Monday, 29 June 2015

Book Review: 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger
Publication Date: May 12th, 2015
Format: eARC from Netgalley

In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.

Sudasa doesn’t want to be a wife, and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa’s family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable—and caged. Kiran’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Kiran thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

This beautiful, unique novel is told from alternating points of view—Sudasa’s in verse and Kiran’s in prose—allowing readers to experience both characters’ pain and their brave struggle for hope.

 I feel like it's sort of becoming a trend for a story to be written in different point of views. I remember thinking, when I was younger, how much of a taboo that was. I can't recall if that was from a 'how to write' book but I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case due to the fact that I read many of them in my youth in hopes that I could learn how to be a better writer... but I digress. It seems like a lot of people seen multiple point of views distracting and confusing to some. I guess, in a way, they were right. If it's not written properly I can see how it can be complex really quick. Even so it might not be something that everyone can adjust to. In a way, it's a good example on how things can change.

This book focused on two people: Sudasa and Kiran. Sudasa is of age and and is due to find a husband to call her own. This goal is the opposite of what she would like to achieve in her life but she knows how difficult it would be not doing so. After all, in her world, females are a rare commodity. Her parents only want the best for her so she'll live in comfort and will never have to worry about starving. Kiran is one of the boys that are lined up to earn her hand in marriage. Many boys do their best to do just that... except for him. In fact, he loves to do anything but. His goal is to fail so that he could finally escape this restrictive city. But things go south when Sudasa find herself interested in Kiran for his kindness (not 'falling in love' sort of interest) and they both realize that, maybe, they're reaching towards the same goal.

There's not much I can say about this book although not because I didn't like it. This book is one that you must experience yourself. I fell in love with how it's written. The author wrote in two different styles: the usual paragraph style and poetry. It's charming and unique in its own way. In fact I thought of it on how the character naturally thinks. I found myself thinking of Sudasa as a sort of charming and sweet girl who is very intelligent. With Kiran, I saw him as a tough kid who, despite knowing his planned destiny since he was young, was determined to get what he wanted but not in an arrogant sort of way.

In essence, though, I felt like the way each chapter was written in Sudasa's and Kiran's point of view was a clever way to see what sort of personality they have. I hope that makes sense.

I love reading on both of these characters. I think it adds in a bit more depth to the story rather than just sticking to one POV. I love it and I feel like more people should read this story ASAP. I think one of the downsides is that the story felt sort of short for me. I wanted to learn more about these two characters. I still do. I want to know what will become of those two.

Some people might not like the poetry side of this book. I know that I don't read books by Ellen Hopkins' stories just because I just can't focus long enough because it's mostly, if not all, all written fully in poetry. But I didn't feel pushed away from the book because of the poetry. In fact, that was one of my favorite parts of this book. So, even if you are wary about poetry based books, I'd recommend trying this out.


  1. Glad you enjoyed this one! The concept sounds really interesting as well as the writing style with switching from prose to poetry regarding the POV. Need to pick this one up soon. Great review! :D

    1. Wheeeee! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you do grab a copy. ;v; Thanks for visiting the blog, btw!