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[Book Review] - Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

Title: Breaking Point
   Author: Kristen Simmons
   Series: #2 - Article 5
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: February 12th, 2011
   My Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0

     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?

My Review:

     This book had me confused and torn apart, I wanted it to be better, I wanted the plot and the characters to grow and I felt more let down than anything. Ember was a brilliant strong woman at the end of Article 5, and yet in the beginning of this book she reverts back to her own self indulgent lonely self. She is hiding in the bunker of the resistance counting and labeling. There is so much more I wanted and expected from Ember at this point, but it's like she's afraid to lose everything close around her that she's secluded herself into a world that just can't keep going on if nothing changes.

     Chase in the beginning is the one out in the open. He's the one helping and doing things, but that's always been Chase. The dependable one that seems to be thinking and working for the whole greater good of the two together. However, as Ember's character realizes she can't sit on the sidelines much longer and wants to help, he's the one trying to tell her no. Honestly I can't say that I blame him; if I loved someone as much as he did, I would fight to protect them and that seems to be what he's doing more so than anything. Furthermore. Chase in this book shows his military side more prevalent than in the previous book, and it shows just how vulnerable and how aggressive he can be. He's the character that made me smile and frankly brought this book a higher rating than it did.

     Sean was a refreshing character, and his love for his girlfriend and the compete pursuit of her drives him crazy. He's as much like Chase, but not exactly. He comes from the FBR and seems to be more emotional and driven than Chase. Sean is the one who will jump first and think later, whereas Chase seems to think a bit more and be more cautious. The rash and dying devotion of Sean, is what makes his character refreshing and unique. I loved seeing his pain and sorrow, every time Rebecca was brought to the forefront.

     The good thing of this book, and the one thing that stayed similar was the imagery and the scenery. Simmons can create a world unlike any other. I would say this world is more PG oriented, and I missed the first  books gore and grotesque side. I wanted that dark gritty world, it's what made Article 5 fearsome and showed just how cruel the world was around them. Now in Breaking Point the only bit of grotesque was a different display, the RBF were shown parading people around who defied and were unable to do anything or just deformed in some way as a show of what it meant to defy the RBF. It just wasn't enough, the fear it instilled was unique, but lacked the emotional tole on the reader.

     Now the other point I disliked about this book was the plot. The whole plot seemed to focus around Rebecca, Seans's lost girlfriend. It's been done over and over, and the more I look and think about the plots and the different events, I found that I had almost expected more originality out of this book. I was hoping there would be something more than just rescue the girl and run to safety. However, there just wasn't that much else to this book and I found I couldn't wrap my head around that. The struggle against the government is an addition by this is a dystopia that's to be expected, and I disregard that.

     Overall this was just above a mediocre book. The character growth of a few of the characters was great and provided the spark to keep me interested, as well as the scenery and the world building. The plot was less than to be expected and at times I found myself knowing what the next turn would be. There was still a few surprises (no spoilers), but they weren't as often as I would have liked to keep me interested or give this book a better score. Furthermore the gritty and dark twisted nature of Article 5 was lost here, and I missed that most of all. I wanted to see more dark gritty nature in this book, that made the character quake in fear, but it wasn't there.
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