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i was born amidst salt and smoke to wake dragons out of stone.

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Article 5: Compliance is Mandatory

Article 5 - Kristen Simmons Did not finish. I made it to around page 170 actually reading, then to 220 doing a hell of a lot of skimming, and I was done. I do occasionally finish books I dislike just to be as accurate as possible in my reviews, but I'm not putting myself through that tonight. Not in the mood.I'd never heard of this book before, but the author was at a local bookstore signing copies so I figured "What the hell, I'll give it a try." After all, I'm always looking for signed books to add to my collection (this brings the grand total of signed books I own to three if you count my two copies of The Fault in Our Stars; pretty impressive, eh?).The premise of the book sounded promising. In fact, once I got past the first chapter, the book sounded fairly promising itself. But, as per usual, things fell apart for me after a while.So Ember Miller is a teenage girl who is removed from her home because her mother has violated Article 5, which makes conceiving a child out of wedlock illegal. She's taken to a reform school-type place, where she's beaten and abused until she's rescued by Chase Jennings, a guy she used to like and I guess still does (lol I didn't get that far obviously).While she's at the reform school, we learn about Articles 1-4, which, in my opinion, would have made a vastly more interesting and relevant-to-today's-issues book than Article 5 did. I would have particularly enjoyed reading about Article 3, which defines the "Whole Family" as one man, one woman, and children. In the case of one girl Ember meets, Rosa, the law is violated because her cousin claimed her as a dependent on her tax form, but I would have loved to read a book about a LBGT character fighting against Article 3. I guess I can't really blame Kristen Simmons for that, though, because, as I said before, although Articles 1-4 interest me infinitely more than Article 5 does, it was still a good premise. I guess the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our premises, but in our characters and how they interact with one another. (Plot twist: Julius Caesar is my favorite Shakespeare play.)I don't enjoy Ember and Chase as characters. I don't enjoy the way they act toward each other. I mean, this is life-or-death, but they--well, particularly Ember--like to spend a lot of time pouting at each other or generally acting strange because of one another and I'm like--why?There's this one point where Ember runs away from Chase and nearly gets herself killed by this woman who apparently butchered her dog. Jfc girl I understand that tensions run high and you think it's your fault he's acting the way he's acting, but--wow.Also, earlier in that same chapter she says she has good intuition about people and plans to "seek out someone trustworthy." Apparently crazy ladies who butcher their dogs qualify as "someone trustworthy" in Ember's book.Maybe the book got better after that, but I'll never know, because I think that's around the time I started skimming. I was almost halfway through and still not seeing any redeeming qualities in this book and especially not in the characters. I wish Ember would have spent more time in the reform school, because it kept my interest much more than Ember and Chase's Great Roadtrip did. Sometimes I put a book down halfway through and then come back to it later and end up loving it, but I don't think I'm going to pick this one up again any time soon. Sorry, folks.