5 To 1 by Holly Bodger [Spoiler-Free Review]



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 Contestant Five, 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. Five’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Five thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

Told from alternating points of view—Sudasa’s in verse and Contestant Five’s in prose—allowing readers to experience both characters’ pain and their brave struggle for hope.

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5 to 1 is a gorgeous, diverse book mostly told in verse. I devoured this novel within the day. Of course, it is only a mere 244 pages and with it being told mainly in verse, it was easy to read. But still, good writing is easy reading. (Which by the way, is a difficult thing to achieve. Trust me.)


runs deeper than blood and skin.

It’s set in bone

and bone, once broken,


heals the same.

This book was simply stunning not only for its writing, but for its messages. This story takes place in India and is told from the perspective of an Indian girl and an Indian boy. I, being a Caucasian woman, have no way of saying whether this representation was accurate. But in my opinion, this book seemed to represent the characters and the culture well. I mean, this is a dystopian version of India, so those aspects were purely fictitious, though stem from some truth as all fiction does.

No, we cannot change

the mistakes we’ve left behind.

But there’s one thing we can do—

one thing I must do—

we can choose not

to repeat them.

As the synopsis says, this novel reverses our modern-day sexism. Instead of women being worthless and men being superior, it’s the exact opposite. Women don’t want to give birth to sons. If they do, they often give them up.

This message is so very important to remember. Equal rights are EQUAL rights. Women and men should be treated equally. No human being should be judged or treated a certain way based on their gender. This book reminds us that having the roles reversed doesn’t serve any justice.

They would fight for my petals,

ripping them piece by piece

until I’m left but a stem

under their heels.

My only faults with 5 to 1 is that I didn’t feel too attached to the characters being that it was so quick and short. There were also times I was bit confused with the terminology or the dystopian world and its rules.

Nonetheless, this was such an incredible read that I highly recommend to all. It’s light and quick, but delivers a powerful message we must all remember. Not to mention, the cover is STUNNING.




Did anyone miss me while I was away in Washington? No? That’s what I thought.

As much as I adored the city life of Seattle and the small-town feel of Redmond deep in the trees, it’s great to be back home. Back with my books and my laptop and a head full of stories and ideas. I’m ready to take the next step with these projects I’ve been carrying for quite some time. Wish me luck on the months ahead.

Have any of you read 5 to 1? What are your favorite diverse books? As always, leave any thoughts or comments down below and let me know!