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A Million to One – Adiba Jaigirdar

Thank you very much to the publishers and Netgalley for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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 jeopardise everything they’ve worked for and put them in incredible danger when tragedy strikes.

I’ve been looking forward to reading A Million to One ever since it was announced, what feels like years ago. So, I had some high expectations when I finally got the opportunity to read it. This is a high-stakes heist on the seas and was a lot of fun to read. I have to say it didn’t live up to all of my expectations but I did enjoy it.

Whilst Josefa, Emilie, Hinnah and Violet seemingly have nothing in common, they are united in one goal. They want to steal the Rubaiyat, a jewel-encrusted book aboard the RMS Titanic that may be the ticket to solve all their problems. But careless mistakes, old grudges and a new romance threaten to jeopardise everything that 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.

Throughout the course of the book we get POVs from all of the main characters. Josefa, who is a pick pocket from Spain and felt like the most prominent character in the book for me. She certainly brought some interesting things to the story. There is also Emilie, a Haitian-French painter who I felt was the most sensible of the group. Violet, who is an actress from Croatia whose backstory broke my heart and Hinnah an acrobat from India who I adored. 

All of the characters are unique and bring something different to the story. I found it very easy to distinguish between the characters which was one of my worries with it being a story with multiple POVs. I wish we had seen the girls relationships building up a little more. I felt as though the romance went from 0-100 very quickly which ruined it a little for me.

I enjoyed the heist part of the story but it did fall a little bit flat for me. At points it felt like it was doable and other times it did not which took away from my enjoyment of it. It just felt as though it all fell apart very quickly but manage to still be fast-paced and enjoyable.

I was a fan of the setting of this book. You are instantly hooked into the atmosphere of the Titanic and who is on that ship. But, you are often reminded of the fact that it is the Titanic with the chapter headers counting down to what we all know is going to happen. That is what kept me hooked along with the twists and turns throughout.

I’m still a huge fan of Adiba Jaigirdar’s writing and cannot wait to see what happens next. I really appreciated her author’s note at the end which discusses the Titanic’s history with Ireland and the BIPOC characters who would have been on board the Titanic. I cannot wait to see what Adiba writes next.

Overall, I would definitely recommend giving this one a read! If you are looking for a historical heist with twists and turns, while also including timely discussing of gender, race and a lot more, then this is one fo you.

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