Tuesday, May 26, 2015

5 to 1 {by Holly Bodger}

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger
Title: 5 to 1
Author: Holly Bodger
Genre: YA SciFi
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: 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 loved this one. It was a unique, eye-opening take on a social issue, yet still keeping its scifi and dystopian feel. Sometimes with dystopian stories, we think "oh no, that could never happen", yet this brings forth an issue that is already happening, and an extreme look at how it could end up.

In this future, there are 5 girls for every 1 boy. This country has closed themselves off from the rest of India, and girls are celebrated, in charge of everything, while the men are treated second-class. While they boast "fairness", it really isn't fair.

This story is told from two narratives. Sudasa's is told in verse, and Kiran's is told in prose. I actually somehow didn't know that when I started reading, so it was a nice surprise. The two styles work together to create a beautiful story. Both characters are fighting against the norm. They don't want to be caged into a marriage. They realize the system is wrong, and they want to fight against it. This wasn't what you would typically expect, I think. It wasn't a romance, really, if that is what you're expecting.

I flew through this story. But although it is a fast read, it isn't lacking. The details were beautiful and well-explained, so that you had a real sense of what this future was like, what it held. The author had a whole world to build up, but she did that well, in both verse and prose. While you get to know the characters some, I didn't feel as if this was a character-driven story. But that worked for this one.

All in all, this was a very well done story. I was worried about the ending, but I loved it. It was open-ended, sure, in the only way that it would work for this story. All in all, a phenomenal story.

This review can also be found on   Goodreads

Holly Bodger:

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