Author: Heidi Heilig
Pages: 464 pages
Published: February 16th, 2016
Source: Hardback from Books of Wonder
Genre: Historical Romance YA
Rating: 4/5 stars
It was the kind of August day that hinted at monsoons, and the year was 1774, though not for very much longer.
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.
Buy it now!
It seems as if 2016 is dominating in debuts with this one novel. If all debut novels are like Heidi Heilig's The Girl From Everywhere, I'm in trouble because there's not enough money in my wallet to afford all those hardcovers! Heidi's novel was one that I never planned on starting. I was waiting for her event to start in Books of Wonder and picked up the book out of sheer boredom. I honestly wasn't going to start the book until my April break, but I'm so glad I did.
What do you get when you mix time travel with romance and an epic heist? You ultimately end up with The Girl From Everywhere. Attending the book launch Q&A was a big plus for anyone who wanted to understand more about why Heidi chose to write about time travel or why she chose the specific settings mentioned in the book. From modern day New York City, nineteenth-century Hawaii, to the ancient Qin Dynasty, the change in setting with always keep you entertained. I found it especially interesting how the author chose to focus on Hawaii, a paradise island where people only dream of going. There's so much myth that follows the island and it was so refreshing to see mythology play a major role.
The story follows Nix as she's traveling aboard the Temptation with her father and his crew. Her father has the ability to Navigate, which means you can travel anywhere, anytime as long as you have a map. With that map, you would travel back in time to where the map was showing and when the map was inked. Her father is obsessed with finding the map of 1868 Honolulu to reunite with his lost love, Nix's mother, and although he's gone through many maps, he can't seem to find one that will work. However, obtaining that map could mean the very end of Nix's existence. This concept was so ingenious. Who would ever think to use maps in time travel? NOT ME!
At the same time, the time traveling aspect confused me tremendously. Sometimes I would get so lost in the historical information that I would look up the info on Google and go back to read, only to find myself back to square one. Keep in mind, I don't read historical fiction very often and it's normal for this type of thing to occur.
As I mentioned above there is a heist involved. I'd suggest reading the book to learn more about the heist and how it connects to the story (I'm trying to restrain myself from releasing spoilers into this review). The heist reminded me of the one in Six of Crows or Mistborn and it might be safe to say that I love reading books with a dangerous heist.
Romance didn't play a huge part at all but that's exactly what I expected. Relationships were vital to the story line and the character's decisions in the end. I know that Heidi Heilig values family and it was nice to see that idea come to life in the book.
The characters were the real MVP's of the book. Kashmir, my absolute favorite, reminded me of Aladdin and how he was a street urchin stealing a bunch of things from vendors. Plus, the ladies swooned over him... The main character was very much moral-filled but it wasn't to the point where she was a real pain. Well well, what would a book be without a pestering character of some sort? I couldn't stand reading about Nix's dad. He acted like some love-struck teenager that yearned for the past. WHY DON'T YOU FOCUS ON WHAT'S IN FRONT OF YOU? *ahem ahem* YOUR OWN DAUGHTER.
The Girl From Everywhere is a story you won't want to miss. There aren't many books based on time travel that can claim they've transported you into another world, but I believe this one did quite the job. With the author's prior knowledge of nineteenth-century Hawaii and a mix of ancient mythology, Heidi Heilig brings the true meaning of family and love in her debut YA novel.
|Check out my Instagram (@thebooksbuzz) to learn more about the giveaway. It's an Instagram giveaway where you can win a signed copy of Heidi's The Girl From Everywhere.|