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I'm brought to the stage:
a golden statue,
paraded
in front of hungry hands.

I keep my own
wrapped around
the bag of rocks
I must give as rewards.

Five for first.
Two for second.
One for third.

They're supposed to symbolize
the winner's ability
to build his own wall.

A wall around
his guarantee.
His life.
I mean, wife.

This story takes place in Koyanagar, a country inside of India in 2054. There is now a ratio of 5 boys to every 1 girl in the country. We follow Sudasa as she goes through her tests to find her future husband.

I expected this story to be a bit more romantic. I thought she would go through the test and then they would fall in love, or maybe they would fall in love before it was over. Instead, she doesn’t even get to see their faces until it’s all over.

The alternating perspectives are told in different text formats which makes it super easy to tell whose telling the story. Sudasa’s point of view is written in verse and the contestant’s is paragraphs. It made the story more interesting to read. There aren’t a lot of books written in verse, and even fewer written partially in verse.

I really enjoyed the story. Both sides talked about the unfairness of the tests. It wasn’t blind acceptance. It made the story more realistic. The characters weren’t crazy unique or complicated, they were easy to relate to.

Overall, this was a different story than anything I have ever read. It was interesting to read. I enjoyed the characters and the writing style. It was an all around good read. I would definitely suggest this to anyone who enjoys books set in other countries. I would also suggest this to anyone who read and enjoyed the selection trilogy by Kiera Cass. It was reminiscent, but still very different. I would almost say I enjoyed this book more.

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