Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Article 5

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just Finished Reading ... Article 5

Welcome to Dystopian/Disaster Week here at my blog.
Today and Thursday I'll be writing about two brand-new books that take place in a world gone wrong.

But first, can I just say that Tor Teen has been coming out with some really good stuff lately! Anna Dressed in Blood was one of my favorite scary books of 2011, and I've been very excited to read ...


Article 5
by Kristen Simmons
Tor Teen
January 31, 2012
Source: bought from indie bookstore


Article 5 begins dramatically, as Ember Miller watches her mother dragged out of their home by officers of the Federal Bureau of Reformation (aka the Moral Militia) for being in violation of Article 5, which states that children are considered valid citizens only when conceived by a married man and wife.

Ember's mom, a single mother, is taken away for rehabilitation. Ember is transported separately to a girls' reformatory. If this isn't shocking enough, one of the arresting officers is Chase, a boy Ember grew up with. Those two relationships are really what drive this book: Ember striving to be reunited with her mother and struggling with her conflicted feelings toward Chase.

Through the course of the story, we don't really learn that much about Ember's world. There was a war. Cities were bombed and evacuated. After the war was over, the government became repressive and obsessed with morality. My notes are filled with questions: Who was America at war with? Why did the government become so repressive? How far into the future are we?

Then I decided to put down my pen and accept the fact that Article 5 is a book more focused on Ember and her quest than on the details of her world. Ember is an admirable heroine -- gutsy, resourceful and smart. The slow pace of Ember and Chase's relationship felt realistic. As they set off on their dystopian road trip, Ember pretty much hates Chase, but needs his help.  Every time she takes one step toward believing she can trust him, something happens to set her a step or two back. Besides, this couple is on the run for their lives -- cold, tired, hungry, injured -- so it seemed believable to me that romance had to take a back seat to survival.

As I thought about Article 5 after I finished reading, I decided that this book's simplicity is what sets it apart from other dystopians -- and in a good way. To me, this book had the timeless feel of an old Western movie: good battles evil with some long trail rides in between. Though Article 5 was presumably set in the future, it could have taken place in the 1800s, the 1900s, the 2100s. There's no futuristic gadgetry or lingo here, no scenery-chomping villains, no mind-bending plot twists, no epic battle scenes. Just a girl trying to get to her mother and the boy who's trying to help her. In the end, that was enough for me!

18 comments:

  1. I am SO glad that you liked this book! I've been dying to read this one so I can't wait to get it and read it!

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    1. I really did like it. It was different from most dystopians, but I decided that was a good thing. It's going to be part of my giveaway for the YA Hop, so check back for that!

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  2. I am looking forward to this book! Great review. It sounds really good. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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    1. Yep. Honestly, dystopians that are super-dark sometimes kind of freak me out, so the two I'm writing about this week were more my speed.

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  3. Great review Jen! I just added this one to my TBR a few minutes ago :-) Looking forward to this one!

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  4. sounds like a good book :) thanks for the review

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  5. Is this going to be part of the Not-At-ALA giveaway? I hope so because I really really really really want to read it because I keep hearing so many great things about this book!

    And I did notice that you commented that it was not filled with epic battle scenes which I know are not generally your favorite parts of some of the books. :)

    Shanan
    http://www.thebookaddictnet.blogspot.com/

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    1. The ALA giveaway is ARCs only.

      But.... this book WILL be one of the choices in the YA Hop I'm signed up for, which starts this Friday.

      And yes, I'm not such a fan of epic battle scenes. I don't mind if books have them, but I just skim them to see how it turns out. I don't need the play-by-play.

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  6. I haven't heard of ARTICLE 5 before. Thanks for the heads up.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  7. I've been looking forward to this book. I love dystopian/post-apocalyptic YA novels! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Thanks for visiting my site! I'm looking forward to reading more of your reviews!

    Andrea (New Follower)
    The Overstuffed Bookcase

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  8. I just found out about Article 5 yesterday during the Dystopian Domination! It looks like a terrific book! Have you read Ashes yet?

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    1. Dystopian Domination? Have to check that out. Yes, I did read Ashes. It was way gorier than books I usually read, but I liked it.

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  9. Ahh thanks for the review- I'm dying to get my hands on this book, waiting for my store to get copies. I'm so excited to read this book! :)

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  10. I'm not sure why this book never interested me. It's shocking really, considering how much I LOVE dystopians! I think what put me off was the cover, since I am a total cover whore. I've seen this book around sooo many places and I'm glad I finally read a review on it. It sounds amazing and I look forward to reading it at some point> Great job Jen!

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    1. Yes -- give it a try. I think it's a good dystopian for people who don't love them.

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  11. Great, detailed review. I'm going to try to get a copy of this book from the library. Will there be a sequel to this book?

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  12. awesome review Jen! You know I love road trip books, even dystopian road trips:) This sound like a really unique storyline too (Moral militia, ugh, a cold shiver just went through my body!) Definitely on my TBR list!

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