Blog Tour: 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger, Review and Giveaway! (US/Canada)
May 11th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer


5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

Published by Random House Children’s Books

ABOUT 5 TO 15 to 1 High Resolution

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, each thwarts the other until they slowly realize that they might want the same thing.



5 to 15 to 1 by Holly Bodger

Cover: Beautiful. One of the prettiest I’ve seen!

Chapters alternate between narration and free verse poetry. I love that!

Sexism, politics, marriage, choices, freedom, futuristic societal rules, and defiance are all themes in this short novel that takes place in a land called Koyanagar. This novel highlights gender selection (with the use of abortions) for the sake of following a law that is first about reducing the population, forcing everyone to only have one child. Boys bring honor, so they choose only boys. (Mostly.) But then . . . it switches. It becomes about the girls. Boys are in excess, 5 to 1.  They become a tool to impregnate their wives and give them more girls. Marriage becomes a selection.

Sudasa, meaning obedient, is a girl who much choose a boy to marry through a series of tests that will decide who will be her husband. In a land where there are too many boys, because they were highly valued over girls for centuries, it’s now the girls who are the most valued and cherished. The boys who lose in the testing, the ones not chosen for marriage, will most certainly find an early end, especially those who are sent to the wall that keeps the land closed off from the rest of the world.

As Sudasa greets the five boys testing to become her husband, she discovers things that make her very unhappy. She is faced with some very difficult choices. The test itself forces her to grow up. Forces her to puzzle through her life, and decide her fate. She listens to her sister, her best friend, her family members. She must weigh all of it out.

Through the tests, boys are eliminated. Some because they are lame, some because they’re not tough enough. There’s physical and mental tests that help to weed and whittle the field down.

Overall, this is a novel that will make you think. It’s a book that will have you question societal rules and what you might do for personal freedom. It shows that NOTHING IS EVER FAIR, even when people say it’s fair. It’s just a word. And because life isn’t fair, you need to choose your own path, your own freedom, even if it could lead to your death. At least, it’s your choice. You won’t be a slave to unfair societal laws.

Translate this to the world today, and we have China, with their limits on population growth. There is ISIS and murder for the sake of their religion and beliefs. And here, in the magnificent USA, we still have racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, poverty etc. So, even in the land of the free, if you can think outside the box, this novel will make you think about our own country’s challenges and difficulties and how lucky we are to have the opportunity to reject the bad and choose a life we want, hopefully with kindness, compassion. We also have the right to change our own lives, for better or for worse. It’s still a choice.

An engaging, fascinating, fast read! It will make you think, question, and appreciate freedom!

Thank you so much to Random House for providing the NetGalley ARC for review.

View all my reviews



Author Holly Bodger

Author Holly Bodger


Connect with Holly here: Goodreads | Twitter

HOLLY BODGER has a BA in English Literature and has spent her entire career in publishing. She is an active member of RWA and is a 2013 Golden Heart finalist in the Young Adult category. She lives in Ottawa, Canada.

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Week 1:

5/4 – Addicted 2 Novels

5/5 – YA Bibliophile

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5/7 – Fiction Fare

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Week 2:

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5/15 – Chapter by Chapter



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