Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Summary: “As the daughter of a time traveler, Nix has spent sixteen years sweeping across the globe and through the centuries aboard her father’s ship. Modern-day New York City, nineteenth-century Hawaii, other lands seen only in myth and legend—Nix has been to them all.
But when her father gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end.
If there is a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place and any time. But now that he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, the year 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” (Goodreads).
Honestly, this is four stars because of logistics, considering how much I enjoyed this. Heidi Heilig’s writing is gorgeous, her world was wonderfully crafted, and the history blended with the fiction was spectacular. The only thing missing to me was a little more connection to the side characters, such as Kashmir who felt slightly more like a caricature than a person (though there’s time for development in the sequel), and a stronger ending. Everything seemed to fall into place too easily and I wasn’t overly fond of the decisions made. Looking at it a little later, I found that I could understand a bit, but it still seemed out of touch with what had lead up to it and the characters.
Other than that, though, I loved The Girl from Everywhere. I have been to Hawaii a few times with my family and was actually heading there when I finished it. The historical developments written about gave me a new lens to look at O’ahu through (though, I had learned a lot about that stuff in school, this was deeper and more personal), and enlightened my vacation. I’ve always been fond of Hawaii and this is one of the first times I’ve read a book that takes place in it. (In other words: PEOPLE, WRITE ABOUT THOSE BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS.)
I noticed one person complained there wasn’t enough time travel in this book, but I felt very different about that. While this book features time travel, I felt the more important part was the heist to get the map that would impact the time travel. In that way, it made this book very unique from other time travel books, and for the record, I don’t generally enjoy time travel books. This had a lot of specifics, made sense in the magic system, and was just…different, for lack of a better word. It focused more on the logistics and, by taking place in mostly one location, was more grounded and allowed for development. I also have to say that the idea of needing a map to take you somewhere was so creative and I really, really liked that. It put a spin on the usual “time machine” idea and added a level, that if someone writes up a fictional map, they can travel to a fictional world (which I’ve heard is book two’s plot). To be fair, I had one question, but I feel like that could be chalked up to my own misinterpretation of the system of travel (and I think I’ll read back through and figure it out again).
As for the characters, I loved Nix. She is a strong character, with a lot of personality, but she still has room to grow, and I appreciate that. The book doesn’t shy away from her naivety, her flaws, and I look forward to seeing her mature in The Ship Beyond Time. As for her relationship with Kashmir and Blake, how there was a bit of a love triangle, I didn’t love that, but it didn’t distract terribly from the story. This book is very plot-based, very morals based, and focuses a lot less on romance. In a genre where A Court of Thorns and Roses and other similar novels live, The Girl from Everywhere was a breath of fresh air. I don’t really see Nix and Kashmir together, but I think I could. I like that first and foremost their relationship is friendship, and friendship is of utmost importance to them; whatever else happens is less important. As for Blake, I don’t know if we’ll be seeing more of him, but I thought he was sweet and not necessarily bad for Nix. I can’t say I loved him, because he did have his flaws, but he was definitely interesting to read about!
I’m conflicted over Nix’s relationship with her father. The ending for them was very bittersweet, and while I still have my issues with it, I think it was an interesting decision for them. I am excited to find out what happens with Nix next, to see if her dad will be in the picture for the sequel at all, and how she is handling whatever happened (can’t share!). I strongly disliked her father because Nix was always placed second in his life, and I don’t think that’s how a family should work. Hopefully this will be touched upon more!
Anyway, another great thing about this book was the diversity. The main character is biracial and many side characters are POC. Woo! Go diversity!
The verdict? Read this book!