Article 5 (Article 5, #1)

First Lines: Beth and Ryan were holding hands.  It was enough to risk a formal citation for indecency, and they knew better, but I didn’t say anything.

This was a book I’d been meaning to read for a long time, but it was just never easily accessible to me.  (I prefer physical books to ebooks, so I kept waiting for the library to have it.)  I finally just put it on hold and read it.

Ember’s world has changed in the last few years.  Big cities like Washington, D.C. and New York City have been abandoned.  The Bill of Rights no longer exists.  Instead, it’s the Moral Statutes.  There are no more police, just soldiers.  And forget about fines; criminals of any kind are arrested and taken away, usually never to be seen again.  Ember and her single mother have become experts at laying low to avoid notice.  Her life is as peaceful as anyone can expect in this new world.  Until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5…and the arresting officer is none other than Chase Jennings, the only boy Ember ever loved.

I love a good dystopian novel, and this totally fit the bill.  It was believable while still being different than our world.  There aren’t any crazy sci-fi things in it, just things that could happen if our government slowly collapsed and turned more militant.  So I enjoyed that it felt realistic and plausible.

This was a pretty addicting read too.  I was surprised by how much I wanted to keep reading it.  Some moments were harder to read because they are really dark and gritty, but it was still really good.  Lots of twists and turns in the story to keep things interesting.

I really liked Ember and Chase.  I thought they were interesting characters.  Ember is strong and tries to be self-reliant as much as she can be.  She can’t trust anyone around her, even though her instinct is still that people are mostly good.  Chase is a bit more interesting, but I can’t go into details without being a spoiler.  But I will say that both of these characters are incredibly damaged and they know it.  I thought that was interesting, that they had so many issues and acknowledged that about themselves and each other.  It’s not every day you read characters like that.

I don’t want to say the story is perfect, but it’s good.  There are some points where the plot seems too easy or convenient, but it was still worth reading.  There were enough twists and turns I didn’t see to make up for the ones I did.

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