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Dystomance doesn t appear to be going anywhere soon, and the appetite for YA romance playing out against a backdrop of government oppression remains healthy, judging by the titles storming my goodreads feed I ve had varying degrees of success with this particular subgenre, and I ve come to the conclusion that I prefer those where the romance takes a back seat to the plot and worldbuilding It s a personal preference, but I find that the opposite scenario, with the romance centre stage and the world set up to fuel romantic angst, makes for less of a satisfying reading experience.So while I approached Article 5 with some trepidation, and I would still shelve it along with its apocalyptic and dystopian romance companions, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked this book I don t love it and it s not without issues, primarily of the worldbuilding variety, but this is a solid contender with substance than a case of tru luv gone awry.Lately, it only takes accessing the internet or broadly keeping up with global political developments to see that Simmons vision of an ultra neo conservative thanks Angela United States is not exactly unimaginable While the book is somewhat sketchy on the rise of this government, the Moral Statues and the war that preceded, the underlying ideas make for a plausible, interesting premise If the book is rather lacking in explanation and it is , it does a decent job of creating a stifling atmosphere of control and surveillance by a regressive right wing government.During a systematic sweep of the nation to reinstate strict moral codes and reform it s citizens to traditional gender and family roles, Ember Miller and her mother fall afoul of article 5 of the Moral Statutes, by virtue of Ember s illegitimacy Present at their arrest is young officer and Ember s former neighbour, Chase Jennings, apparently having been completely indoctrinated by the Moral Militia.The sparseness of back story will doubtless be a major roadblock for some, and that s understandable However, to Simmons credit, she has crafted a compelling dynamic between the main characters that keeps the book engaging Rather than relying on an instant connection born out of inexplicable chemistry, Ember and Chase s relationship is tied to their shared history and complicated by their present circumstances Ember is an impulsive, scared teenager fearing for the life of her mother and her own safety Chase is a conflicted young soldier suffering the effects of PTSD and a burdened conscience While the development of their story is predictably hindered by one of my pet peeves a willful lack of communication the plot maintains a brisk pace and the focus is not entirely on the will they won t they element The characters are better fleshed out here than some comparable reads of late, and Simmons incorporation of mental health issues is insightful without being obtrusive and bludgeoning the reader with cumbersome messaging Chase, in particular, is strong, well developed character, gradually revealed in detail throughout the story And while Ember was not always a character I cared for, I appreciated the fact that she had agency and motivation independent of the romance subplot As she gains understanding she becomes a sympathetic character, and one that I warmed to as her story progressed.The writing of Article 5 is brisk and even and as the conduit of Ember s voice, it s articulate and aware It s a fast paced story and a relatively quick read, with compelling stakes and an ending that avoids cliffhangers, yet leaves the way open for Simmons to further develop her characters and the world they live in While I would have preferred detailed development and solid explanation for the premise, I still found Article 5 held its own in a crowded field, and I look forward to reading the sequel This review also appears at The Midnight Garden Here I am, about to dish out a scathing review on this book, and I made the mistake of looking at the author s profile picture Darn you, Kristen Simmons why do you have to look so unbearably nice Now I don t want to hurt your feelings Augh, shouldn t have put a face to the name shouldn t have humanized the enemy Rats.Ok, back to the scathing And here it is this book is a mess From the setup to the characters to the dialogue to the plot, this was a disaster on so many levels I mean, not that it was super important, but I kind of would have liked to know what exactly happened to bring society to the point it is in the story There are a lot hints, but not enough information to justify or even explain why things are the way they are who bombed us why what s the structure of the government now who s really running the show why the pretense of morality The best part of a dystopian story is the ugly, bitter reality of where we might be headed, but if I don t understand how we get there, then it s really kind of pointless.Next, there are the characters, who are just too stale to stomach Ember is rash and reckless and naive to the point where I wasn t just embarrassed for the character, I was embarrassed for the author as well She messes up half the situations because she s trying too hard not to appear vulnerable, and the tougher she tries to be, the wimpier she actually appears She gets on her moral high horse at the worst possible times and the only reason they get into situations at all is because she opens her fat mouth Its so incredibly