Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “5 to 1” as Want to Read:
5 to 1
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Excerpt

5 to 1

(5 to 1 #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  2,476 ratings  ·  661 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about 5 to 1, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
SM This is a truly amazing, short book about human equality and freedom. While at first glance, this seems like a very romantic story, there is absolutel…moreThis is a truly amazing, short book about human equality and freedom. While at first glance, this seems like a very romantic story, there is absolutely no romance in this story....which I thought was pleasant. I am in the seventh grade and enjoyed this book very much. I would encourage anybody to read it(less)
Eir Eene I feel like this book focuses less on "winning a wife" and more about the idea of freedom and equality. The main characters are not really looking for…moreI feel like this book focuses less on "winning a wife" and more about the idea of freedom and equality. The main characters are not really looking for love, but instead and looking for a way to escape this cruel society they have been born into. (less)
Red Queen by Victoria AveyardAn Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa TahirAll the Bright Places by Jennifer NivenMy Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine WargaThe Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
YA Debuts 2015
441 books — 3,355 voters
Winter by Marissa MeyerRed Queen by Victoria AveyardThe Heir by Kiera CassFairest by Marissa MeyerSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
YA Novels of 2015
1,540 books — 8,939 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,476 ratings  ·  661 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of 5 to 1
Emily May
Sep 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Seriously, this book. I don't even know how to begin trying to describe how I feel about 5 to 1. Let's look at all the great points. It's a super quick read that I powered through in one sitting. It has so much girl power but ultimately imparts the message that everyone is a human being deserving of respect, regardless of gender or anything else. There is absolutely ZERO romance. That's right... none. I really liked both Sudasa and Kiran. It's full of very important issues relevant to both India ...more
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always

Why you should read 5 to 1
- It's a unique dystopian that touches up on feminism.
- Both the parts written in verse and in prose were absolutely gorgeous.
- You're going to love Sudasa and how she begins to realize what she wants for herself, and not what her family or what the government want for her.
- Kiran also strongly believes in what he thinks will be good for him, and I really adored that about him.

I only had two minor gripes:
- We weren't immersed in Ki
Faye, la Patata
Today, Aimee and I will be reviewing this gem of a book together. To say we loved this is an understatement... we absolutely adored it to the moon and back. It's amazing to finally find a dystopia that's refreshing and original and new, springing from a society we haven't read much of. Without further ado, here are our thoughts regarding this beautiful narrative.

Faye : So, Aimee, when was the last time you read an original and ACTUALLY good dystopia? Have you ever come to that poi
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopia, ya
Couple of months ago I read a blurb for what appeared to be very unique YA dystopian novel. Synopsis for 5 to 1 completely enticed me at that point and I have been impatiently waiting to get my hands on it ever since. I am happy to say that once I actually got to read this novel, I have not been disappointed.

Confession time. I have never been a fan of poetry. But Sudasa's POV in verse impressed me big time. It wasn't abstract or philosophical as poems usually are. It had real plot. And whole "w
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Video review to come closer to the release date, but for now...

When you're reading this book, you need to forget about every other book you've ever read. You need have no expectations of how a book should be because this is not a typical book, at all. This book is more so a myth, I suppose. Even though it does take place in the future, it read as if it were a legend that had been passed down for some time, if that makes sense. This is going to be one of those books that people either love it, or
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-5-star
4.25* Sudasa's pov is written in verse. Contestant Five's pov is written normally.

So in this country the women are in power. The country of Koyanagar is surrounded by a guarded wall so that no one can leave. Girls get everything and the men are slaves. The main character Sudasa is forced into a competition where 5 boys compete for her marriage. This system was built against the men that used to be in power, but it didn't fix society, it just took freedom away from everybody.

Five's side of the s
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 stars

Book 1 for the #Diverseathon completed!

This was different from anything I've ever read. There were things I wasn't expecting, like for example the writing style. This story flew by. I did feel like this story ran on the characters action's a lot so I wished there was a little more too the book like maybe more world development. Overall, I'm happy I picked this up and would recommend if you enjoy Dystopian novels because yet again one of the most unique books I've ever read.
Merphy Napier
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian, four-stars
Upon Reread:
Still LOVE the world and the story but there just wasn't enough of any of it! It had potential but it was just too short. Still a really nice short read


I gave this 3.75 stars but I wanted so badly to give it 4 or even 4.5. The truth is, there just wasn't enough content to give it anything higher.

