Title: A Million To One
Author: Adiba Jaigirdar
Genre: YA, Mystery/Thriller
Published: December 13th, 2022 (Harper Collins)
Synopsis: Josefa is an unapologetic and charismatic thief, who loves the thrill of the chase. She has her eye on her biggest mark yet – the RMS Titanic, the most luxurious ship in the world. But she isn’t interested in stealing from wealthy first-class passengers onboard. No, she’s out for the ultimate prize: the Rubiyat, a one of a kind book encrusted with gems that’s worth millions.
Josefa can’t score it alone, so she enlists a team of girls with unique talents: Hinnah, a daring acrobat and contortionist; Violet, an actress and expert dissembler; and Emilie, an artist who can replicate any drawing by hand.
They couldn’t be more different and yet they have one very important thing in common: their lives depend on breaking into the vault and capturing the Rubiyat. But careless mistakes, old grudges, and new romance threaten to jeopardize everything they’ve worked for and put them in incredible danger when tragedy strikes.
While the odds of pulling off the heist are slim, the odds of survival are even slimmer…
Thank you to the publisher, Harper Collins, HCC Frenzy and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Josefa, a thief, has set her sights on her grandest prize yet – the Rubaiyat, a priceless jewel encrusted book – that will be sailing aboard the RMS Titanic. But a heist this big takes more than one person and she gathers a group of girls with varied talents – Violet, an actress, Hinnah, an acrobat, and Emilie, an artist. The only thing they have in common is that they are all seeking a better life than the one they are currently leading in Dublin and the Rubaiyat is an opportunity at that. Stealing the book is easier said than done however as Josefa is keeping dangerous secrets and with her pursuit of an old grudge the smallest of mistakes could threaten the plan – and that’s not even considering the tragedy about to befall the ship that they are all unaware of.
As soon as I saw that this book was set on board the Titanic, I knew I had to read it – it makes for such a perfect setting for any type of thriller, especially a heist novel. Having read this book now, I’m definitely going to be looking for other similar novels because the premise in combination with this type of setting works so well. From a reader’s perspective, there is the thrill of the heist but also the urgency for the story to move along because we know what the major twist is going to be for the characters – and the countdown provided at the beginning of each chapter sets the mood beautifully.
I love that this story was narrated in multiple POVs, giving the reader a chance to get an idea of each girl’s past, talents and motivations. These four girls are different as night and day, but each of them has a lot riding on the theft of the Rubaiyat, and success would mean a better life, so despite some of them not knowing each other all that well, and in some cases, not liking each other either, they learn to work together. Each character was well developed despite
The pacing felt a little uneven though – not in terms of the story itself, but the progression of time between POVs was at times minutes, at other times several hours, which made it hard to keep track.
I wish this book were a little longer! It felt like the pages practically flew by and it was over before I knew it. The ending was a bit chaotic, which, considering the subject matter, was kind of expected, but it was wrapped up well enough in the last chapter despite the events aboard the ship ending rather abruptly. Overall, I loved this book and would highly recommend it for readers who are fans of historical fiction or heist novels, but this is a novel that I feel anyone would enjoy with its fast paced and gripping narrative!
A Million To One releases on December 13th, 2022.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
All quotes in this review were taken from an advance reader’s edition and may differ from the final version of the book.