frustrating to read how many times Chase, who knows a heck of a lot about what they re doing than she does, gives her safety instructions which she then blatantly ignores Over and over and over Why Because you re a jerk and you don t understand me and I don t care about our safety as much as I care that you almost killed the bad man who tried to kill us, you freaking monster Yeah, its really awful how he keeps saving you and all you do is blame him for all your problems, you ungrateful cow I don t get it Why do the guys always put up with this kind of immaturity And good grief, why oh why do we have to suffer through an entire book where the main characters can t hold a regular conversation because they re so hung up on what they think the other one thinks It s agony to read all the conjecture and misinformation and deception as maturity takes a back seat to pride once again So stupid Its one thing to read a book where bad things just come one after another, but when the majority of the bad things are their own fault, it just constitutes a train wreck And I don t want to look One of the things that irritated me the most about Ember was her whole obsession with her mom We know next to nothing about their relationship except some vague idea that the mom is flighty and there s a bit of role reversal That s it So it really doesn t mean much to me as a reader that she s wigging out over her mom all the time, except to think that maybe this girl is a little unhealthy And since Mom s her motivating factor through every idiotic move she makes, you can see why I don t think too highly of her Grrr.My final gripe is about continuity There were so many holes where I was flipping back and forth trying to follow a story that only partly made it to the paper Half explained, carelessly over looked details were missing throughout the book, making it feel jerky and incomplete How do editors miss this kind of stuff Seriously.Well, I didn t go as hard core as I thought I would, but I m sure I ll still get grief for it, nonetheless And partially, it s my own fault I ve just read too many of these books I ve probably seen the scope of what is out there, but I just keep holding out for the really good ones that are sure to come They re getting harder and harder to findmust keep looking. It really says something about a Dystopian novel where when you finish it, you still have no idea how their society even got that way in the first place And that kinda confuses me because I thought building a world of discord was the point of the genre Throwing two characters in a screwed up world without any further explanation besides, Hey, there was a war doesn t work for me Because it makes it incredibly hard to the reader to picture it in their mind I m no expert, but my favorite dystopians are the ones that tie it in some way to our possible future When I can sit back and say, Wow I can actually see this happening to us This unnerves me, that is a winner Article 5 was not a winner mild spoilers ahead Don t worry, I don t think it ruins anything since it was obvious from the beginning anyway.The Plot I m not sure I could ever consider Article 5 a dystopian novel I think it is accurate to call it a Dystopian Romance novel since most of the plot and major twists largely depends on Ember and Chase s relationship It s like, yeah, STUFF is happening, but none of that matters because Ember is going to make an idiotic decision based on a spat with Chase And the biggest plot reveal is very obvious to the reader from the very beginning But the whole point, from what I gather, is the not the actual reveal, but the way Ember reacts to it and therefore how Chase reacts to Ember s reaction Does that sounds like a subtle mind fuck Yeah, well, that s pretty much the gist of Article 5 Have something messed up happen to the characters, watch Ember do something stupid, and watch Chase be forced to save her And I felt like Simmons was trying to prove to me how bad her society was throughout the whole novel that way It s like trying to make up for the lack of world building by saying, Look My heroine was almost raped See how evil their world is And I m like, no, that shortcut just doesn t work for me What about you GaGaThe Characters I had a feeling Article 5 and I were in for a tough relationship with the introduction of the main character, Ember She is one of the most infuriating heroines I ve had the misfortune of reading, throwing any and everyone under the bus in order to get what she wants And to top it all off, she possess little to no common sense Just think of Bella in a dystopian world and you have Ember Yeah, I m not even sorry I burned that image in your mind.When Ember is taken away to the reform school, she blackmails someone who tried looking out for her in an earlier scenario, knowing that it would put that person s ass on the line I can see what Simmons was trying to accomplish with showing how their society had put people in impossible situations that cause them it to be a It s nothing personal I don t have a choice, kinda thing But, of course, since I didn t have a good grasp on the society in the first place, I couldn t readily associate it that way In fact, neither could Ember It was like she didn t even know this was a dystopian novel She blames the love interest, Chase, for all her misfortune and I m sitting here, scratching my head wondering, WTF, dude You have a corrupt government Why are you blaming the one person trying to