Title: 5 to 1
Author: Holly Bodger
Recommended for: 8th Grade and Up
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Bodger, H
Synopsis: 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.
Review: This is a great one to give to reluctant readers who are looking for something dystopian. While it is almost 250, most of the book is in verse. It definitely an interesting concept of how gender selection can harm a country. It touches both on both genders being valued and how eventually both ways will screw up the system. And while everything seemed to be fair/even/just, there were still ways to work the system. Bribery was still in play and a “good girl” followed the rules and picked the “wealthy/better” contestant. I do like how Sudasa, and even her family, kind of helped her thwart the system in the end.