Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Compliance is Mandatory!

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

“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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.”

I am currently very interested in dystopian fiction and I won this book in a blog hop (contest). This was a thrilling story to read.

Due to a recent change in the Moral Statutes, Ember’s mom is arrested for being an unwed mother. Even though Ember is 17 the statute is retroactive. Upon being arrested and sent to a girl’s reformatory and rehabilitation center, Ember fights tooth and nail to get to where she thinks her mom is in hiding.

Aided by one soldier in love and one soldier she once loved, Ember escapes and the real adventure begins.

The theme of theocracy (or, more to the point, moral superiority) and its effect on society was present throughout. During their run, Ember and Chase steal wedding rings so that, if stopped, no one will arrest them for being together and unmarried. Girls are taught to submit to their husbands. The morality of the few is forced upon the many.

Ms. Simmons kept the action moving and made me care about the characters. I wanted Chase and Em to succeed. I wanted them to be in love. I wanted good to triumph. This book is a clear setup for a sequel and, I hope, even more!

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