I LOVED the story. It wasn't anything super new, I mean there are tons of plots like it. But it was still unique
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
With a stunning cover, this book is a quick and absorbing read. It is told from two point of views. Sudasa’s story is told in verse while Kiran’s story is told in prose. This very plausible YA dystopian concept is set in the future where India has five boys for every girl. This novel will definitely get you thinking about a world in which women rule and each young girl is prize to be won through a series of Tests. At times, this book reminded me of other dystopian novels like the Hunger Games. D ...more
Tori (InToriLex)
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex

The diversity and unique premise of this dystopian immediately got me excited to read this book. The contrast of the verse and the prose worked well, and I finished this short book way too fast. In the book girls are held as the most valuable and powerful in a small community that has rejected the rest of the country. It shows how arranged marriage and treating one gender as less has negative consequences, whether it's the girls or the boys. Sudasa and K
nick (the infinite limits of love)
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc

5 to 1 was one of those books I wanted to read at first because of the stunning cover, but when I read the summary and found out that it was going to be set in India, I felt a powerful need for this book. When I requested this title, I was unaware that half of the book was written in verse. I have never read a verse book in my life before. Admittedly, I was a little nervous going into 5 to 1, but wow! This book was sensational and has solidified my desire to check out more verse books.

The book i
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
3-3.5 stars.

Well-edited half-verse, half-prose novel with a lot to say about gender selection, equality, and hard choices. The writing is tight, but I never fell in love with the characters or the concept. A fast read and strong debut.
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-2016
4.5 stars

The writing in this one is just beautiful, I really loved that. The premise and concept is fascinating as well.
Nov 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
Its been 3 days since I finished this book and since then I have been trying to gather my thoughts as to why I disliked it so much. I should have loved it cause the premise of this book is what drew me in however the way it was delivered coupled with the lack of plot development and world building really killed it for me.

The story is told from two perspectives: Sudasa, our main female lead and Contestant 5, our main male lead and whose true name we don't learn until the end of the book. Sudasa's
Danielle (Love at First Page)
3-3.5 stars

Holly Bodger has written a lovely debut novel. In fact, the more I think about it, the more my fondness grows.

It's set decades into the future, in an India that sees the ratio between boys and girls as "5 to 1". Tired of marrying their daughters to the highest bidder, a group of women formed the country of Koyanagar, walling off their people from the rest of India. Within their world, women are now in charge, and, through a series of tests, one boy out of every five must win the hand
Mandy K
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
Full Review
This story is told in two alternating points of view: Five, whose points of view are in prose, and Sudasa, whose points of view are in verse. I've read many of Ellen Hopkins book, which if you are unfamiliar, are written entirely in verse. And even though her works were my experience with books written in verse, I loved them, and when I started the book and saw that it was written half in verse, I was so excited. And it was beautiful, not only was the form that Sudasa's POV was writte

Such an interesting and fast-paced debut novel! 5 to 1 delivers a new take on the same old dystopic future, giving us an India-like country run by women where some boys must endure Tests in order to become suitable husbands for the girls who judge them from their high social places. Told from two different POVs - one in free verse and the other in prose -, Holly Bodger's novel present us with Sudasa and Contestant 5, two rebellious teens with different views and wishes from those of the syste
Norah Una Sumner
"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."

This was so unique and interesting.The writing is beautiful and refreshing.The characters are well portrayed,even though I wish we knew more about Five's past.The whole book is mostly plot-driven and I loved that.I had a few problems with the story itself,tho.I don't think that it's explained,and it should be,why the boys aren't trusted or how the hell did
Nov 28, 2014 rated it liked it
I wish it was longer. And I wish there was more about what happened after the end, and I wish there was more about the secondary characters and their stories and more about how everything happened. I wish there was more, just more.

What this book does is reverse the gender roles and their treatment. Men in Koyanagar exist to father daughters, they are deemed unfit for politics, law, medicine, teaching and treated as secondary material. Their status is secured through their sisters and wives and d

“…he told his citizens they must limit their families to one child. He said he would fine anyone who didn’t obey and jail anyone who didn’t pay the fines. His citizens obeyed, but not in the way he expected. The citizens didn’t want any one child. They wanted a child who could help support the family, especially when the elders were too weak to do so themselves. They wanted a child who could carry the family name, inherit the family land. They wanted a child could attend their funeral pyres and

Lala BooksandLala
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really loved this. A bit more world building, some more excitement and this would have been a 5. Potential video review to come?
So fucking amazing that I don't even know how to review it properly. The combination of prose and verse was EXCELLENT. And so were the characters and their voices. Voices that they had been told all their lives to keep quiet, but neither were willing to bow down so they spoke loudly, in actions and in words. So, so, so good! Also, that ending was everything. <3

*eARC kindly provided by Random House Children’s via NetGalley*
*Review can be found on The Fox's Hideaway.

