people even notice what’s happening until they’re all gone. It has happened before. Nazi Germany was basically just the ultimate dystopian setting. The German people certainly weren’t all evil, and I’m sure they didn’t even all hate the Jews/gays etc. but they were swept up in charisma and speeches and didn’t see the first dooming clues of the future.

Mini-sermon aside, this was a good read. It was really fast paced and there was plenty of action, off-setting the relationship drama. It did have a bit of language that I wasn’t particularly expecting from a YA book, but it wasn’t anything too dreadful and it wasn’t prolific.

If you’ve enjoyed recent popular dystopian fiction, and particularly if you like your YA dystopian fiction with more serious, realistic undertones, Definitely give this a try. I am not sure how many books are in the series, but I know it is a multi-book series. Planning to read the second one soon!

I really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars.


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