Book Reviews · Fiction

Review: The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
Published April 5, 2016 by Hachette Australia
RRP AUD $29.99

A one-in-a-million story for anyone who loves to laugh, cry, and think about how extraordinary ordinary life can be. Not to be missed by readers who loved THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, ELIZABETH IS MISSING or THE SHOCK OF THE FALL.

Miss Ona Vitkus has – aside from three months in the summer of 1914 – lived unobtrusively, her secrets fiercely protected.

The boy, with his passion for world records, changes all that. He is eleven. She is one hundred and four years, one hundred and thirty three days old (they are counting). And he makes her feel like she might be really special after all. Better late than never…

Only it’s been two weeks now since he last visited, and she’s starting to think he’s not so different from all the rest.

Then the boy’s father comes, for some reason determined to finish his son’s good deed. And Ona must show this new stranger that not only are there odd jobs to be done, but a life’s ambition to complete . . .

Minor spoilers ahead! Proceed with caution.

The One-In-a-Million Boy is a sweet, heartfelt story that follows the life of 104-year-old Ona Vitkus, and the unlikely friendships that form between her and the boy, as well as her and his father, Quinn. What was most intriguing to me was that while the book is named The-One-in-a-Million Boy, and he played a huge part of the story, he was never named! The story itself really made me think about how people deal with grief in different ways.

There were parts of the story that I really loved, like Ona and Laurentas’ meeting and how Ona and the boy bonded over Guinness World records, I found that very endearing and played off nicely with the little records scattered throughout the book. I also enjoyed how Ona’s life was laid out throughout the book, but it didn’t really stray too far from the main storyline and was pieced together quite nicely.

This book was very easy to get lost in, I forgot my surroundings and the story came to life, but because this book had been marketed as a highly-emotional read, I had expected to get emotional, but while I definitely got stuck into the book, for me personally, I just didn’t feel the emotional attachment. Regardless, The One-in-a-Million Boy was a very good read and highly enjoyable.




I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.







Monica Wood is the author of four works of fiction, most recently Any Bitter Thing, which spent 21 weeks on the American Booksellers Association extended bestseller list and was named a Book Sense Top Ten pick. Her other fiction includes Ernie’s Ark and My Only Story, a finalist for the Kate Chopin Award.

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