Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review: Breaking Point (Article 5 series)

After faking their deaths to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed.

Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion….

Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself.

Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways.

With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back?


Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: Feb. 12, 2013
Page Count: 400
Favorite Quotes:

"You didn't think of those things when you were six. You only thought about how fear could be split down the middle like an orange, so both of you could eat half."

"By dawn, the weather's tantrum was over and had left the garage eerily silent."

Chase and Ember. Ember and Chase. If you've read Article 5, you will sigh with me...

Dystopians have been very popular since The Hunger Games, but I'm always on the lookout for one that stands apart. Article 5 was one such story. It had action and romance and suspense. A likable main character who'd go to any lengths to find her mom. I appreciated how the story straddled the line of present and future all at once. One whole family, a president who preached that a return to traditional values would save the country. Something like that could happen, even though our country's so obviously going in the opposite direction when you consider the issue of gay marriage. 

So I was incredibly eager to see where Simmons would take the second book, since I liked the first so much. She definitely delivered!

I read another review before picking up this book that said not to expect much romance. I disagree. It might not be hot and heavy, but who has time for this when running for their lives? This is the sweet kind, where a glance across the room has the power to comfort, to convey thoughts without words. Several instances, especially during some near-death situations, Chase demonstrates his love for Ember like they're the only two in the room. Even though the story is full of action, which is another thing I enjoyed, the romance is laced throughout in a way that grabs your heart and forces you to turn the pages.

The story starts out with Ember and Chase at the Wayland Inn, where they've been hiding with Wallace's branch of the resistance. They have lain low and Ember dreads the time they'll have to split up and go out into the square. She can't lose Chase when he's the only one who knows her old self, the only one who feels like family. This threat becomes especially frightening when a sniper targets MM soldiers right outside the Inn. Ember's name is mentioned in a nation-wide bulletin. An Article One order has been issued: soliders can shoot her without question because she might be the sniper.

The beginning was a little slow for me, but I believe that was necessary for the story. It was nice to look back and know Chase and Ember had some time between craziness to hide out before they were caught up in another plot. 

The characters surprised me in a great way. Although I liked all the crazy adventures Ember had in the first book, these characters were more relatable and interesting. I loved Sean. He and Ember's friendship continued to grow as they never gave up on trying to find his girlfriend and her former roommate, Becca. He had her back through the whole story, just like Chase. His determination to find Becca was inspiring, the same need that Chase had to constantly protect Ember. Then there was Lincoln and Houston, practically attached at the hip, but always joking despite the fact that death could sneak up on them any time. Then there was Billy, a fourteen year old who worships Wallace and was smart enough to build a mainframe so the resistance could see breaking bulletins from the FBR. Later, Truck with his missing tooth comes along. Coolest transport driver anywhere. Ember also steps up her game, learning how to fight back. Watch her take down a huge guy with a baseball bat!

This is one of those stories that put me in a good mood all day. It had hope. Sorrow. Happiness. Love. You will root for the characters, root for their cause. It resembles a futuristic underground railroad. The hope comes from the people who are willing to help, no matter the cost. This is one of the best "middle books" I've read in a series! I'd give it half a star more, except the first one was so freakin' awesome, both the writing and action, that I just couldn't. Which means, pick up Article 5 ASAP!

When you finish Breaking Point, go straight to Simmons's website and read her extra scenes! They really give you a better understanding of Chase and his motivations. I want more from dig under those layers and get into his thoughts. But I was quite satisfied with those extra bits. The third novel can't come soon enough!