Published January 31st 2012 by Tor Teen
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
My biggest issue with dystopians is that while the world is usually described well and I get a great feel for it, I never found out how that world came to be. Why did the old world fall and transform into this terrible one? Article 5 is yet another dystopian that doesn't answer that question.
That was, however, basically the only thing I didn't like. Otherwise, Article 5 kept me interested throughout the entire book. I never got bored; I felt like I needed to keep reading and find out what happened.
I love Ember, and for me, it's becoming less and less often that I love the narrator. But Ember is a very realistic character. She cares for her family and she's afraid for them. Her emotions come through so clearly and she's so easy to connect to. What I love most about her is how much she changes throughout the book, though. She goes from being a scared and naive girl who would do anything to find her mother to being a strong and hardened character who realizes the world for what it is. And even then, she's not a robot. She still feels emotions. She still hurts, but she's changed. I absolutely love that.
Chase is . . . I don't really know what to say about him, other than I love him. To me, he's different than a lot of male YA characters. He's the bad boy and the nice guy all at the same time. And the romance between Chase and Ember is so believable. They've known each other before, but it's still not thrown right at us. Ember understands that Chase isn't the same. It happens at exactly the right pace. Doesn't take up the whole plot. Just another thing that's perfect about this novel.
Even the plot is basically perfect, in my opinion. Not predictable, but at the same time, it makes sense. There aren't twists and turns that seem like they're thrown in just because the author felt like it - when a surprise comes along, you're shocked, but at the same time you sit there and wonder how you didn't realize it earlier.
Overall: Article 5 is, simply put, amazing. It has amazing characters, an amazing plot, but it also has substance. To me, it wasn't just a mindless read. Ember is a very strong character, and I think that regardless of the fact that our lives are nothing like hers, she's so easy to relate to. 5 stars.