February 3, 2016

Title: The Girl from Everywhere

Duology: The Girl from Everywhere, Book #1

Author: Heidi Heilig ∞ @heidiheilig

Expected Publication:
February 16, 2016

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Pages: 464

Genres: Young Adult ∞ Sci-Fi ∞ Romance ∞ Time Travel

Source: Edelweiss

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 02/02/2015): 4.10

  • Christina thought this title was unique. It goes on her third shelf. To find out why…

**Disclaimer:** An eARC of these title was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

Quick Thoughts and Rating:
3 stars! 
To be frank, I think the advanced praise of this title manifested in quite a good amount of high expectations on my end, and, consequently, I think that left me wanting a little more from certain aspects of the novel than what I was given, namely a romance and a grander sense of adventure. (Seriously, when will I learn to curb the enthusiasm I have going into super-hyped books? *drills that into my brain some more*) That said, I think The Girl from Everywhere‘s storyline was incredibly unique, had exquisite bits of history and lore, and seeing the characters’ arc developments made for a pleasurable reading experience.

The Lowdown: The Goodreads summary above does an excellent job of filling out all the details of this book in the event that you’re curious about the plot before diving into it.

The short of it is this: Time-traveling pirates are looting worlds from the present and past, real and imaginary, all in search of a map that will take a love-obsessed father back to a time when his true love was still alive. The biggest problem is that he needs his daughter to help him with the maps, but she fears if she finds him the exact map he needs, she’ll be winked out of existence. This story is more than your typical pirate tale, rather it’s a story about a girl caught between her obligation and love to her father and the selfishness she feels for herself.

ReviewIt was quite apparent to me from the beginning that this author had done more than her fair share of research in regards to the history, myths and lore, and settings included in this novel. The lush environment and the effortlessly imagined quality of her characters easily captivated me from the start. As individuals, I thought the main characters shone brilliantly on the page, but for me, I believe I was missing the chemistry in their interactions and relationship dynamics. I also felt that the secondary characters, especially those that were part of the crew who should have stood apart from the other minor characters with little effort, came across a bit flat. Additionally, I was discouraged because of the lack of romance and adventure in this book. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked both potential love interest, particularly Kash, but I just couldn’t ever really sense the love there. It was implied, of course, but I think it boiled down to one of those “show me, don’t tell me” type of situations. I was told in not so many words that he cared for her, and she for him, but I never really felt it. As for the adventure part of the book, I expected there to be loads more action involved in this story. For a large portion of the book, however, I kept finding reasons to set the book down–mostly because real life kept calling–and the pull to immediately seek it back out was never there. I wanted to feel reeled in, enamored, but I think I missed the mark that so many others found entertaining. I will say that while it took a while for me to really get into the story and I may not have loved it as much as I expected, I really did enjoy many aspects of it.

Furthermore, I want to note that for a vast majority of this book, I had to read it in those spare, fleeting moments that I had between other activities and right before bed, so I wasn’t able to sit down and really get into it, and that fact could have really inhibited my reading experience. To be honest, that seems more likely the case since a majority of my trusted friends and go-to bloggers whose reading compatibility usually aligns similarly with my own, seemed to really love this book.

The best parts of this novel were the evolution of certain characters and their storylines, specifically Nixie’s father and the choice he made in the end. I definitely plan to read the second installment to see what adventures Heilig lets her band of characters lead us on next, though I definitely hope there’s more kissing page-time in the next go-around.

Teaser Quote: 

I pursed my lips. “All right. Let me try that again. Thank you, my friend,” I reiterated, this time in my own language. I put my hand to the pearl. “It’s beautiful.”
      “As are you, amira,” he said, putting his hand over mine, and we both smiled like it didn’t mean anything.
~quote taken from the eARC of The Girl from Everywhere at 18%

∞ Rec it? Probably. There were many readers that loved this book more than I did, and I enjoyed it for the most part. Like I mentioned previously, I think I let some of the 5-star reviews build up my anticipation for it, and I didn’t find myself as enthralled as I had expected to be. However, I definitely plan to pick up the next book to see how certain things pan out.

♥ A very special thanks to Greenwillow Books and Edelweiss for providing me with an advanced copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

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