Article 5 that I would love it, and I was definitely not disappointed. To this point it is my favorite 2012 debut novel. I won't be surprised if I still feel that way in December, even though I have already enjoyed other debuts so much this year and am sure to be clicking away on the pages of others. This one is just extra special.
In the dystopian novel three years after a life-changing war in the United States, Ember's relationship with her mom has always been at the core of her existence. The sense of security she feels with her life changes one day when officers from the Federal Bureau of Reformation come knocking on the door announcing that her mother is in violation of Article 5, having a child out of wedlock. To Ember's horror, Chase, one of her closest childhood friends ends up being one of the soldiers. She fights to stay united with her mom and to protect her to no avail. Though Chase briefly stands up for her a little bit, Ember is left feeling disappointed and furious with him.
Before she has time to come to grips with the separation, she is thrust into a new life, carted away to a Rehabilitation Center filled with horrors. Full of mystery, suspense, and plenty of twists, I could not wait to keep reading. I remembered that one advertisement for the book mentioned that Ember was "more Katniss than Bella", so I was expecting a strong, innovative character. While reading I was having a constant inner dialogue with Ember - sometimes cheering for her, other times thinking, no, no, no - what are you thinking!? Needless to say, I was engaged start to finish.
Dystopian novels always seem so disturbing with the what ifs? However, they often seem to be enough out there to feel more relieved that it probably wouldn't really happen; however, with this novel, there were many aspects that made me think about history, such as Nazi Germany and the underground railroad, making it all seem eerily more possible.
I always love hearing more about author's backgrounds, and I found it interesting to learn on her site that the Simmons is a mental health advocate. I absolutely loved the last paragraph of her acknowledgements, "And finally, thank you to the people who, in the face of hardship, fight. Who turn surviving into thriving. Because of you I now live stronger and wiser, with the knowledge that hope is working through us all, even in our darkest moments."
I bought this on my Kindle, but I will need to buy a regular copy for my classroom library. I can hardly wait for the other two books in the trilogy to come out, which made me think back to reading Wither last year. I just now checked to see when Fever would be released and am overjoyed to see that it was actually already released about a week ago! Good thing there are other great books to tide me over while waiting for the next book in Simmons' trilogy.