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3.5 

A Million to One

By Adiba Jaigirdar
A Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

2024 Rainbow Book List

Adiba Jaigirdar, author of one of Time's Best YA books of all time, gives Titanic an Ocean’s 8 makeover in this nail-biting heist set onboard the infamous ship.

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…

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.

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161 Reviews

3.5
Slightly Smiling Face“This one was okay. The characters were neat even if their dialogue and archetypes felt a bit familiar. The diversity of backgrounds was nice to read though. I really related to and liked Hinnah, and she had lots of cool plot moments. Violet was also a compelling character despite her flaws as a person. The writing style is very accessible, if often quite anachronistic- I think teens would enjoy this one. The way it was plotted wasn’t the most cohesive to me & I felt often the characters just reacted to stuff, there was a LOT of running and hiding but a few cool moments (mostly Hinnah being pretty awesome haha). I am not too sure about the ending in particular. Overall pretty decent, obviously I’m not the target demographic so I think this one could be really fun for some YA readers. 😊”
Easy to read
Thumbs Up
Diverse charactersDescriptive writingEasy to readImmersive settingRealistic setting
“sapphics heist on the titanic? yk I was so excited and really looking forward to read this, but unfortunately it was quite disappointing... okay first of all I gotta give credit where credit is due. the diverse representation in this added a star to this rating. the whole main cast consisted of four females, a white Irish lesbian, a white Croatian immigrant, an Indian immigrant and a French-Haitian Black biracial sapphic (alongside white side characters). The book itself was very fast-paced with short chapters. Usually I would count this as a good thing, HOWEVER I feel like it was too fast-paced, to the point I couldn't connect to the story nor the characters. The book could've been more enjoyable if it was written out more detailed. Speaking of detailed, the heist wasn't even exciting to read... it was a bunch of "then this happened" moments, which made it boring instead of thrilling. It was poorly executed and conflict were resolved too quickly for me to even process them. Frankly, I wasn't invested at all, since there was no suspense whatsoever. The characters were easy to distinguish between, because of their different traits, talents and strengths. Yet, I found it really hard to connect to them, because of how quick the book evolved. Their individual developments also felt really rushed. It was more of a light switch then a build up. Tbh at the end i didn’t even care what fate bestowed them<3 Also something I felt like was missing in this, were some happy group moments. Most books (especially found family trope ones) have some cute-ish and "calm before the storm" scenes, for example just having dinner or playing a game of charades. I get, that the heist was top priority but it is also important to build the characters and their dynamics with each other and a scene like that could've worked really well, especially because the developing of the relationships felt rather rushed, since those type of scenes were not mentioned in the book. Violet and Josefa are the only friendship that I consider likeable (?), since they had been (best) friends before the actions in this book took place and therefore didn't need any particular bonding scenes. The rest of the friendships were super rushed to the point I questioned when they even became friends at all. Lastly lets talk about Josefa and Emilie, the wlw ship in this. I love sapphics, but these two just weren't hitting. There was no exciting build-up to their relationship... they were also very instant, there was no pining, just lots of fluffy moments. Especially considering how much more difficult that time period was for lesbians, I wouldve wanted some of these fears and problems discussed in the book. Overall, I feel like Adiba should stick to high school sapphic stories...”

About Adiba Jaigirdar

Adiba Jaigirdar is the author of The Henna Wars and Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating. A Bangladeshi/Irish writer and teacher, she has an MA in post­colonial studies from the University of Kent, England, and a BA in English and history from UCD, Ireland. All her writing is aided by tea and a healthy dose of Janelle Monáe and Hayley Kiyoko. When not writing, she is probably ranting about the ills of colonialism, playing video games, or expanding her overflowing lipstick collection. She can be found at www.adibajaigirdar.com.

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