Saturday 30 June 2012

A Review for Article 5 (Article 5 #1) by Kristen Simmons

Posted by Jess
Release Date:  January 31st, 2012
Finished Date: June 6th, 2012
Publishers: Tor Teen
Source: Bought
Format:  Hardcover
Pages: 362
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.

The Review: “He put a hand on his throat, as though trying to stop the words, but they came anyway. "You're home. To me.” -Chase 
It's taken me a while to write this review. Firstly because I really couldn't decide if I enjoyed it enough to actually write one. I was so looking forward to reading this book. I love Dystopia so much, it's one of the genres that I enjoy immensely, because of the 'this could happen one day' element of it. Even though the future is incredibly unpredictable, I still enjoy reading about possible future situations. 
I'm not really sure what to say. At first I thought it was good, and I found myself enjoying it, but it was slow for me and nothing much seemed to happen until the arrests came. I find that when writing Dystopia you need to make sure that the author creates the history on how the world came to be like this. This is where Article 5 lacked for me. I understood there was a did this war start? Why did this war start? What happened to the victims? Etc. I may have missed it, but I'm pretty sure there was no explanation as to the reasons for this. And that's where it failed a little for me. As fan of Dystopia I need to know the history of how this world came to be, without that it's just a telling of something tragic with no background. Now I don't know if this was intentionally done by Kristen Simmons by keeping us in the dark ready to be revealed in book 2, but I feel that this shouldn't be done in the first book in a new dystopia series. There needs to be a background history from the start, that, I believe is fundamental in Dystopia.
On to the things I did enjoy...Chase Jennings. He's pretty much the only reason I kept reading. I felt he was probably the only genuine character. I didn't like Ember, she really bugged me. She was terribly naive in her way of thinking. Although it may come across as strength, it's really stupidity. I caught myself shouting at her not to be so stupid. And I can't connect with a female protagonist if she annoys me.
Article 5 read as a road trip story. There wasn't much action, lots of talking in a car, lots of tension, the romance lacked (for reasons of the history in the characters). There was very little I enjoyed except for Chase. It's a shame, Donna had raved. I really didn't mean for this review to sound that bad. I'm not abusing Kristen's writing. As a writer she has an excellent talent for story telling, but I believe this to be her first novel, it's very risky to write a Dystopia as a debut novel, Dystopia if not written right can work out badly. And sadly, although her writing and the flow of it was good Article 5 fell flat for me. With only elements of things I enjoyed and more elements of things I didn't, I only gave this 2 stars. 
Will I continue with this series? Well I liked it enough to want to carry on to see how things work out, but I most definitely won't be rushing for book 2. If I enjoyed this as much as I was hoping it would I would be extremely excited to read book 2.
Overall, not the most fantastic read, but I like it enough to carry on with the series...eventually. By all means, read it guys, don't let me one not so good review deter you from it. But just be prepared for a Dystopia that I feel lacks any Dystopia at all.


Fillip65 said... 

Erin W. said...

Surprisingly I LOVED this book and I thought it was one of the best dystopian-like books I've read in a while. Anyway nice review. :)

rogier said...

same here 
tnx4 the honest review

Carly Chambers said...

Aww no, sorry you didn't enjoy this one more, Jess! But not enough back story & explanations for things would bug me too.  This is on mt TBR list & I think I will still give it a shot! I'm glad you would still read the 2nd book though, it gives me hope lol. Thanks for a great, honest review :)

YearningtoRead said...

Bummer you didn't enjoy this one!  I have it on my shelf to be read SOON....So...hopefully I'll enjoy it more than you did.  Thanks for your honest review!

Rebecca said...

So sorry to hear you were disappointed. I've got this on my shelf and am hoping I enjoy it more than you did. I'm not really that excited for it but I won it so I'll be giving it a go soon :) Nice review!

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