Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

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Title:  Breaking Point
Author:  Kristen Simmons
Published:  February 12, 2013
Series:  Article 5 series #2
Genre:  Dystopian
Format:  Kindle
Source:  Purchased

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?

After faking their deaths and escaping the FBR, Ember and Chase are in hiding with a group of rebels, and Ember would much rather lay low than join the fighting. But when a mysterious sniper starts standing up to the government and starts picking off the FBRs soldiers one by one, the FBR uses Ember as its scapegoat by posting her on its most wanted list. Suddenly she’s a legend, not only for escaping Rehabilitation and the FBR’s prison, but for supposedly being the Resistance’s beloved sniper, too.

I should start my review by saying that I enjoyed Article 5, but I was thoroughly let down by Breaking Point. To sum it up in one word, Simmons’ follow-up to her first book was pretty boring.

This book dragged on forever through Ember Miller’s incessantly whiny POV. Despite everything that she’s had to do to escape the clutches of the evil FBR, Ember is absolutely useless at everything. I guess I just think that someone who went through all that would be a little more badass, but Ember is all talk. To make it even more annoying, she’s only all talk in her head—she rarely says anything out loud. In her inner monologues, she makes herself sound really tough—like she’ll never let anyone hurt the people she cares about—but the reality is that she never actually does anything to protect anyone. The boys (and Cara, who was an actual badass) do all the work.

Another issue I had with this book was the boring romance. Chase and Ember are essentially the model for abstinence awareness. They pretty much never touch each other, which seemed odd for a teenage relationship. Then, when they get close to acting like normal, unsupervised teenagers, they get angry and distracted. Talk about a great romance story.

The only character I really liked in this book was Tucker Morris. He had that whole good kid turned bad soldier turned rebel infiltrator—or so we think—thing going on. Compared to all the other characters, at least he had some sense of inner conflict and a struggle to understand who he was. Everyone else was just “poor me” the whole time, and it was really a drag to read.

Last but not least, the evil government in this book was way overdone. The FBR and the Moral Militia have enforced certain standards of ethics and morals that everyone must follow. It’s like the Tea Party gone wrong. However, because we never really get a glimpse of the leadership behind this scary government, there’s no rhyme or reason to why it got that way. The whole concept just seems improbable, like someone ate evil flakes for breakfast and decided to make everyone bow down to their every command.

The unfortunate reality is that Article 5 probably didn’t need a sequel or a series to stand on. Ember and Chase already stuck it to the FBR by escaping, and there really wasn’t a point to all of the meandering they did in Breaking Point. It pains me to say this because I really did love Article 5, and I think Kristen Simmons did a great job building the FBR dystopian universe, but I can only give this book two stars at best.

2 star review

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