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244 pages, Hardcover
First published May 12, 2015
"Obedience is fickle that way. It's a virtue to it's master but a vice to it's slaves"
"He said you can never tie down a person's soul. If he wants to leave he will, whether he takes his body with him or not."
"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."
“…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 release their souls to heaven. They didn’t want a child whose dowry would empty their safes to fill the pockets of another. They wanted a male child.
The people took their money and spent it on illegal ultrasounds. If they didn’t hear the words ‘It’s a boy’, they spent more money on doctors who could quietly make the problem go away. If they couldn’t afford these luxuries, they waited nine months and then took care of things themselves. Some abandoned their baby girls in a park. Others used a towel. And pail. And a grave.”
“The third boy motions to the pack,
Then says to Five,
‘I don’t stand a chance,
but you- you must not lose
because of me. These Tests
Five kind of shrugs
as if to say he
doesn’t want me?”
No, we cannot changeSome of the stories that tend to stick with you the most are the ones that make you shudder because of how real and plausible they sound, and 5 to 1 is one of the rare books that does just that. It is a unique novel that not only surprises but also shows that the YA dystopian genre isn't completely dead yet.
the mistakes we've left behind.
But there's one thing we can do -
we can choose
not to repeat them.