Article 5 of The Moral Statutes clearly states: Children are considered valid citizens only when conceived by a married man and wife…
And just like that, Ember Miller is no longer a U.S. citizen. The concept for this book was great (if well-worn). A much more realistic dystopian setting, it's the here and now, the U.S. as we know it turned on its ear. I know this type of book has been done before, but what really got me interested wasn't the premise.
It was this last sentence from the jacket flap summary (after Ember's mother has just been taken away for noncompliance with Article 5): And what's worse, one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.
The romantic slant weaved in at the end hooked me. Who can say no to dreadful situations suddenly made dire by true love and a betrayal that huge? Not me. I decided right then I had to read it, and Kristen Simmons's Article 5 was a surprisingly fast read. I enjoyed it thoroughly. The high stakes, Embers unflinching belief that this was not the way life should be. Sometimes in books, the MC is so tied up in the world they've been brought up in they can't see the injustice/the problems. That always makes me dislike them a little/wanna knock them upside the head. But Ember knew the entire time that her government was off its rocker, which was a big plus.
After having her citizenship revoked (simply b/c she was born out of wedlock), Ember is sent on a wild--and brutal--ride. First, to the girls rehab center--which reminded me of Lowood (b/c apparently every story about injustice has a bit of Jane Eyre thrown in there J)--where the Sisters and soldiers dole out harsh punishments to those who refuse to fall in line. Next, on the run with Chase, who yes, stood by as her mother was taken away, but who also redeemed himself by coming back for Ember (more on that later). He and Ember encounter several obstacles on their way to find a safe house--thieves who want to rob them and worse, a crazy woman who thinks Ember is her daughter (and who btw killed a dog! Evil, evil woman), and soldiers hunting them at every turn, especially one sadistic soldier who has it out for Chase.
The tension was pulled tight the entire time; there was never a moment I thought Ember and Chase were safe. I have to say, though, my favorite parts were Ember's memories of before Chase became a soldier. Every time one of them popped up, I was like, "I could read just this and be happy." Ember and Chase's past was just as entertaining, maybe even more intriguing, as their present.
Favorite part, page 156: "Ask me not to go." Then farther down, "One word, Em. That's all. Tell me you want me to stay."
*Sigh* Chase Jennings was absolutely swoon-worthy, loved his commitment to Ember--even if her refusal to see his true intentions got on my nerves at times. Also, there were times when Ember did stupid things (i.e. run off by herself, inevitably ending up in danger), but overall I still liked her. She pulled out the big guns in the end, a lot of courage and ingenuity, which I love to see.
Enjoyed this one a lot, hope you will, too!