The Girl From Everywhere
The Girl From Everywhere #1
I was provided with this ARC by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She, her father and their crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times – although a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix’s father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix’s existence rather dangerously in question…
Nix has grown used to her father’s obsession, but only because she’s convinced it can’t work. But then a map falls into her father’s lap that changes everything. And when Nix refuses to help, her father threatens to maroon Kashmir, her only friend (and perhaps, only love) in a time where Nix will never be able to find him. And if Nix has learned one thing, it’s that losing the person you love is a torment that no one can withstand. Nix must work out what she wants, who she is, and where she really belongs before time runs out on her forever.
Again I should point out that time travel books are my favorite so they are probably already always guaranteed at least 3 stars. Or maybe I just haven’t read a really bad time travel book yet.
The Girl From Everywhere was a beautiful blend of history and mythology. On top of time traveling, which they call “navigating”, to the far off past, they can also go to mythical places, since it’s based on maps, and the belief that these places/things existed. That means if they found a map of Atlantis, there is a strong possibility they could actually go to Atlantis. Kashmir, actually might even be from a mythical location that people once believed existed. So to learn about Hawaiian mythology was really cool and I think Heilig did a wonderful job of weaving it into the story.
Plus, a lot of what happened was inspired by actual events! I definitely don’t really have a huge grasp on time travel science, but I like the theory that you can never really change the present/future. Everything you do in the past has/will already happen in the present, simply by you going back to the past. Does that make any sense? Who knows if that’s a real theory, but it’s the one I like most. So to find out that some of the events actually happened added to my favorite time travel theory. Plus I just really love history.
The Familial Relationships
Nix’s dad is a huge jerk. He’s obsessed with getting back to 1868 so that he can save Nix’s mother’s life, even if it includes endangering his daughter’s existence, only really cares about himself, and is an opium addict. But I actually really enjoyed Nix and his relationships, her frustration over wanting to leave and feeling obligated to stay, and the growth their relationship undergoes. It actually isn’t very often where a parent is a pretty prevalent secondary character in a YA novel.
The Lack of Romance
Ok, so there are not so subtle hints of romance, and even the briefest glimpses of a love triangle (although I don’t actually think it was one, but I’ll come back to that later), but this book was so much more. The relationship between Nix and Kashmir was so perfect because that’s all it was: hints. They developed on their own and together. There is nothing better than when you can completely remove the romantic storyline and nothing changes.
The Not So Good
Nothing in this book was bad per say, but there were some issues
While Heilig did a wonderful job bringing Hawaii to life, not so much with explaining the science/magic behind the ability to navigate. It involves maps, which you can only use once, doesn’t have to include ships and you have to believe it, but that’s basically all we know. While I would prefer the information to be woven throughout the storytelling, I would much prefer an massive info dump to a lack of information. It didn’t really ruin the book for me, and maybe it’s good that it’s a bit vague because it does seem magical.
The Actual Lack of “Navigating”
Ok, for a time travel book, they stay in one place for a good like 80% of the book. We do get to see some of 18th century Calcutta and ancient (I think) China, most of the story takes place on one island of Hawaii. And to be honest, it made the plot a bit slow. Usually with time travel books I’m always excited for the next location, which speeds up the pace a lot. The Girl From Everywhere is over 400 pages long, and while it was still a quick read (for me anyway), there were some times when I was a bit bored. While it was wonderful learning about and visualizing Hawaii in 1884, I wanted more action and adventure.
The Fact that This is A Series
Honestly, this book is a perfect standalone. While I would love to learn more about the science/magic behind the navigating and actually see more traveling, I would prefer this not to be a series. Maybe it will be a companion novel series, which I would enjoy more, because Nix’s story just seems to have ended perfectly. It was open and free and anything can happen, and I kind of don’t want to see that. Especially since I suspect a series would definitely involve a love triangle and I’m not here for that. So unless it is a companion novel, I don’t think I will be reading the next one.
Overall, I enjoyed this book enough to look past the lack of explanation/navigating. I will probably even reread it (probably in preparation for the sequel which I say I won’t read but totally will). If I wasn’t on a 6 month book buying ban I might even buy it. Check back with me in 5 months.
*This is a scheduled post. I am currently on vacation*