Based on the Amazon description of this book, I would not have read it. But then a trusted source recommended it as one of their favorites of last year, AND said it was good for fans of A Man Called Ove, which was one of MY favorites from last year, so I couldn’t resist. I rented a copy from the library and got reading!
The One-in-a-Million Boy tells the unlikely story of friendship between 104-year-old Ona Vitkus and the 11-year-old Boyscout assigned to help her with house projects for several months. *SPOILER* (Does it count as a spoiler if it’s included on the sleeve?) Unfortunately, it is the boy’s father – Quinn Porter – who finishes out the boy’s project after the boy dies. As Quinn fixes up Ona’s house and yard, they form a friendship of their own largely based on the boy’s pursuit of Guinness World Records.
Quinn learns more about his son (whose life he was largely absent from) through Ona’s stories, and Ona sees a new side of herself because of the boy’s influence. It isn’t long before their friendship takes on a life of its own and sends them on adventures that seem to be of the boy’s making.
The story alternates between the present and flashbacks to recorded interviews with Ona that the boy conducted during their time together. This gives readers insight into Ona’s past and shows off even more of her flair and incredible life history. In the end, her character is well developed and interesting. Her revived zest for life is infectious, and despite being 104 years old, Ona seems to single-handedly propel the story forward.
Overall, this book is worth reading. I still prefer Ove, but there is room in my heart for Ona now too 🙂
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Stats: 336 pages
Recommended for: Fans of A Man Called Ove; those who enjoy a story about relationships, reinvention, and adventure at any age.
Up Next: This is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick
I’ve heard great things about this^ book and think it will be perfect timing with our upcoming move for residency! I plan to buy it because I have a feeling it’s one I will want to re-read and highlight quite a bit.