Article 5 by Kristen Simmons | Teen Ink

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

July 12, 2014
By MckennaS PLATINUM, Port St Lucie, Florida
MckennaS PLATINUM, Port St Lucie, Florida
21 articles 0 photos 55 comments

Favorite Quote:
Well, I’m well.
Well, I mean I’m in hell.
Well, I still have my health
At least that’s what they tell me
If wellness is this, what in hell’s name is sickness?"

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons


Years have passed since the war, and things haven’t been the same since. Kids are being dragged out of school and sent God-knows-where due to infractions laid out in the Moral Statutes; regulations that are making less and less sense. Seventeen-year old Ember is naive, afraid, but also angry. Angry that her love, Chase, was drafted to become an MM (rebellious nickname given by students meaning Moral Militia). And especially angry when she and her mother are dragged out of their home and roughly separated from each other because of a violation of Article 5: a child being conceived out of wedlock.

One of the soldiers that dragged her away is her past infatuate, Chase, who left her a year ago after being drafted as a soldier. He acts cold towards her and glances at her with disgust. How could he? Ember wonders. She is furious that’s he’s become just like them: hard-eyed and heartless. She is driven to a Girls Reformatory and Rehab Center along with other girls charged with the same or other violations.

Will Ember be able to escape the center before her eighteenth birthday and find her mom? Will Ember see Chase again, and more importantly, does she even want to anymore?


Overall, I really liked this book. I was fascinated that the War (a similar occurrence in many other dystopian novels) had occurred in recent times; recently enough that protagonist Ember was able to remember how things were before. There was also a lot of character development and progression, especially with Ember. I’ll admit, there were times I rolled my eyes at her naive attitude and pleas, but as the story went on, I less and less found myself irritated with her. And I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but I liked the conflict going on with Chase, too.

Unfortunately, there was also a big problem I had with the book. One that I hope is rectified in the following books - since Article 5 is part of a trilogy. For instance, details of the War - such as why it began in the first place - were not really covered, and that bothered me a lot. So much of the plot was centered around Ember and Chase’s relationship that some of those War details were left behind in the dust. Also, there was some weird focus on chastity and a woman being in her place, and I didn’t understand how chastity and utter misogyny became high priority after the war; another thing that could have been explained by a more adequate specification regarding how the War began and affected societal life.

I anxiously await finding my hands on the second and third novels though. I hope they can redeem the problems I had with this first book, because I do think the series has a lot of potential based on what I’ve read. I do recommend Article 5 to those who like the post-war dystopian novel. I don’t know if it’s any Hunger Games - depending on how much you loved that series - but it’s worth a shot if you need a new trilogy to read.

4/5 stars.

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