Thank you to Edelweiss/HarperCollins for a copy of A Million to One in exchange for an honest review. 


A thief. An artist. An 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  . . . — From the publisher. 

Titanic, but make it gay?

Not exactly. Adiba Jaigirdar‘s A Million to One is more complex than simply “Titanic meets Ocean’s Eight,” as the publisher describes it. That’s still a helpful comparison to get you into the general vibe of this book. 

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As with all historical fiction, Jaigirdar has taken some liberties, but she’s also taken great pains to represent the people who “might have been there.” In this case, four teenage girls with diverse backgrounds, circumstances and identities. 

These four young women are so incredibly well-drawn that you’re rooting for them to succeed in crime. (I mean, I’m always cheering for people to topple the one percent and #BeGayDoCrimes, but still.)

Author photo
Adiba Jaigirdar
Book Review A Million to One

Author: Adiba Jaigirdar
Photo: Rudenko Photography

Action and Adventure

A Million to One is a fast-paced, exciting read. It’s well-plotted, well-written and fun. Jaigirdar does tension well — there’s a lot of that in a jewel heist. It’s all aided by the chapter subheadings being a countdown to the ship’s sinking; it’s a literal ticking time bomb. 

The Titanic is an excellent setting for this story because of the claustrophobic nature of the ship and the inherent dramatic irony. 

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Should you read it?

Yes! Yes yes! I loved A Million to One so much. Even if none of the above appeals to you, if you hate the consequences of colonialism and the patriarchy, you’ll find something to love in this. But truly, sapphic romance and jewel heists in historical fiction? Do I need to say more to sell you on this?

I do have one caveat about my love for this novel. In her utterly understandable attempt to bypass an awful trope while maintaining some realism, Jaigirdar, unfortunately, forfeits a genuinely uplifting and satisfying ending. In that sense, it’s easy to see how this is a “pandemic book” without it being about the pandemic.

Bearing that in mind, please read the content warnings before embarking on this journey. This one’s a rough ride.

A Million to One comes out on December 13, 2022. Pick up a copy at your local indie bookstore or library. 📚🚢💎 

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