My Thoughts On: Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

Posted April 10, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 5 Comments

Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5 #2
Published by Tor Teen
Publish Date: February 12, 2013
400 Pages
Source: ARC Tour

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?
-(summary excerpt from Goodreads) 

Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons 

My Thoughts:  When I first read Article 5, I thought it was awesome. I loved it. But for some reason, I trudged through Breaking Point. It took me a long time to read, which is quite telling with me. A lot of stuff happens, but I just didn’t think it was quite as gripping as the first book. 

Still, be warned that this blog post may be slightly spoilery. 
Proceed with caution. 


RecapThree-ish years ago, the Federal Bureau of Reformation (aka the Moral Militia) was created after a time of war to enforce their Moral Statutes. Violation of these Statutes brings a citation and trial; going to trial usually means you don’t come back. In a world where morality used to be subjective, it became the law, and compliance became mandatory

In Article 5, Ember Miller and her mother were arrested for noncompliance with Section 2, Article 5, which pertains to conception out of wedlock. Ember was taken to a rehab center to be groomed on how to become moral and chaste. She was horrified to realize that one of the officers at her arrest was none other than Chase Jennings, the boy she loves. Terrible things happen to Ember, to her mother, and to other girls at the rehab center. Ember decides that she does not want to be part of what is happening there and she decides to take matters into her own hands, and plenty of action happens after that point. 

When I read the first book, I thought the world-building was great, the action was non-stop, and the characters were really great. I loved Ember for her determination and ferocity and I loved Chase for his quiet nature and his mystery – Chase had a reason to be mysterious, which was released to us in small chunks, kind of like a story-within-a-story. He had a reason for the things that he did, a reason for “betraying” Ember. 

Their romance was really nice too, I thought. Even though it was present in the story (hello, slowww-burn), it was told alongside what I felt was the story of a scary government ruled by the Moral Militia. I am always fascinated by stories of corrupt governments that try to mix morals or religion into their laws. This particular governing body was full of villains, and it was creepy as heck. I devoured Article 5 and couldn’t wait for the sequel. 


So…Breaking Point: I was so excited to get started on this book. I couldn’t wait to pick up the story where Chase and Ember left off, to see what kind of crazy and horrifying tricks the awful government had up its sleeve, and to see what kind of shape the rest of the war-torn United States was in. 

BUT! From the beginning, I was not captivated. Somewhere between Article 5 and Breaking Point, Ember Miller loses her pizzazz. And Chase is so supportive of Ember that he has basically let this happen. Ember and Chase are fugitives in this installment – some of the government’s Most Wanted – so they have to make sure to stay hidden from the ever-present military. They’re constantly on the move – constantly – with the goal of finding someone that is special to them along with a couple of their friends. Joining them in this book are some familiar faces that I loved from the first book and a ton of new faces that I also enjoyed – but even with this strong supporting cast, Ember unfortunately fell flat for me. I lost my connection with her and it made me sad. The same thing happened with Chase, and I loved him in the first book.

While I feel like the main characterization fell a little bit flat in this sequel, I want to repeat that I feel like the secondary characterization was excellent. This group of characters was colorful and filled with both good guys and bad guys. Some of them live to make it to the next book and unfortunately, some do not. 

I enjoyed the various settings throughout the story. I feel like the world was built and strongly established in the first installment – I had (and still have) a pretty clear depiction of how bleak, gray, barren, and desolate the landscape is after the large-scale war ended years before. Breaking Point builds on that as more of the surrounding area is covered inside several large US cities and in the rural areas around and between these cities. Once again I felt like I was able to visualize the story in my head easily and I will always love that with a story, particularly a dystopian or apocalyptic story. 

The romance between Ember and Chase is still present but it is not as swoony as it was in the first book because the two aren’t working to build their relationship. They spend the entire book together and under extremely stressful circumstances. Their relationship doesn’t necessarily suffer, but the two really have no time for romantic interludes or make-out sessions or long, meaningful discussions. The romance in this book is sustained on glances or a brief touch here and there, things like that. I am thankful that in this case, there is no triangle and these two are still together. 

Ultimately, this book is not the strongest middle-book in a trilogy, but I continue to have hopes for the finale, which I will be reading. The fact that the title is tentatively set to be Three (according to Goodreads) is suggestive that there will be some loose ends tied up and hopefully there will be a strong finish. At the end of Breaking Point, I sort of feel like Ember and Chase have done a giant loop around the country and have not made much progress toward their ultimate goals, and this makes me nervous for them as I feel their frustration. 

I recommend Breaking Point for fans of YA Dystopian stories with a touch of romance, great world-building, and horrifying governments and villains. I’m holding out hope for a strong finish for Ember and Chase! 


Breaking Point will appeal to fans of:
YA Dystopian 
 Romance: Already established. No triangle.
Great secondary characterization.
Great world-building.
Villainous, horrible government!

Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

is currently available for purchase.
**I received/borrowed a review copy in exchange for an honest opinion and review. 
I received no compensation for my thoughts. 

Has anyone read ARTICLE 5 or BREAKING POINT? 
What are your thoughts? 

What about that cover? I love it. 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


5 responses to “My Thoughts On: Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

  1. i loved article 5 and said to hear that breaking point was not that strong but i'm still exited to read. fingers crossed for book 3 . great review btw

  2. Hmm. I saw mixed reviews for the first book, and from skimming your review of this one, it seems like this might not be the strongest of book twos? But something about this trilogy seems very appealing to me, so I'll probably still give it a go at some point. Though I may wait until the third book is out and see what you think of that one! 😉

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  3. Ember drove me INSANE in book 1 so I cannot even imagine facing her in this one. The fact that they don't make much overall progress, and their relationship doesn't progress are big turnoffs for me. You know who's AMAZING at creating swoony/sexy relationships in high tension situations? Jennifer Armentrout. Both her Lux and Covenant series have stressful plots, but great character chemistry. But I digress. Nice, thorough review, dear!

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