It is a well known fact: I am not a fan of poetry. I just don’t get it. I don’t connect with it on an emotional level. I don’t find it romantic. I don’t find it pretty.
It’s completely wasted on me.
So, by all rights, a book in verse should not appeal to me. Which is why it’s so surprising that I fell so completely in love with one.
The book in question? Holly Bodger’s 5 to 1:
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.
To which I say: “YAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSS!!!”
What Intrigued Me: Part of the reason why I read so much is because it shows me parts of the world I cannot—through a variety of reasons—visit. And India is currently on my “Want to Travel To, But Until Then Will Read Stories Set There” List (granted, it’s a mouthful, but really sums up the list well). So until I can book a flight, I’m trying to read as much as I can.
And even though 5 to 1 depicts a dystopian version of India, the setting is so vivid, it felt like I was there.
What Hooked Me: FEMINIST DYSTOPIA.
What Made Me Fall In Love: Back to the poetry!
Going in, I did not know this was a novel in verse (okay, half-verse. Only Sudasa’s chapters are in verse). So I was a little shocked when I opened it to see the familiar type layout of poetry. And I will admit, I had my reservations.
Turns out, I was an idiot.
The sections in verse worked beautifully. They couldn’t have possibly been as successful as prose. They were haunting. They were cutting. And they made me want to hug this book.