Article 5 (novel)
|Followed by||Breaking Point|
Article 5 is a 2012 young adult dystopian novel by Kristen Simmons. The book was published in January 2012 by Tor Teen and is the first installment in a trilogy. The novel tells the story of Ember Miller and Chase Jennings, two teenagers who are on the run from the government in a post-War dystopian America. It was followed by two sequels titled Breaking Point and Three.
A war has torn through the United States of America, leading to the implementing of the Federal Bureau of Reformation and a re-writing of the Bill of Rights, leaving the Moral Statues. Women that break Article 5 and have children out of wedlock are taken away and imprisoned, as is the case with Ember Miller's mother. The FBR have captured the two of them and have sent Ember to the Girls Reformatory and Rehabilitation Center of West Virginia. There Ember attempts and fails to escape, only succeeding when her old love interest Chase intervenes and runs away with her to Virginia. There they have plans to go to a safehouse where Ember's mom is supposedly located, only to find the man who was supposed to transport them has been shot by the FBR. Before he dies, he tells the two teens of a carrier in West Virginia that could help them. Ember and Chase seek temporary solace at a farmer's house after rescuing his son, only for the farmer to report Chase as being AWOL. Ember overhears the call and the two escape.
The two later learn of a carrier and underground system in their former hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, which prompts them to return in the hopes of finding escape. As they grow closer to the town, they learn that the town is in the process of being closed off to create a base for the FBR and that the streets are full of people that are either homeless or working for the FBR. Chase and Ember are separated when a scuffle for food turns into a riot and Ember is grabbed by Sean Banks, a member of the local resistance.
Ember informs Sean of her time at the reformatory and of his girlfriend Rebecca that was placed there with her. She then goes to sleep but is woken by the sounds of Chase and the Resistance talking about recruitment. Ember then learns that the ones who break Article 5 are killed and that Chase had been forced to kill her mother. She later leaves the Resistance hideout and is captured and taken to the Knoxville Detention Center. A member of the center, Tucker Morris, attempts to bribe Ember into revealing Chase's location, to which she refuses. As punishment Ember is placed on cleaning duty and tolerates Tucker's molestation of her in order to learn news of her friend Rebecca, who has been placed in a Chicago reformatory. Ember begins to make plans to escape, which are interrupted due to Chase being captured and brought to the detention center. She must then find a way to save them both. The two manage to escape and the book ends with Ember and Chase lying together on the roof of the Resistance's headquarters.
The inspiration for Article 5 came to Kristen Simmons after she saw people protesting against the release of a childrens' book. She asked herself what else could be banned. She had the idea of the story and wrote it from start to finish and took her about an year to revise it.
- Ember Miller: A seventeen-year-old girl and the main character of the story that sets out to save her mother from the FBR. It is mentioned that she and Chase have had a romantic relationship when they were younger.
- Chase Jennings: An old neighbor and former romantic interest of Ember’s, Chase is now a FBR soldier that goes AWOL to assist Ember and get her to a safehouse.
- Sean Banks: A member of the Knoxville Resistance, Sean assists Ember in her attempt to jump over the reformatory wall.
- Beth: One of Ember's friends from childhood.
- Tucker Morris: An evil man who grew up loving the MM, and wanted to be an soldier, and he was finally able to fulfill that, but it changed him into an evil person.
- Rebecca Lansing: Ember's roommate at the reformatory. She is perceived to be a perfect rule follower, but is actually dating Sean Banks, a guard. She is arrested when Ember attempts to blackmail Sean into helping her escape.
Article 5 received mixed reviews when it came to the plot and the characters, with a reviewer for Tor.com calling it a “provocative, terrifying, frustrating” book, as described by Michael Jones. Wired stated that the book was a fun read but that the enjoyment would depend "on your taste in books and politics".
- Cheney, Amy. "The Debut—Kristen Simmons's 'Article 5'". School Library Journal. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- Van de Vall, Virginia. "Author Interview: Kristen Simmons". Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- "Review: Article 5". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- Jones, Michael (March 3, 2012). "Constitution Revoked". Tor.
- Liu, Jonathan. "Dystopian YA Novels: It’s the End of the World as We Know It…". Wired. Retrieved 29 September 2012.