Title: The Girl From Everywhere (The Girl From Everywhere #1)
Author: Heidi Heilig
Format I Read: Physical ARC
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads
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, 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.
In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.
First of all, I’d like to thank Aila @ One Way Or An Author for letting me borrow this beautiful ARC. You’re the best, Aila!
Second of all, I’d like to thank Heidi Heilig for writing an absolutely gorgeous novel. The characters were flawlessly portrayed and wonderfully multi-faceted. Not to mention, the minor characters had an alarming amount of depth. And the relationships between the characters were simultaneously heart-aching and heartwarming. Heilig’s writing was the cherry on the top of the cake, with some of the most beautiful sentences I’ve ever read. The only hitch in the book I found was that the world was disarmingly complex, but Heilig expertly tied it all up in the end. The ending definitely made up for any rocky spots in the middle. I was left feeling completely satisfied!
The worldbuilding was what really got me – the only hitch in the otherwise lovely ride. To be honest, I just don’t think I’m cut out for time-traveling books. They become so convoluted and usually just end up giving me a headache. The Girl From Everywhere was no exception. Around halfway through the book, I got a little too overwhelmed and had to back off from the novel for a while. But Heilig did not fail me! The ending made up for any confusion I had throughout the book. She tied it up perfectly and summed up a lot of the muddled time convolution. Everything was clear in the end and I was completely content!
Even with the confusing time-traveling element, I really enjoyed Heilig’s spin on time-traveling, which is referred to as Navigating in the book. I won’t spoil any of it for you, but it was unique, edgy, and interesting!
Beyond the fantastical time-traveling, Heilig expertly captured the settings. The time periods and locations that the ship Temptation visited were so fascinating. I loved the mythology she included. It really added an edge to the story that I wasn’t expected. Completely captivating! I especially love how she included an author’s note at the end, explaining both the history and the fantasy in the novel. It was the perfect touch.
The characters were great! Nix, our heroine, was a fantastic lead. She was headstrong but also empathetic and caring. She was selfish but selfless. She was one of those characters that I never doubted. I never wanted to slap her or scream at her for doing something stupid. She was honestly such an endearing main character.
Part of the reason I loved Nix so much was because of her relationships. Particularly the one with her father. The father-daughter relationship in this book was possibly the best part. There was so much character development on both sides, both with Nix and her father (Slate/Captain). It showed so much humanity, so much reality. It really touched my heart – and my feels, of course.
The rest of the minor characters were just as fantastic. From the crew on the ship (Slate, Nix, Kashmir, Bee, and Rutgot) to the people in Hawaii (Joss, Blake, Mr. Hart, Mr. D), everyone had such a great level of depth. Everyone had a history and I loved that. I’m a sucker for strong minor characters and this book had that in spades!
There was a hint of a love triangle – between Nix, Kashmir (one of Nix’s shipmates), and Blake (one of the boys in Hawaii). Fortunately, it never developed enough to be a problem. So have no fear!
The main romance, in my opinion, was between Nix and Kashmir (though I may just be biased toward Kash). They were absolutely precious. Kashmir made me swoon just about every single time he appeared on the page. He was the perfect mix of pathological thief, brooding bad boy, and endearing best friend. The perfect love interest! Not to mention the banter, chemistry, and history between him and Nix… Perfection.
The writing was absolutely, positively beautiful. I’m in love with Heidi Heilig’s voice. I can’t even pull quotes as examples because I’d end up typing up the entire damn book. It was all that good.
Even something as simple as description, something that can be so mundane: “The light we carried was the only light on earth, although above us, the brightness of the moon shamed the stars” (ARC 415). I don’t know what it is about that line, but I stopped and stared at it for a solid minute. It took my breath away. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg with this book. Every word, every line, every page was magical.
The Girl From Everywhere was an enchanting novel that interwove fantasy, history, and humanity. Awesome adventure, magical mythology, and realistic relationships made this book an amazing ride. Please pre-order this book because you will not regret it!
With lots of bookish love,