Title: The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere #1)
Author: Heidi Heilig
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Heidi Heilig's debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City, to nineteenth-century Hawaii, to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father's ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility. Its witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, multicultural cast, and enchanting romance will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.
Nix's life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix's father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he's uncovered the one map he's always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix's mother died in childbirth. Nix's life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix's future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who's been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.
Books dealing with time travel are usually very hit or miss for me, and young adult ones in the genre are usually more of a miss. Since I am ever the optimist, I wanted to give The Girl from Everywhere a chance. I will admit that I wasn’t in love with the book by the time I finished it, it was a fun ride.
The Girl from Everywhere is about Nix Song, a mixed race Chinese girl that time travels with her father. Her father is from modern-day New York, but she was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in the 1868. The other characters aboard the boat are from other eras in history, though not quite what you would expect. Their interactions with one another are pretty fantastic, especially Nix and Kashmir. Nix’s relationship with Slate, her father and captain, is well-written and believable. Both of their angst comes across beautifully. The characters off of the boat, except for Joss, were not my favorites at all, and I didn’t really understand the point of them.
The best part of The Girl from Everywhere was the history. I haven’t read much about the history of Hawaii – fiction or non-fiction – and I’ve learned enough that definitely makes me want to do further research on the fall of the monarchy, if nothing else. (Guilty pleasure alert.) Heilig wrote it in such a way that I felt like I was there with Nix. Yes, they traveled to places other than Hawaii, and they read just as true, too.
Since I said I would be honest, the end of The Girl from Everywhere was not as good as the beginning. For the first half of the book, I felt like I could read it forever, but as the plot progressed and the various tensions heightened, I wasn’t as invested in the story. I don’t know if it was the characters on the island or the love interest that felt forced, but I lost some of my excitement in reading it.
Though I had some issues with The Girl from Everywhere, I still think it’s a great debut, and we’ll be seeing great things from Heilig. I, for starters, can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.