Article 5: Compliance is Mandatory

Article 5: Compliance is Mandatory

Book rating: 05 Hardback Article 5 (Hardcover)

By (author) Kristen Simmons

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  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • Format: Hardback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 145mm x 211mm x 33mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 20 February 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0765329581
  • ISBN 13: 9780765329585
  • Sales rank: 90,382

Product description

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 The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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 behaviour - 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 non-compliance 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.

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Author information

KRISTEN SIMMONS has a master's degree in social work and is an advocate for mental health. She lives with her husband, Jason, and their precious greyhound Rudy in Tampa, Florida. "Article 5 "is her first novel.

Customer reviews

By Maria Guajardo (GABY) 01 May 2012 5

Dystopias are pretty popular right now. I like some of them, but my problem is that I get tired pretty fast. That's why I wanted to read Article 5, it sounded different. I was curious, it wasn't about a natural disaster or a disease, but a past war and a new 'government'.

Ember lives in a world of soldiers and articles. If you don't follow them, you're punished. So she's keeping a low profile to live a peaceful life, but when her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes, her life changes forever.

I really liked this book. It has a little bit of everything, and I think it was realistic. Ember is obliged to attend a 'reformatory' for girls like her...Articles 5. They treat her badly, hurt her and practically abused of her. It was pretty bad (but not as bad as it could have been). When she's about to receive the worst punishment, she's 'saved' by her ex-boyfriend, Chase Jennings, who now is a soldier. She can't trust him, so why is he helping her?

I liked Ember, but sometimes she was too naive. I had an idea of what happened to the other girls at the reformatory when the soldiers decided to punish them, but I can say she was very strong. I liked her love for her mother, she really wanted to find her, but again, she thought they could live a normal life after being arrested?

Chase was a great character, and I think he kind of stole the story. I wanted to know more about him, his suffering and what was on his mind when he decided to help Ember. Also, I liked their 'romance'. I wouldn't call this a romance book, but it's definitely there. But it was realistic (yay!), not ridiculously sweet but more like 'I love you and I will save your life not matter what'.

But, I wished there were more explanations, like why The Bill of Rights has been revoked and why people accept this new regimen. There was bits of explanations, a war from the past, but nothing full. Also, I didn't like Ember's actions sometimes. It was like she was acting exactly as they expected...there was some kissing (not with Chase) that I didn't understand...she was playing with fire.

Overall, I enjoyed Article 5 and definitely recommend it for someone who wants to read a book full of action. It's a great debut, and as I believe it's the kind of thing that could easily happen in our world.

By Hana Trskova 20 Mar 2012 5

Everything has changed after the war in the United States, got worse. There were political changes and awful Moral Statues were approved. In their name people get punishments. And it is usual that people disappear and never come back.
Ember´s life was never easy. Honestly, it was always hard. When one evening she comes home, she has no idea that her life is going to change. With her mother´s arresting because of the Article 5 starts her fight for her own life and freedom. Through different facilities where the slaves are made by and for the government, Ember goes to a place she didn´t know there could be one. Basically she even didn´t believe there could exist something like this.
But now it is time to fight and everything is not about Ember, but it is about all the people because everybody deserves free life.

Dystopian books are on top right now. Just open any book blog and you will find it out. And what is so cool about these kinds of books?
We all are masochists and we like reading about others suffering. Their laws, statements, the form of the government and like all of the people don´t have their own minds and thoughts. Everything what is said by their government is the right thing and be aware to say something against! There is the possibility of you being gone... forever.
But there are people who are against them, whoever they are: dictator, religion sect, soldiers or to people superordinate group. And that people fight against these with whatever it needs.
But the worst thing is to find out that the resistance is the right thing. Usually it takes one person certain time... for example: one book.

So, what do we have here?
Awful and brilliant dystopian world, brave main character who is trying to stay alive, her mother and a guy.

If you look into the story line of some other dystopian book which describe resistance of a character against something or someone, you could find a few similar things. That is unfortunately true. But we want this kind of stories and we want to project ourselves into the favourite characters. We want to imagine that we could do something like that too. And we want to cheer and shout at the character: "You can do this!"

Article 5 is a book which has a lot to offer.

If you prefer adventures and action scenes, there are in the book. If you adore author´s imagination for creating new state system with all of these horrible statements, you will enjoy Article 5 like a creamy cake. And if you like romantic story lines you will not be disappointed here too.

