Monday, December 10, 2018

Book Review: One in a Million

By Sara Steven

Annie Higgins has given up on love: she’s too busy trying to get her tiny business off the ground. Infuriated by the advertising agency across the hall making fun of her job, Annie accepts their crazy challenge – to make a random stranger Instagram-famous in just thirty days.

And even when they choose Dr Samuel Page PhD, historian and hater of social media, as her target, Annie’s determined to win the bet – whether Sam likes it or not.

But getting to know Sam means getting to know more about herself. And before the thirty days are out, Annie has to make a decision about what’s really important… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Reminiscent of My Fair Lady and She’s All That, but in reverse, one of the biggest draws to One in a Million is the gradual transformation that happens for Sam, as well an Annie. At first, there’s the expectation of witnessing a geek to chic moment, that Sam will morph into a babelicious swan after spending many years of his life as an introverted ugly duckling. Yet, along for the ride are Annie’s own insecurities and baggage, giving her the opportunity to delve deeper into where’s she’s at in her own life and why she’s not as satisfied as she could be in her relationships.

I appreciated the dialogue between Annie and Sam, and the rest of the supporting characters. It felt natural, like meeting up with my own friends and having various conversations. Annie was sharp-witted and held her own against Sam, who wouldn’t let anything slide. He reminded me of the grumpy neighbor next door, who ultimately has a heart of gold, while Annie reminded me of the plucky heroine who refuses to give up, even when the world as she knows it begins to crumble around her. For all the fun of Million, there were serious undertones that paralleled it. The struggle to make it in an industry that hasn’t been very welcoming to her, not sure if she’ll be able to make rent at any given moment. Or, the fact that her last romantic relationship ended in disaster, feeding into a lot of her insecurities. The struggles are told in such a way that are felt, and recognized, without creating a heavy blanket of despair. It doesn’t deflect from the original goal of Annie winning a challenge, while Sam has his own ulterior motives on why he’d ever agree to the stipulations of the bet.

This was one of those reads where I found it hard to put it down, and stop reading. Mostly because of the chemistry, mostly because I wanted to find out what would happen to Annie and Sam, whether she’d win her bet, whether he’d become the man he eventually discovers he’s wanted to be all along. But the biggest reason would be the old adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” The premise of Million is that there is so much more to a person than meets the eye, and while Annie and Sam discover that about each other and about themselves on a personal level, I was along for the discovery, too. A much-deserving five star read, right here.

Thanks to Harper360 for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Lindsey Kelk:


Sandy said...

I just loved this book and Lindsey Kelk is hands-down my favourite author of smart funny romcoms.

Carole said...

Hey, Melissa. Would love you to share this one over at Books You Loved - it's just getting under way. Cheers from carole's Chatter