Review: 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

5 to 1

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Expected publication May 12, 2015


SUMMARY: 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, though, 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. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Kiran thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

This beautiful, unique novel is told from alternating points of view-Sudasa’s in verse and Kiran’s in prose-allowing readers to experience both characters’ pain and their brave struggle for hope.


REVIEW: In a groundbreaking debut told in alternating points of view, one in poetry and one in prose, Holly Bodger explores a future in which gender selection in India has led to there being 5 boys for every girl.

The prose is captivating in its authenticity, portraying Kiran’s point of view very well. The poetry is appropriately jarring and nuanced, showing many aspects of Sudasa’s culture and lifestyle. Sudasa is about to come of age, meaning that she, along with many other girls just like her, will watch 8 boys compete for her hand in marriage. Kiran is one of those boys, but he has a plan to escape the tests, escape his inevitable military assignment, and escape the oppression of his country.

Sudasa struggles against her grandmother’s strong and repressive influence, while Kiran battles pressures from the other boys in his testing group. Over days of testing and judging, Sudasa comes to realize that Kiran may have another agenda besides winning her in marriage.

Meanwhile, Kiran comes to see that Sudasa is not just a power-hungry woman looking for a male companion to obey her every wish. What these 2 discover puts them on the cusp of changing their worlds forever.

In a not-so-distant future we see the possibilities of giving too much power to one gender or the other, and the negative impact that inequality can have on our young people and an entire country.


Review originally published in School Library Journal, February 2015. 

Magical Realism

I never thought I would like magical realism. It feels to literary, too pretentious, you know? But I was very wrong. Oh, so wrong. Magical realism is exactly what I like. It’s that “wtf” feeling you get, it’s the “how did that even happen?” kind of question you ask while reading. It’s the uncertainty at the end of a story because you’re not sure if anything you just read even happened outside of the protagonist’s head. And I love that. So here are some of my favorite magical realism YA novels! 

Bone Gap  Grasshopper Jungle

When My Heart Was Wicked The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

CuteBoomCon: A Review!

CuteBoom is a convention for fans of everything cute! Anime, manga, ponies, video games – it’s pretty much your regular anime convention, just with an emphasis on the kawaii. There was an MLP band doing several concerts, a maid cafe, and lots of cute artwork all over the place.

I highly recommend CuteBoom! I plan on attending for all 3 days next year, and you should, too!

The Events!

I only went to CuteBoom for 1 day, but there was so much going on! I hung out in the dealer’s room, did a mini photo shoot with Madster Cosplay & Photography, and got a super cute manta ray plushie. I sang Japanese karaoke for the first time, which was an awesome experience. I also went to a couple of panels, and won some stuff at Anime Jeopardy. There was a cosplay contest, and I got 3rd place out of 4! The contest was run really well, and MCed by a super adorable Fluttershy who was also in the MLP band. I watched anime in the screening room (a real theater!), listened to Shadow Clone perform a few songs live, and wished I could have stayed for the Rave, which I heard was great. I also went to the Maid Cafe, which was fun and super cute!

The Venue!

The convention was held at the Atrium Hotel & Conference Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. I absolutely loved the location! The conference center was spacious and had the perfect rooms for the events. The concert/cosplay contest room was great, and had a stage and lights and everything. The dealer’s room was big enough for everyone but didn’t feel cramped. There was a lot of seating in the hotel lobby, as you can see in the picture below.

The best part of the location? The theater! It has a full-size, big-screen theater right off the lobby! I watched a few episodes of Sengoku Collection with a friend and it was super fun.

The Video! 

Check out this awesome promo video for CuteBoom! You can see my Espurr cosplay a couple of times, and all the other cool events that went on!

May 2015 Books for Sale & Trade

Hi there! I am very open to swapping books, whether they’re ARCs or finished copies. If you don’t have something I want to swap and you want one of my books I will ask you to just pay for shipping, please, even if it’s an ARC. Thanks!

