Book Reviews

A Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar // Book Review


Adiba Jaigirdar, author of one of Time‘s Best YA books of all time, gives Titanic an Ocean’s 8 makeover in a heist for a treasure aboard the infamous ship that sank in the Atlantic many years ago.

A thief. An artist. A acrobat. An actress. While Josefa, Emilie, Hinnah, and Violet seemingly don’t have anything in common, they’re united in one goal: stealing the Rubaiyat, a jewel-encrusted book aboard the RMS Titanic that just might be the golden ticket to solving their problems.

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 . . .

Perfect for fans of Stalking Jack the Ripper and Girl in the Blue Coat, this high-seas heist from the author of The Henna Wars is an immersive story that makes readers forget one important detail— the ship sinks.



I quickly grew frustrated with this story, because it has so much unused potential. I nearly stopped reading this half way though, because I was struggling to remember which character was which (despite their names on each chapter title), but I convinced myself that the story would pick up when the disaster happened. I should have just quit.

There’s a lot you’re expected to just go along with in this story, like how they can suddenly be accused of stealing their own missing hair piece by the woman who stole it from them (this is never explained, did she find it? steal it?), how Violet is I assume the actress who I never remember talking about acting, but most of all how the Titanic can be sailing through drifting icebergs without any of the group feeling cold.

The heist itself was an utter mess that was clearly never going to come to fruition had the ship not sank, and to fill the time the story focused a little too heavily on Josefa and Emilie’s budding relationship, a romance that seemed incredibly forced and inorganic. I quite liked Hinnah, the circus performer, but Violet’s hatred of Emilie was never really explained and made her difficult to like.

The disaster actually only took a few chapters out of maybe 60, and I was disappointed that it was so rushed, and not as impactful as I was hoping it would be. I never felt much grief and loss from the group, after surviving such a massive event with devastating losses for them personally, and I left the story feeling like there was something missing.

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “A Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar // Book Review

  1. Such a shame this was disappointing! I can’t believe the sinking didn’t have many chapters when it is such a huge and emotional event. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it will make me reconsider whether to read it or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no, this sounds… Messy 🫣 I think I’ve only seen one other review for it and unfortunately, it was in the same vein as this. I was really keen to read this one but maybe I won’t boost it on my wishlist for now. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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