Author: Holly Bodger
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: May 12th 2015
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Stand Alone
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.
This book went on and off my radar for a very long time before its released date. I love the cover, it fascinates me. I love books written in prose, they are beautiful. I thought the summary sounded interesting but was skeptical. It sounded like another dystopian. Well I read it and and I enjoyed it. It did have some flaws, but it was also very captivating. It was a quick read and I had a hard time putting it down despite it’s flaws. Did I love the book, no, it didn’t wow me but I did like it and I think it was a pretty compelling read.A story about a girl who has to choose a man to marry. She has to choose between five that are competing to show their worth as a husband. She doesn’t want to choose, doesn’t want to marry, doesn’t want this life. A story about a boy that is in this competition but really doesn’t want to be. Doesn’t want to be chosen, but he is the best at everything. A story about a society that went wrong. A society that was built after baby girls were discarded, now there isn’t enough girls for the
boys so there is a competition. Boys have to prove themselves worthy to be a husband and could possibly create girl babies. This is the story of one boy and one girl who want to escape this life.
So I loved the writing, I loved the pace, I loved the characters. The back story was there too. Very interesting how it all came together, this society. It was feasible, it can be foreseen now in some countries. It was believable. It was a dystopan, in the future, but it read very modern, so it was easy to feel and see this world and really believe the story. The history lessons, the ones I usually dread if there was too much and hate when there is too little. This book had just the right amount to really love and understand the story.
Not only was the world believable the culture was beautiful in sad way. There were so many colors and glitter, beauty everywhere in the clothes and make up, but that was where it ended. The rest of this world was gray and sad, well at least that is what I felt. The descriptions were full and wonderful for the culture, the dress, the actions, but drab for the world itself. This was perfect for setting the tone.
So now you ask, what were the flaws… well only one main one, I didn’t get much resolution. I felt that the ending was there but it was left for me to fill in and feel where it really went. No absolute. Were the warnings about the outside of the wall true, did anyone really escape. What happens with the two main characters. I can see where it may have gone but not for sure that is truth. I am not good with these type of endings. Some are, I am not. I need absolute. It wasn’t enough of a downer for me to take away the beauty of the book. I still very much enjoyed it, so this flaw was easy to get past and say this is a wonderful book.
The other minor flaw I liked the read, it engaged me very well, but I just never felt the wow factor. There was no real climax. It was all even killed, no suspension, no eager to know what happens, no wow moments at all. I don’t always need the wow factor to enjoy the book but it kept me from that well feeling of WOW that just happened or WOW that book was amazing, or WOW really not sure how to handle all this. It was however a nice easy breezy read that hooked me from start to end.