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Article 5: Compliance is Mandatory Hardcover – January 31, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 274 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Article 5 Series

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Editorial Reviews


“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

About the Author

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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765329581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765329585
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The hype around Article 5 was huge, it was riding the dystopian fame wave and at the time it was on top. After reading the synopsis I was curious as to what these Articles specifically entailed. I searched every bookstore near me, and even in other cities while on vacation and when I couldn't find it, it just made me more fervent to get my hands on it-- this should have been my first clue. This was fate telling me I shouldn't buy it. I was about to give up my search and purchase it online when my local library got a copy and I thought "wow just my luck!". I am so glad I ended up borrowing it...
The cover itself is pretty dramatic with the ruins of a city in monochrome and the now signature plaid shirt being the only colour present. As you can probably guess it's Ember and Chase on the cover.
I'll try and keep this as spoiler free as possible and you can decide if you really want to keep going.
So America as we know it has ended... somehow - we never really find out, but since the story is primarily told from Ember's point of view I figure we're not told because maybe she doesn't actually know. I assume the reasons why will be revealed later in the series (hopefully). But basically, citizens are very religiously controlled, and are run on the ideas that primarily women are back to being less than men, we're baby making factories in marriage only and are allowably beat into submission while men are expected to do the "manly" things like join the military. It's all very Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaids Tale".
The book starts out with Ember narrating the motions of her army controlled life and how she "keeps" her disobeying mother from getting them arrested -- honestly though I felt like Ember did very little in the way of keeping them alive.
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Format: Hardcover
All of the major cities have crumbled, and basic rights are a thing of the past. Now control is based on a set of moral statutes, with harsh penalties for offenders. Being simply accused means a swift arrest and trial, and no one comes back from that. They are simply forgotten. Ember gets by as best she can while trying to contain her very free spirited mother. She's learned all the ways to blend in and stay unnoticed, keeping her life relatively normal, all things considered. However all that changes the day her mother is arrested for violating Article 5 in the Moral Statues by none other than her childhood love. With her life turned upside down, she finds herself in her own personal nightmare. The only question is whether she can survive it.

Ember (love that name!) is a flawed, but REAL character. Throughout Article 5 there were many times where I really wanted to strangle her for the poor decisions she was making, especially when it came to Chase. However, those mistakes only made her seem that much more real. We would all like to think that in a crisis situation we could keep our cool and know exactly what to do. Perhaps some of us could, but I have a feeling the majority of people would behave exactly like Ember. Her whole life has been turned upside down and people are trying to kill her left and right, she just isn't going to be able to accept all of that rationally, especially considering just how naive she was in the beginning. Nor would she be able to easily throw her trust into someone she felt abandoned by. She's entitled to have melt downs, and to be honest, she had a whole lot of character growth throughout Article 5, to the point where she is almost a completely different person.

The world behind Article 5 is so chilling and rather horrific.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this book but it just didn't live up to the hype (or even the description!) It was an okay read, but that's it...just okay.

First of all, I felt as if I had read this book before. Totalitarian society, complete with militia? Handmaid's Tale, the Hunger Games, even 1984 (if you replace the militia with thought police) have that. Reform schools for teens? Declaration is one of many books that comes to mind. A resistance and underground railroad of sorts? Sounds like When She Woke or dozens of other dystopias. There was literally nothing unique in this story and the world just wasn't developed enough for me not to feel like it was a retread.

My major issue was that the main character, Ember, was completely unlikable and in fact, rather naive and, well frankly, stupid.

***Spoilers ahead*****

How she did not figure out that her mom was dead was beyond me. I'm still trying to figure out if the author intended that to be an actual "reveal" because it was completely obvious and predictable, as was Ember's immature reaction. I just kept thinking, "when will Ember find out her mom is actually dead, and when will she freak out on Chase and run away?" I just wanted it over and done with.

***End spoilers***

Another issue I had was the relationship between Ember and Chase. We know Ember is 17 and Chase has been in the militia for at least a year. So let's say she was 15/16 and he was 17ish when they fell "in love." The fact that he was willing to lay down his life for her and said that Ember was the only thing he loved, was just ridiculous and unbelievable.
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