When we look into the adventure and action story line, there is nothing wrong with it. How action the story starts, like that goes all the time and ends in the same action mood. Simmons mixed very well present scenes with these that are happening in the past. So you are reading so fast to know what is going to happen but you also want to know what had happen and want to know why the characters behave like they do, so you are enjoying every single page.
Sometimes there are short parts of relaxing with the characters. They talk and have deserved rest, in exchange of all of that action. In these quiet scenes some kind of romantics comes.
About Ember and Chase´s relationship is special that they know each other for a really long time. And now they have just met again after years. Their story is so much interesting with the fact that we don´t know what have happened between them and we are finding it out by pieces. Because of that, their relationship is...healthier than all them we have already met. They are not crazy in love and everything what they are doing is not because they want to be together forever. Unfortunately we can´t see into Chase´s mind so we don´t know exactly his feelings and yes, Ember is thinking about him, a lot. But it is not like "why does he look at me like this? Do I look fat in these jeans?" Her thoughts about him are good for us because they are about their past and we want to know them.

But all of this is not the major thing. This book is not about relationship between Ember and Chase, but there is something very different going on. It´s about Ember´s fight which is in the beginning so personal because of her mother, but then everything changes. Ember is fighting for better world and she still has a long way before her.

Article 5 is book about what people have to survive to find out that they don´t want to be a slave of a bad system and they want to fight against it.

Action story that will not let you sleep: CHECKED
Great and complicated characters: CHECKED
Awful world: CHECKED
Beautiful cover: CHECKED
What else should you wish?

Article 5 is action and absolutely addictive book that is really easy to love and you will be not able to put it down. You would like to spend more time with the characters and you will be looking for their next meeting. The book is readable fast, without any troubles, exactly: it is one big ride that you will be not able to stop enjoying. And the book will let you out after the last page to your normal, boring life. But the amazing memories about what fantastic has happened in the book you will remember for a very long time.

By Aik 19 Feb 2012 4

Kristen Simmons' debut novel, Article 5, a dystopian novel set in a post-War America, chronicles Ember Miller's journey to save her mother from a false accusation that may result in her imprisonment, or worse, death. Unfolding before our eyes is the condition of the country after the War - the government enforcing military administration, seemingly just but actually unfair Moral Statutes, streets filled with abandoned buildings, and people afraid to voice out their thoughts for fear of their lives. The government's oppressive rule have, in a way, made life almost unbearable for the citizens.

Our heroine Ember Miller has perfected the skills of keeping a low profile since she was a kid. But she can never predict the terrible fate that will tear her life apart. When her mother is accused of violating Article 5 (which states that children are considered valid citizens only when conceived by a married man and wife), she is shocked, furious then devastated. She tries fighting back but her attempts prove to be futile against the guns of the military guards and the country's iron vise law. What angers and saddens her most is the fact that her former sweetheart, Chase Jennings, is one of the guards who captures her mother.

Shortly after her mother's capture, Ember is sent to a Reformatory and Rehabilitation Centre which looks more like a jail with all the guards, huge locked gate and a heartless headmistress who starves her and cane her in public until her knuckles bleed. Ember is determined to escape, but there is no way out except the front gate, which is always guarded. At the reform school, she meets a new room mate, Rebecca Lansing. Even though Rebecca always sounds cheery, she actually despises the place. But then, who can blame her? Being as helpful as possible is probably her best way of survival.

A huge part of the novel focuses on Ember and Chase escaping the Federal Bureau of Reformation, dubbed the Moral Militia. On their journey towards safety, they encountered several problems, but luckily they managed to solve them, albeit with some difficulties. Deep in her heart, Ember still loves Chase, but she finds his betrayal hard to accept, and thus keeps on distancing herself from him and treats him coldly. Chase seems to keep secrets from Ember, and though I understand that he does this for her sake, it is still quite frustrating. Ember is not sure whether she can trust him, but under the dire circumstances, she has no other choice but to follow him.

Simmons avoids falling into stock characterization - the highly-skilled, kick-ass protagonist who overcomes great odds to achieve success - by emphasizing the distress and anguish Ember feels when she is forced to separate with her mother and is sent to the Reformatory and Rehabilitation Centre. The author also highlights how Ember grows physically and mentally into a tougher person after the various gut-wrenching incidents she endured. Ember and Chase's success is not guaranteed. In fact, as the novel progresses, it seems quite unlikely, with the MM hot on their heels and the fact that their news is made known to the public.

Ember and Chase's romance is quite plausible under the circumstances; it is the sort of deep-heart love laced with hurt, mistrust and pain. Chase loves Ember more than he loves himself and vows to protect her at all costs. However, Ember remains doubtful of "the soldier" Chase has become. She wants to trust him but she cannot bring herself to believe him all the way. She is repelled by Chase's wanting to kill a man who threatens her life, but I know that he does that only because he is concerned of her safety. But after some time together, they find the courage to confess to each other their true feelings, and I am glad for that. No love should remain buried in our hearts.

"It was you," I say softly. "It's always you I think about."

The intensity in his gaze took my breath away. I could feel him. Every part of him. His soul was sewn to mine. His heated blood flowed through my veins. I'd thought that I had been close to my mother, and I was, but not like this. Chase and I barely touched- our hands, mouths, knees- but there was no part of me that was not his.

