A United States in shambles, soldiers, desolate cities, oppressive laws, rigid social structures and... love? A coworker of mine handed me a book one day to read to see what I thought. Now, this coworker of mine has the same sort of taste in books that Sarah does and not to prejudge this book but... I went in assuming it was a chick book. The book in question is Article 5 by Kristen Simmons. Its classified as Sci-Fi & Fantasy on Amazon and I've also seen it listed under young adult fiction. I don't think I was the intended audience but I have to say, Article 5 was a nice surprise and most importantly, a great read.
Article 5 takes place in the United States after some pretty destructive wars. The Bill of Rights has been thrown out, and in its place is a set of moral statutes and government groups set up to enforce these rules. Punishments for infractions can be harsh and there are rumors of more sinister fates of those who break the law. Ember Miller is our heroine and the story follows her quest for survival and meeting up with her mother who has most recently been imprisoned. Along the way she encounters the dangerous conditions the country has fallen in to after the big war. More importantly, she also comes into contact with someone from her past.
I'm not giving away too much by saying that Ember runs in to a previous love interest in this story. I'll admit, the aspects of their romance and complicated relationship didn't really grab me. But again, that part of their story wasn't really written for a 30-year old male. I will say that the aspect of this book that REALLY grabbed me was the suspense and the overall post-apocalyptic, future in shambles theme of the book. By the end of chapter 2 I was hooked. Each day at lunch I'd sit with the book in hand and make my way through the story. My usual amount of time available was a half hour and it would fly by as I got wrapped up in the book.
Aside from the love story and the dystopian themes, there's also a fair amount of suspense -- some real edge of the seat chapters are going on in Article 5. I have to hand it to Kristen Simmons, for what I thought was a "chick book" for 15 year-olds turned out to be a great read for me. I hear its part of a trilogy and if that's the case, I'll be picking up the next one.
Here are just a few places Article 5 can be purchased:
Barnes & Noble