Currently available:

ARC – Eternity’s Wheel (InterWorld #3) by Michael & Mallory Reaves & Neil Gaiman

Eternity's Wheel

ARC – Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales (annotated and scribbled upon by yours truly)

Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales

ARC – Positive: A Memoir by Paige Rawl

Positive: A Memoir

Hardcover – In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim diBartolo

In the Shadows

Cover Reveal! Tor Maddox: Embedded

INTRODUCING

Tor Maddox, a heroine for our times

“I know that one day, I’m going to have to live in the real world. I’d like it to be a decent


Book I Tor Maddox: Unleashed

Unleashed (Tor Maddox #1)

When sixteen-year old Torrance Olivia Maddox, self-confessed news junkie, figures out

that the mysterious and deadly New Flu is being spread by dogs, she has one

question—if the danger is that obvious to her, why hasn’t the government revealed the

Her search for the answer will take her farther than she ever imagined. But then again,

she never imagined that man’s best friend could become public enemy number one,

that men in black might show up in her cozy suburban neighborhood, that she’d spend

her sixteenth birthday as a teenaged runaway, and that her effort to save one dog would

become a mission to save them all.

Tor Maddox: Unleashed is now available on Amazon! See Liz Coley’s bio below for links to her Amazon and Goodreads pages.


Book 2 Tor Maddox: Embedded

Life has been way too quiet for Tor Maddox since her fifteen minutes of CNN fame.

Then agent-in-training Rick Turner reappears with what sounds like a simple

assignment—to embed herself as his eyes and ears in her own high school. When she

agrees to keep tabs on high school state swim champ Hamilton Parker for the Feds,

she is plunged into the deep end of a sinister plot. Knowing that freedom, justice, and

lives are at stake again, Tor jumps in feet first, but has she gotten in over her head this

When observe and report becomes kiss and tell, Tor’s first mission may blow up in her face.

Are you ready for the cover for this delightful contemporary mystery/romance?! Then scroll!

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Displaying FINAL_TM2_Embedded.jpg

Tor Maddox: Embedded will be released on June 1st! Add it on Goodreads and watch for a giveaway coming soon! 


LizColeyHeadshotLiz Coley’s internationally best-selling psychological thriller Pretty Girl-13 has been published in 12 languages on 5 continents and been recognized by the American Library Association on two select lists for 2014 including Best Fiction for Young Adults.

Liz’s other publications include alternate history/time travel/romance Out of Xibalba and teen thrillers in the new Tor Maddox series. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos Magazine and numerous anthologies.

Liz invites you to follow her as @LizColeyBooks on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and visit her website at LizColeyBooks.blogspot.com.

Find Liz Coley’s books on AMAZON and GOODREADS.

Reading My Library Challenge Update

The Reading My Library Challenge was very successful for me! I read quite a few books that have been on my to-read list for anywhere from a few months to a couple of years! I got all these books from my local libraries, either in physical print copies or digital audiobooks or ebooks. I use every format possible from 2 of my local library systems so I can read as much as possible at 1 time!

Here are the books I read for the Reading My Library Challenge! It’s kind of a lot, because I have to admit I started in mid-March :D

No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss This is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia Stirling

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black Seraphina by Rachel Hartman In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard Bone Gap by Laura Ruby Half Bad by Sally  Green Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano Half Wild by Sally  Green Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

If An Armadillo Went to a Restaurant by Ellen Fischer Won-Ton by Lee Wardlaw Won Ton and Chopstick by Lee Wardlaw Ten Birds by Cybèle Young Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker

Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman Ten Birds by Cybèle Young Rocket Girl Volume 1 by Brandon Montclare Manga Dogs 2 by Ema Tōyama Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony

If you’re interested in reviews or ratings of some of these books, or want to keep up with my reading activity, follow me on Goodreads

2015 Reading Challenge Update – Part 3

I’ve read 106 books so far this year! I am halfway to meeting my goal of 200 books. Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve read, and in what format:

Picture books: 25

Manga: 16

Graphic Novels: 5

Novels: 50

Novellas/Short Stories: 2

Non-fiction: 5

Other: 1 (poetry collection)

E-books: 15

Audiobooks: 5 

ARCs: 15

Library books: 72

Books I purchased: 2

If you want to stay up to date with what I’m reading, add me on Goodreads! You can also see my 2015 Reading Challenge Books here

Favorites:

              Seraphina by Rachel Hartman      When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia Stirling  If An Armadillo Went to a Restaurant by Ellen Fischer  Bone Gap by Laura Ruby  The Queen's Shadow by Cybèle Young  Mosquitoland by David  Arnold