Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review: Breaking Point by Kristin Simmons

Breaking Point (Article 5, #2)

Goodreads Summary: The second installment in Kristen Simmons's fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian 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?
Goodreads / The Book Depository

Genre: Young Adult, dystopian
Pages: 400
Publisher: Tor Teen

First Line: "The Wayland Inn was behind the slums, on the west end of Knoxville."

Favorite Quote: 
"What happened?" I rasped.
"Bombs," he muttered, "I'm starting to feel unwelcome."


I remember really enjoying Article 5 last year when I picked it up at the library. It wasn't an all-time favorite of mine or anything, but it was definitely worth reading if you're into dystopian fiction. It took me a while to get my hands on its sequel, but I blasted through it in a day (which, for me, is not an easy feat at 400 pages). I really like the covers of this series; they really convey the whole government-sucks/world-is-ending feel to this genre.

I admit that it did take me a while to get absorbed in the story at first, because honestly I couldn't recall many of the main plot points that happened in the first book. So for a long time, I was constantly playing catch-up and thinking "oh yeah, I remember this person from that one scene . . ." It was pretty irritating, and was a big reminder of  one of the major reasons of why I prefer to purchase my books instead of borrowing them. If I'm reading a series I own, I can go back and flip through the first one to remind myself what happened and who is who here. There isn't a whole lot of of recapping in Breaking Point, so you're kind of forced to go with the flo.

Once I was caught up and remembered everything important, the book made a lot more sense and I starting liking it a whole lot more than I had been. The very best thing about this novel is that it's extremely fast paced. There's almost always something going on, some new complication springing up out of nowhere, bringing about a lot of destruction and general angst to the characters. It was probably all this action that kept me reading even when I was annoyed in the beginning. Simmons is excellent at plotting her stories well, and I look forward to seeing how everything unfolds in the last novel of this trilogy. Breaking Point doesn't end on a cliffhanger exactly; there's a sense of closure to some extent, but it's not tied up prettily, either.

The protagonist, Ember, is pretty decent. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders for the most park, and I sympathized with her for everything she was going through. I didn't like all of her decisions, but at the end of the day, she's alright. One of my favorite things about Article 5 was her romance with Chase; their feelings for each other felt very real and solid, not insta-love at all. That love between them was still there here, but I resented how Ember treated Chase for maybe the first half the book. She pushes him away constantly and almost never does anything he asks.

The side characters are okay - some of them I felt attached to and others I could really give or take. I liked the whole shaky trust thing that played out between Ember and Tucker for the duration of the book. The Article 5 series sometimes feels a little typical to me, but it's still lots of fun to read.

4 stars 

Books in this series: 

1. Article 5
2. Breaking Point
3. Untitled 

Other opinions:

The Ranting Dragon
Book Nerd
Amaterasu Reads

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