My Review!
5 to 1 was a brillian
4.5 stars for beautiful writing, originality, and diversity.

I am really big on diversity in the ya genre, especially when it comes to stories that are not contemporary. So I'll go ahead and make this clear--I loved this book. Not because it was perfect, but because it did something original and it did it well.

5 to 1 tells a story of two people, Sudasa and Kiran, who come from opposite ends of the social spectrum. Sudasa lives a life of luxury because she was born a girl and Kiran lives a life
Daniella (Reading With Daniella)
Click here to see this review and others on my blog Reading With Daniella

3.5 stars

I've had this book sitting on my shelf for over three years, and I finally had the chance to pick it up. I'm glad that I did because it was an enjoyable, not to mention super quick (I read it in a day) read.

The writing style was phenomenal! It's written in two different perspectives, with the boy's POV written in prose and the girl's in verse. I thought that was a really creative and interesting way of writing a d
just kat
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uno-2018
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.

I admit I found the writing style jarring at the beginning. However, as I read on I realized it emphasized how the women are perceived in the story. Every thing about this book was not what I had in mind and I was pleasantly surprised by how I liked it. It's a very nice coming of age story told in a setting that is still relevant in some places. My only
YES! ARC In! Going to make this my first priority!!

Edit 4/14/15: 3.5 actual rating. Awesome concept, I just needed a bit more.

However, I do recommend this one - the culture and the story is highly fascinating, and it makes for a good gender study novel.


Edit 11/15/2015 - last book I will read by this author - backing a certain atheist white male author on Twitter.
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book first captured me when I saw its gorgeous cover, because I absolutely adore the lovely mehendi art. And then when I read its summary, and how it promised a bit of dystopia with a sharp look at gender inequality and mixing prose and verse? I knew I had to get it!

I was beyond lucky to get an eARC thanks to the author and I ordered Indian food and started reading right away! I was extremely captivated by the narrative and I was once again surprised by how easy it is to read verse.

Having d
Feb 06, 2015 rated it liked it
(3.5 stars)
Wow that went fast! Unfortunately the characters felt a little flat and weren't really fleshed out enough for me - perhaps because it was so short? However, this was definitely a plot-driven book for me, the world was wonderfully built, unique and incredibly interesting to read about. Definitely appreciated the messages and issues portrayed in this book. And I LOVED the alternate POVs and how it was partly in verse - I thought it actually worked really well. Would definitely recommend
Apr 07, 2015 rated it liked it
FIRST THOUGHTS: 3.5 stars is a more accurate rating, only because I didn't really feel for the characters. But 5 to 1 has such a unique concept AND execution! I think it's such a surprisingly thoughtful commentary on population growth, and also very creative in using half-prose and half-poetry. Certainly worth a read! ...more
2015 Reading Challenge: A book with a number in the title

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Ferial Pearson Mu...: Powers - 5 to 1 - Indian/Gender 1 3 Jun 08, 2018 10:30AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Witch's Hand (The Montague Twins, #1)
  • The Canyon's Edge
  • Maybe He Just Likes You
  • This Impossible Light
  • Say Her Name
  • Kiss of Broken Glass
  • Where Puppets Hide (Where Creatures Hide #2)
  • One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies
  • All the Broken Pieces
  • Up From the Sea
  • Amelia Bedelia and the Baby
  • White Rose
  • The Truth Project
  • Midnight at the Electric
  • Somebody Give This Heart a Pen
  • When You Ask Me Where I'm Going
  • Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel
  • The Silver Kiss
See similar books…
See top shelves…
A long-time resident of Ottawa, Canada, Holly has been working in publishing since she graduated with an English degree from the University of Ottawa. Her debut novel, 5 TO 1, was released by Knopf Books for Young Readers on May 12, 2015.

For 5 TO 1 extras including her free novella (The Other One) as well as an Educator's Guides, glossary, coloring pages, glossary, and interviews, see Holly's Web

Related Articles

  Author C.L. Clark is no newcomer to the sci-fi and fantasy scene. Though she just published her first novel, The Unbroken, earlier this year,...
95 likes · 6 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“I do need to remind you
there is no point in being fair
to others
if you've forgotten to be fair
to yourself.”
“A man is measured
not by the answers he finds
but the questions he asks.
Find an answer
and you stand still.
Stop asking questions
and you die.”
More quotes…