help you I m really struggling to understand her line of thinking Did she think the Moral Statutes were fair or normal Did she think the government controlling all forms of travel and media was A OK Did not the disappearance of her classmates indicate an oppressive government And even after she discovered her classmates had been killed by the government, why did she think her mother, a direct violator of the Moral Statutes, would be let go Her decision making scared me and I hope when the zombie apocalypse hits, someone like her is nowhere near me, because I swear I m tripping her.And then you have the love interest, Chase, who puts himself at great personal risk over and over again just to keep Ember the little ingrate safe I felt sorry for this kid because Ember blames him for her mother being taken away just because he was there when she was arrested As if he personally told the army, Hey I know of an Article 5 violator who we can go arrest Let s go get em The fact that it was painfully obvious that he was just following orders made me dislike Ember even.The Romance I think a person s overall enjoyment of Article 5 hinges on the romance Personally, it did nothing for me Most of the romance takes place over a series of flashbacks over the course of the novel, so I never felt connected to it, especially after the way Ember treats Chase Ember struggles against her feelings for Chase, saying she can never forgive him for taking her mom or monologuing several times over about how much he has changed since being drafted into the FBR I can t remember what that stands for nor do I care any, but it s their militia Her inability to accept him can be summed up at worst, to exist solely to further the plot and at best, frustrating I just wanted to scream at her HE SAVED YOUR LIFE HE MUST CARE ABOUT YOU SHAKE HER SOMEONE SHAKE HER GaGa, get in hereThe Ending Article 5 s saving grace was the last 15% It s the only reason that while I want to give it only 1 star, I ll bump it to two Ember does grow, but does that erase the frustration and anger I went through for her to get there Absolutely not Why Because I almost didn t finish the novel I had to push myself to see what happened at the end long after I had lost interest in Ember and Chase s well beings The ending finally has Ember thinking, Hey, I live in a really wrong society, maybe I should start using my brain By that time, even though I m happy she s finally come to this revelation, I m like,Article 5 had the perfect premise, especially with the way things are going in the US But instead, reading it was like watching someone devour the last honey bun at the vending machine the one you were there for and they end up throwing half of it away before finishing Wasted potential. Imagine a world where Hitler would have won A world where if you don t follow the right religion, you won t ever be seen again A world where its against the law to hang out with the opposite sex after curfew unless you re married A world where being born from an unwed mother can get you killed or worse This is life in Kristen Simmons Article 5 It s a truly frightening world where everyone is helpless against this corrupt government and their inconceivable rules There is barely any room to breathe during this story It s so action packed that I m surprised the pages can stay intact This is surprisingly not overwhelming, however It simply makes it a book that keeps you reading until you turn the very last page As someone who s read a lot of dystopians, this one still stands out and brings about a new shocking world that can t help but fascinate you It s not a fun dystopian like Divergent or Uglies where you get a cheerful rush from the new exciting future before it turns ugly This one starts, and ends, with the characters running for their lives This is serious from the start you are scared for them on Every Single Page Our protagonist Ember is a character that matures tremendously during this novel She starts off as this timid girl, blind to the cruel world around her, but once her mother is arrested she is forced to grow strong and confident if she plans on surviving and she does Although she does tend to self blame a lot which gets increasingly worse as the stress of the situation builds on her This is probably the intention of the author, but it can get just a tad frustrating at times Her incredible determination still makes it easy to root for her I also enjoyed her relationship with Chase which is extremely rocky, like walking on eggshells He s been broken by what he went through since the war Kristen writes his unpredictable state of mind incredibly well As a dystopian, Article 5 delivers with a gruesome world, non stop action and heart pounding energy Fans of Veronica Roth s Divergent and Marie Lu s Legend should get a kick out of this For of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads HOLY WOW If all dystopian books were like this one, I don t think there would be any complaints in the world Article 5 was everything I expected and brilliantly written, complexly crafted, and containing characters that made my heart ache constantly This is one of those books you love so much that writing a review for it is scary because you don t want to let it down Article 5 is so packed with action and twists and turns that it s sometimes hard to breathe The dystopian world, filled with its cruel laws and even crueler people, is one that sucks you in and makes you SO thankful that you