Review: Article 5 (Compliance is Mandatory)

Author: Kristen Simmons
  • Series: Article 5 #1
  • Published: January 31, 2012
  • Publisher: Tor Teen
  • Reading Level: Unlisted
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • Source: Bought
 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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~
Since this is a young adult novel, I feel obligated to tell you that this story does contain a decent amount of violence and even some shootings. Don't read this novel if you can't handle violence and shootings. I also feel obligated to point out that I normally cannot handle stuff like that in novels, but as Kristen Simmons describes what's going on, it's not exactly gory or unsettling, so I do believe it's manageable. 
This is a great novel to debut with. 
Ember and Chase are living in a world in the future. All the major cities have fallen and The FDR has replaced the Bill of Rights of the Moral Statues--a set of laws that can get almost anyone into trouble with the murderous government. When Ember's mother gets taken in for violating Article 5, having a child without being married, her world will forever be turned upside down. Battling to save her mother, herself, and the only  boy she ever loved that was broken by the war--Chase Jenningers--Ember will take you on an unforgettable adventure that is most definitely not what the reader expected. 

The world-building in this novel is beyond unbelievable. It was so vivid and real, which made it all the more chilling. I can tell you one thing, while I admire Kristen Simmons for being able to create such a world, I am so thankful that I do not have to live in a world like it.
The characterization in this novel was great. Ember discovered herself throughout the novel. She started off as a timid girl, a third wheel to her two best friends who were dating, but she became more self-righteous and defiant as the novel progressed and her journey to freedom began. However, as the novel went on, she began to blame every little thing that happened on herself. The self blame got to be a little too much at one point. While I think it was intentional, it was frustrating, and made Ember a bit annoying and unlikable just because she always found a way to twist a situation back to herself and never gave herself enough credit.
Chase. Chase, Chase, Chase, Chase, Chase. Poor, broken Chase. I don't even know what to say about him. I loved him and hated him all at once. I hated him while Ember hated him because of his betrayal, but as he slowly bloomed into the Chase she once loved on their road-trip running from the law, I began to love him, too. He's a noble protector, willing to die for her because she is all he has left, but at times, he frustrates you, too. He has the tendency to lie about a lot of things to get Ember moving. If not lying, he strategically leaves bits and pieces of information out of what he's telling Ember.
The other characters in the novel are memorable, but I do have one thing to say about Tucker. His characterization was odd. I know he was troubled and I know that's why he acted the way he did, but he seemed so out of character at times. I don't want to reveal anything, but the last scene with him in this novel made him seem weak and unlike the torturous, deranged soon-to-be-captain that he was for a great majority of the novel. It caught me off guard and while I'm happy things worked out the way they did, the events seemed forced and more like they were there to please the reader. If Tucker stayed in character, things would not have unfurled the way they did.
If you love romance, I'd recommend this novel. But be warned, it's a rocky romance that makes you want to hug them and then bash their heads in all at the same time. It's not a perfect romance where everything is just dandy and there's nothing that could go wrong. The odds are against these two, but that's what makes their story all the more powerful. Chase and Ember are quite the pair.
This novel is an action-packed adventure. The entire novel is one road trip full of enemies to get to safety and it will keep you on the edge of your seat. I read it in one sitting and don't regret doing so. The world-building will drag you in from the very first page and hold you captive until the last. Thus, this novel is earning a 4 out of 5 stars. There are several times where the characters either frustrate you or temporarily act unlike themselves, and it makes the plot-line seem a little off. I'm hoping that in the sequel, things will be clearer. While I can't wait for the sequel, it's not something that I'll absolutely die for like other books I've read recently, but it will certainly find its way into my hands not long after it is released.
I adore this cover. It fits the story perfectly. It is a dystopia novel and the characters on the cover, presumably Ember and Chase, are staring at the war-zone that the world has become. You can get a glimpse of the story and the secrets within just by glimpsing the cover. I love covers like that.
 4 stars


  1. The romance was a rocky one but I think I loved it for that. I adored Chase and Ember and can't wait to read the sequel. Amazing review! :)

  2. I have this book on my wishlist for some time now, but I still wasn't sure if I actually wanted to read it. I liked your review, so I think I will pick up a copy soon!

    1. Haha, glad I could help! I hope you enjoy it!

  3. YAY so glad to hear you enjoyed it! I agree that it is a fabulous debut and I love the cover, action, and Chase too lol! Awesome review! If I had not already read this book I would have totally bought it after reading your review! Love your review and can not wait to read more!!!!!

    Following your blog! Feel free to visit mine!

    1. Ah, I'm so thankful you enjoyed my review! I'm glad that my opinions are helping some people!

      Thank you for the follow!

  4. I really enjoyed your review, very detailed. I can tell you put a lot of thought into it. :) One thing that's been standing out to me in YA books lately is self blame in main characters, like you said about Ember. It seems like a lot of the protagonists need a guy to come along and let them know that they're special and worthy. This definitely seems like it's worth a read though, thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

  5. I'm not sure why I haven't commented on this review...maybe I thought I did it in my dreams :) Anyway, I LOVE this book (and your review for it). I totally agree with Chase being frustrating at times. I think that's why I liked him so much. He was really complex. And you're totally right--it's a pretty rocky romance. Definitely nowhere close to insta-love. And I think Article 5 did what Everneath was trying to do with the flashback scenes. I liked them a lot better in Article 5. Awesome, Awesome Review!!!