Monday, February 6, 2012
Author: Kristen Simmons
Rating: 4 stars
Summary: 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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
Review: Many dystopian books books depict a future where while there might be some underlying evil, on the surface everything seems amazing. Not this one. In Article 5, there is no more Bill of Rights, heartless soldiers instead of police officers, and automatic imprisonment that usually leads to execution if you fail to abide by the Moral Statutes. Ember was a strong character at the beginning; she stays below the radar, protects her mom from abusive boyfriends, and just manages to survive. When her mother is arrested and Ember is sent to a rehabilitation center, she loses some of that strength. She's also very wishy-washy about Chase; first she wants him, then she doesn't want him near her, then she's wondering why he's so distant. It takes her a while, but she regains her fighting spirit and Chase.