Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: January 31, 2012
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The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
In the midst of the dystopian explosion in YA, this is one of the books that really stand out. Article 5 deals with the possibility of Government gone sour, which is scary, but I can absolutely see the scenario playing out. The eerie realism of the world was bone-chilling.
Kristin Simmons did a great job of laying the world out for us. The book was full of adventure, and one of the reasons it stands out is because of the romance in it. The tension and electricity between the two characters was more than compelling. The twists and turns in the plot were wickedly well placed so that the romance was always hanging from a thread. I also love books when you don't have to "meet" the love interest but rather, they already have a past that they need to deal with.
And most of all, I loved Chase. Ember was our typical naive main character that always takes too long to figure things out and over-analyzes all her "bad" actions, but Chase was mysterious and secretive while still being nice and showing. I simply loved him and I want more and more Chase. Great character development and compelling prose, make this a fabulous debut. I'll be on the lookout not only for the sequel but for anything else Simmons writes. If you can pull off a steamy romance for me while setting up a believable world around it, you can be sure I will read anything you write.
Perfect for dystopian fans and romance geeks. Highly recommended.