Sunday, May 14, 2017

5 to 1 by Holly Badger

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

DNF @ 15% (2 stars)

In 2054 India, the ratio of boys to girls is 5 to 1 and the rulers of Koyanagar have decided that marrying daughters off to the highest bidder is the best way to ensure survival and provide more daughters. I was interested in the premise, but this book just didn't live up to what I expected. This novel is told in alternating perspectives of Sudasa, a reluctant bride, and Contestant Five. My problem is that Sudasa's is told if verse form and Contestant Five is told in prose. I personally love verse novels, but this doesn't not translate well between formats and this is not the type of genre that is meant to be told in verse. The reason why Ellen Hopkins does it well is because she writes about real situations that are easy to understand and already laid out in society- drug addiction, prostitution, etc.- but a dystopian novel is not meant for verse. Prose is important to the dystopian genre because it steps up the society that is being introduced, but I was confused and frustrated pushing through Sudasa's odd POV. Bodger does try to redeem herself with prose from the male counterpart, but it is not worth slogging through uncomfortable attempts at free verse to get into the meat of this story. This is just a book that is not for me.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 1

Character Scale: 2

Plotastic Scale: 2

Cover Thoughts: This cover is absolutely gorgeous and I love how intricate the designs are.

Thank you, Netgalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read 5 to 1? What did you think of it? What book has a beautiful cover, but not so beautiful writing (to you)? Let me know down below in the comments! 


  1. This book is beautiful so I was hoping it would be decent but alas, I don't think I'll be reading it now :/

    1. I do recommend giving it a go. It's a short book, but the writing just didn't do it for me.