Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Article 5

In the near future, after a war on American soil, a conservative religious party has taken over the country and enacted a code criminalizing immoral behavior.  As the only child of a mother who has never married, Ember finds herself on the wrong side of the law, landing in a reform school as he mother is hauled off for trial.  To make matters worse, one of the arresting officers is the only boy she's ever loved.  Ember thought she had lost him after he was drafted, until he shows up with her transfer orders in hand.

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons is the first book in a trilogy.  It is also my February review for the Debut Author Challenge.

This is a fast-paced story with plenty of action to keep you turning pages.  Simmons has a knack for ending chapters in such a way that you just have to look at the first few paragraphs of the next one.  The dystopia is chilling in a way that is far too easily imagined as a logical end point for some of today's politics.  The individual villains are effectively horrifying.  However, I had a lot of trouble relating to the protagonist and narrator.  Nine times out of ten, her decisions--which she claimed were always carefully considered--made no sense given her situation and could only hinder the achievement of her goals.  By the end of the book, I had grown very tired of yelling at her to do the opposite of whatever she was doing.    I haven't decided yet whether to give the second book a try.  The world-building here is solid and compelling.  I just wish for some more deserving characters to inhabit it.

Article 5 is published by Tor Teen and retails for $17.99 (hardcover).  I got my advance readers copy from the publisher (although this review was not solicited or otherwise compensated).  You can get yours at Left Bank Books today!

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