Books that Keep You up at Night: Article 5

I just finished reading “Article 5” by Kristen Simmons and its sequel, “Breaking Point.” If you are a fan of YA dystopian fiction, I highly recommend it.

Not only is Simmons an awesome writer — a trait publishers never fail to undervalue in commercial YA books — but she is a truly masterful world-builder. The story takes place in the United States after the “Moral Statutes” have been put into place to bring about a return to old-fashioned values. As we later find out, most of the U.S. is in shambles, and the Federal Bureau of Reformation is the ugly police presence charged with enforcing curfews and compliance with the Moral Statutes.

17-year-old Ember, our protagnoist, is taken to reform school when mother is arrested for violating Article 5 (a law punishing women for having children out of wedlock). One of the arresting officers is Ember’s former boyfriend, Chase.

***SPOILER (but not really): he’s not actually a bad guy.***

While the set-up is a little contrived, it’s a truly addicting series. It’s dark, fast-paced with plenty of action, and the romance was very well done. My main complaint is that the third book in the series won’t be released until winter 2014.

If you enjoyed “Under the Never Sky,” “Enclave” or, I hate to say it, “Delirium,” you’ll love “Article 5.” Just don’t expect to get much sleep until you finish it!