Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

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   The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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


Find it at WCPL.



  1. I read ninety-something pages of this and may or may not return; the writing is pretty good, but I’ve seen so many post-Apocalyptic dystopian stories in YA that, as with vampires, I seek something newer. Kristen Simmons seems to have potential for something great, but this, while good on its own, didn’t particularly stand out to me from the others of its sort. Another thing I could do without is romance: not inherently bad, but sometimes it feels a bit forced-in when not essential to the plot.

    With due respect,
    Danny Phelan

  2. This book was a very interesting, thrilling read. There were actually moments I felt scared for the characters. The atmosphere it portrays is your general dystopian, post-Apocalyptic gloom with a hint of thrill and adventure at times, and for the most part, it works for this book. I finished this book, and did not regret reading it.

    However, I do not think this book deserves an award. It is a fairly good post-Apocalyptic book… but that’s all it is. It doesn’t stand out much from the dozens of others of its kind we read this year, and certainly not among everything else. It was a fun read, but didn’t do anything new, exciting and different with the genre.

    Another issue was the main character. Sure, she proved herself useful at times, and for the most part reacted the way a person in her situation would… but sometimes her more idiotic decisions felt like she was just handed the Idiot Ball for a moment and broke the suspension of disbelief.

    And finally… the romance. Just… no. It wasn’t necessary, it felt forced and rushed when it was there, and honestly, I think the book would have been better without it.

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