December 21, 2012

Review: Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

Title: Breaking Point
Author: Kristen Simmons
Hardcover: 400 pgs
Publisher: MacMillan: Tor Teen
Published: February 2, 2012
Series: Article 5 (Book #2)

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?

There are very few sequels that I clamor over. Very few that I google constantly and actually add their release date to my calendar. Breaking Point is one of those books. The first book in this series, Article 5, was so intense, so incredible, that I absolutely could not wait to put my hands on its follow-up.

I was not disappointed.

Breaking Point continues with the story of Ember (I mean, even her name is fantastic) and Chase as they continue to fight against the Moral Militia (aka the cops who will arrest you for pretty much anything). As the pair struggle to find their place in the resistance, their relationship is constantly tested and put through the wringer as well. I think Kristen Simmons does a fantastic job of creating this impossible dynamic (Chase stood by as Ember's mother was killed), while still giving you that sense that underneath it all, the two of them still care deeply for each other. They have history - memories - that run far deeper than anything they could possibly go through. It's intense, but incredibly beautiful.

Throughout the novel, Ember is also tested in her own individual way. She has to decide whether she will hide or fight. While both choices will likely lead to her death (since she's a wanted fugitive anyway) it is still a strong character decision for her. Fighting means risk: capture, separation from Chase, or death. But hiding means accepting the world as it has come to be; it means that she would have to be okay with her mother's death.

Breaking Point is a Y.A. novel that breaks the dystopian mode. It is refreshingly creative and has the depth and value as any adult novel while still dealing with the typical Y.A. themes.

I will clamor for the next one!

5 out of 5 stars!

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1 comment:

  1. Totally agree, her name IS fantastic! I am so happy you enjoyed this one. I just loved Article 5 and look forward to reading this sequel! I need more Chase! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books


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