--- Ember, in Article 5


In the end, Article 5 is less about Ember's mission to save her mother. This is the story of a girl who becomes conscious of how wrong and despicable it is for the government to rule its citizens by force, and ultimately understands of the true value of freedom and justice. There finally comes a point, when even the most innocent girl realizes that this just isn't the way it should be. A paradigm shift must be done - soon.

It's them Miller. Not us. It's the FBR that should be sorry. --- Sean, in Article 5

By Precious 24 Jan 2012 5

Ember Miller has learned the art of surviving in her harsh world. She blended in, managed to pass random house inspections despite the fact that her house was filled with contraband and she lived on after Chase left. But everything changed when her mother was arrested for noncompliance to Article 5, for having a child born out of wedlock. Ember was taken to reformatory and rehabilitation center for girls who were now 'properties' of FBR (Federal Bureau of Reformation.)

Ember was fiercely loyal, protective and determined. After her mom was arrested, Ember didn't stop trying to find her. I love Ember's strong connection with her mother. Ultimately, this love was what pushed Ember forward. But in a reformatory where every girl who ever tried to escape was dead, how could Ember possibly get out?

Chase Jennings was Ember's first love. He was a soldier working for the FBR, the military unit that made sure everyone followed the Moral Statutes. However, being a soldier meant that he needed to change and FBR's ways of convincing people to change were not exactly pleasant. I was introduced to two kinds of Chases. The first was the new Chase: calculating, distant, cold, hard and practical. He was a deadly killing machine. He was also good-looking and at 6'3, he towered over everybody and his new attitude put a neon sign on him saying 'irresistible bad boy.' He was different from the old Chase. The old Chase was thoughtful, concerned and loving. He was sweet and he actually smiled and laughed unlike the new Chase. These two sides collided at times. I could see how they merged together at some scenes in the novel. I liked how the author built Chase's character. He was just so complex. I loved that about him!

As the two were thrown back together by fate, they must learn to face each other - and their past. The relationship of Ember and Chase was complicated. They were once friends turned lovers who went their separate ways. It reminded me of an old love who came back but couldn't really pick up the pieces right away. Let's just say that Chase and Ember's 'pieces' were trampled on, broken into tiny little bits that they're almost forgotten. Almost but not quite. In Ember's flashbacks, the zing, the thrill and the sweetness of their relationship poured all over the pages. It was a first, hopeful but brief relationship.

The plot was just wow. It was thrilling, exciting and action-packed. There were real wounds, blood, pain, and danger - the kind that makes even the reader gasp and worry! I can't spoil you, my dear readers, but I'll tell you this: it gave the same feeling of adrenaline rush as Divergent & Legend. I was never bored with this! How could I? When in every other scene something good happens?

Simmons' world was sometimes empty, sometimes chaotic, sometimes terrifying and sometimes inspiring. Imagine a world where there are 'zones' that are evacuated and forbidden, with patrol cars roaming the cracked roads and 99% of the vehicles are driven by soldiers who may or may not give you a citation and from time to time, you'll pass by a bulletin board of some sort wherein the Moral Statutes and the faces of the missing persons are posted. That's the world of Article 5. People were bound by the Moral Statutes, cuffed by the FBR and restricted by fear. It was startling to see how the lives of two citizens were affected by the ones in power. It was devastatingly realistic. What really terrified me was that it was SO close to reality.

Article 5 is a dark, thrilling, surprising and romantic dystopian journey into the future, the unknown and the past. Beautifully written, breathtakingly, heartbreakingly, earth-shatteringly amazing, this novel blew me away! You need to read this ASAP!! I highly recommend this to dystopian readers and romance readers! Grab Article 5 on January 31!

By Raihana 28 Nov 2011 5

Article 5 is one of the best YA book that you can ask for! From the very starting of Article 5, you become hooked! Its exciting and very interesting also worth spending every cent on. Article 5 definitely keep you on the edge of your seat through out the book. Its a must have!!!

Review quote

"Kristen Simmons' "Article 5" is a gripping, atmospheric story of survival. Alongside a fierce depiction of oppressive government, Simmons has created a bleak portrait of an America lost. I could hardly put it down. Ember Miller and Chase Jennings can be my post-apocalyptic wingmen anytime."--Kendare Blake, author of "Anna Dressed in Blood""" "Subversion. Defiance. Desperate, struggling humanity in the face of state-sponsored tyranny. This book was engrossing, unpredictable and thoroughly REAL. Loved it.""--"Jay Kristoff, author of "Stormdancer ""Fast-paced, emotional and nail-bitingingly intense, "Article 5" gripped me from page one and didn't let me go once."-"-Parajunkee.com ""There are only a few books that managed to keep me up at night this year, and ARTICLE 5 is one of them. A MUST read for any fan of the dystopian genre...even if you are not, it's a must read anyways."--"Book Reader Addicts"