don t live there.I loved everything about Ember and Chase They were both realistic, intelligent, and so much stronger in those awful situations than I would ever be You can see how much they grow and change from even before the first chapter to the end after everything goes to hell You love them and hate all the terribly people who try to hurt them It s a flurry of emotion And Ember and Chase together were just PERFECT Childhood romances have always been a favourite of mine, but the way Kristen Simmons wrote this one where they ve been wrenched apart and thrown back together years later, having to learn to trust all over again just stole my breath away Watching them reconnect was so achingly beautiful Intensely heart pounding, original, and action packed, Article 5 was a debut that gripped me from the first page and left me breathless until the last It s everything that an amazing dystopian book should be A definite must read BUY or BORROW Do you even have to ask Definitely a book you need to buy You won t regret it Original review at Mimi Valentine s YA Review Blog I couldn t continue I really, really wanted to but the book was really driving me crazy I made it to 63% so I really tried Review coming soon I just need to read something else before I review this so I m not so irritated in my review.Ok I just wrote this in comments and I figure it can hold me over until I write a review later.The majority of the reviews on this book are outstanding I just found Ember, the lead female character, whiny, self absorbed, hypocritical, dumb and unworthy of any romance I found the world building so completely lacking that at 64%, I still had no clue why there was a war, who fought in the war, why the rules were created, etc Ember s obsession with her mom was ridiculous, I don t care if the ending showed her to be the next Queen of dystopian America, Ember sounded like a 5 year old that lost her teddy bear.The first person narrative was screwy, at one point Ember is saying he seems taller and then she s telling the reader he s 6ft3 Wow see this is me ranting that is why I need to wait to actually write a non ranting review. 1.5 star.I could not finish this book, and that s a big deal, because I always finish books The story just didn t grip me from the start and though it seemed to have a lot of potential to be amazing, it just didn t work I think my main problem was with the protagonist I could not stand her She was whiny, annoying, and a complete airhead She was incapable of rational thought and it grated on every single one of my nerves I had to put the book down I had such high expectations because it had just a decent rating and everyone was raving about how good this book was It just didn t do it for me. In a market flooded with heroines possessing super powers mind bullets martial prowess beyond the ken of mere mortals, it is so INCREDIBLY REFRESHING to read a story about an average girl who, through cruel turns of fate, is forced to live through extraordinary events Is Ember perfect No Does she always have the answers No THAT S what makes her so utterly convincing and compelling as a protagonist There were passages in this book so intimate and beautifully written that I actually felt like an interloper in her life.Subversion Defiance Desperate, struggling humanity in the face of state sponsored tyranny This book was engrossing, unpredictable and thoroughly REAL Loved it. uh oh.this book has crazy high ratings and here i come in like a monster to muck it all up for everyone.i just think this book islacking it is another example of what happens when something gets overexposed do we need another YA dystopian novel well, i love them, so i would have to say yes, but the problem is that when the market is flooded, some of the books are going to be waterlogged and this one just doesn t measure up to the so many better ones out there too many dystopias leave them to people who can really build a satisfying world and it s not dreadful i never wanted to stop reading it, but it doesn t bring anything new to the genre.how did we get here at least try to come up with something, please it doesn t have to be the most convincing backstory ever, but give me a reason why are things the way they are, why are people being executed for these infractions what happened and who is in charge and why do the rules keep changing and how and when and wtf throw me a bone, here oh my god, how hard is it to talk to someone this is one of my biggest pet peeves in books, where sooo many things could have been avoided with a single conversation it is the laziest way for an author to create tension by letting the audience know than the characters because they just can t possibly say what they are feeling get a new bag of tricks, this one has been played out come to my blog `READ EBOOK ↰ Article 5 ↴ New York, Los Angeles, And Washington, DC Have Been AbandonedThe Bill Of Rights Has Been Revoked, And Replaced With The Moral StatutesThere Are No Police Instead, There Are Soldiers There Are No Fines For Bad Behavior Instead, There Are Arrests, Trials, And Maybe Worse People Who Get Arrested Usually Don T Come BackSeventeen 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 DifferentEmber 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 AllowThat Is, Until Her Mother Is Arrested For Noncompliance With Article Of The Moral Statutes And One Of The Arresting Officers Is None Other Than Chase Jennings The Only Boy Ember Has Ever Loved