Author: Kristen Simmons
Series: (Article 5 #1)
Publisher- Tor Teen
Published- January 31st, 2012
Ember has always kept her head down like everyone else, not wanting to cause any trouble. She didn't want to be one of those kids who were taken away and never seen from again. She didn't want to have her mother like the families of those kids to move away out of grief. Her mother on the other hand likes to cause a little trouble. She does small things to protest the upheaval of her rights. She reads books with shirtless men on the cover, she sometimes argues with soldiers, and she's not married. That last one is her real trouble. Article 5 states that a family consists of a man, woman, and child(ren). The man and the woman must be married and her mother is not. She's more of a free spirit. This "free spirit" gets taken away to trial while Ember is sent away to a girl's reformatory and rehabilitation center. Ember is angry and desperate to get to her mother because her mother needs her. More than anything she feels betrayal. Betrayal of a former love turned cold soldier who stood there while they ripped her hands away from her mother.
You can imagine how much I hated this new America. It really drove the story for me. If you noticed not only did the man and the woman have to be married they had to be a man and a woman. Everything is like no progress has happened. The women had to dress in their "roles" wearing really long skirts and basically looking like a nun. I'm sure they thought men were the providers too... When Ember went to the rehabilitation center she met a woman named Ms. Brooks. She was the ultimate betrayer to women all over the world. With her pursed lips and snide comments. She thought she was better than everyone else and oh did I want Ember to bring her down a peg. The time she spent in the reformatory was exciting. The story brought out all the feelings that dystopians are supposed to convey. You were sitting there feeling total contempt for Ms. Brooks, the soldiers, and the government. You wanted Ember to fight and put back the right America.
About the first half of the book everything was exciting. I was anticipating what was going to happen next. I cried out when she was suffering under their cruelty. I wanted to kick some soldiers where they would feel it the most. All these soldiers had this blank look in their faces and some were just plain evil. One in particular was later on going to be the bane of Ember's and my existence. He's such a chauvinist. Argh!!! Men are not better than women. Women are not better than men. Stop trying to bend the rules to your will. It's a fact. Get over it. He did some unthinkable things. How dare he. Ms. Brook was no better. I don't know where in her little mind that she thought herself to be a lady. She was horrid. Ugh. I'm going to stop with them here because I'm getting upset. So the first half was really intense and stirred up all kinds of emotions but then everything changed when the former love came waltzing in to save his damsel in distress.
I don't know why when a guy enters in a book that there has to be this complete shift in the mood of the story. This part I did not like. Ember acted like an idiot. Where did that strong girl go? She was worth reading about. Then Chase comes in and poof. There go her brains. She was angry at Chase for letting the soldiers take her mother away. She was in the wrong of course. He was always there for her and she was always thinking where did my love go? He's been replaced by a stranger (dramatic sigh). What does he do? Protects her all the time! It's like she can't put two and two together. It's ridiculous. Chase was an alright character. He was strong and always made sure Ember was safe. He's trying to reunite her and her mother so that's really what keeps Ember from leaving him like that would be a smart move. I can't really say much about him because I couldn't connect with him and maybe that was the point. He was to be seen as a stranger to Ember and readers too I guess. He was really whatever for me and I couldn't find him swoon worthy at all or even very anything really. He was really tall so he's got that going for him.
Mixed feelings with this one. I honestly feel like the next one is going to be better based on Ember's attitude at the end. There was a shift and I feel like it's what I've been waiting for. I still really enjoyed the story and I want to read where it's going to go. I think it can only go up from here. Just remember Ember. You are your own woman. Get into fights and make some trouble.
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