Publication Date: 31 January 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
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New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.After the world as we know it has been decimated and a new order has been set up in its place, the ordinary people have no choice but to follow. Until, the new Order starts punishing people for meaningless past transgressions.
The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
When Ember and her mother are taken from their home, and split up for breaking Article 5 of the Moral Statutes, Ember must learn that no one is ordinary and everyone can fight back.
What I Liked: I enjoyed that, for once, a dystopian story set in America, after a war hadn't completely decimated the country. It was an interesting change to see Ember travelling across America and seeing a few different cities.
Even better, we enter a mere few years after the destruction of the America we know. In fact, some of our young heroes were alive to remember it. It's a different time period and for once they understand (mostly) the cause of the destruction of their world, if not how it is run now. Ember's loyalty and determination to return to her mother was sweet and become a strong backdrop to her actions through the novel.
It took some time for Ember and Chase to reach the rebellion, and even longer for them to be tempted by what it stood for.
Ember didn't like the world as it was but had no reason to fight back until she was captured and learnt what she was fighting for.
What I Didn't Like: The whole thing with Chase - oh, life in the Army has changed the boy I love and he has betrayed me. It was much too pathetic for the practical (but sometimes irrationally loyal) Ember.
The interactions between Ember and Chase felt stilted: Oh, I have to push you away, it's better for us both!
I can see the potential for their relationship but it didn't grow in Article 5 like I needed it to. It was a bit reminiscent of Fever (Lauren DeStefano): fragile and wanted girl can't understand her own feelings and wanders off (stupidly) in a dangerous world. Why would you do that? Are you stupid?
Article 5 introduced the reader into an intriguing post war world, but it acted as a background novel. I just hope the next novel will make good use of the set up provided by Article 5.