Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Compliance is Overrated: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Just the facts:

Overall: 3 Stars

Addiction Level: I ignored the hubby and puppies until I finished the book. (After my initial reading of the first chapter and putting it down for a couple of weeks.)

Believe-ability: It was believable.

Dystopia Factor: The world is starting to disintegrate.


     I think I need to begin this review by stating that this is one of the books that I waited and waited for the release date. Then I waited some more for the library to get it (I’ve been trying not to buy so many books lately). Then I waited while others got to read it and my name moved up on the reserved list. Finally, I had the book in my hands and didn’t feel like starting it. When I did, I read the first chapter and then put it down. Eventually, I did finish it – in a matter of an afternoon.

     In Article 5, seventeen year old Ember is sent to a reformatory school after her mother is arrested for violating Article 5 of the moral statues. Unfortunately, one of the arresting officers is her biggest crush, Chase Jennings. Ember then vows to escape to find her mother and protect her, all the while fighting her conflicting feelings for the boy she thought she knew.

     Obviously, I was disappointed by Article 5 – in more ways than one. First and foremost, it felt like an attack on conservative values and beliefs. Something along the lines of “Watch out for those Republicans, they’ll take over the country and send all your kids to Christian school! They’re monsters and can’t be trusted!” (Yes, that was said in my most ridiculous mock-horror voice). Eventually, Simmons starts to ease off the preaching, which is probably one of the only ways I was able to finish.

     The second aspect to really grind my gears was Ember herself. For being seventeen, the supposedly responsible person in her household, and living in a country where kids suddenly disappear from school, Ember is utterly clueless or na├»ve – I’m not sure which. Throughout the book, she fails to use whatever brains she might have. And that’s before adding a boy to the situation! Pretty soon she’s talking to Chase in some absurd girl language and plotting to run away from the one person that has genuinely helped her.

     Lastly, the world just isn’t real enough. Aspects of the story that should have been more troubling and hard for Ember to get through were not. Without spoiling the specifics, part of the end is just ridiculous and I didn’t, even for a second, think things could really go down that way. Eventually, Simmons throws a little resistance group in at the end, but even that feels like an after thought.

     If you’re into romance (and even that part of the story wasn’t great), are pretty easy going, and don’t usually have high expectations for books - then, be my guest. If, however, you’re a hard core dystopian fan like myself and expect your books to deliver – you probably should pass.

Can’t Wait Books of 2012 Completed: 3/5

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