Oh The Girl From Everywhere was a DELICIOUS specimen of ships and time travel. It’s possible I’m in love. And considering this is my first ever time-travel read, I consider it a successful voyage! ARR ME HEARTIES! AVAST YE SCALLYWAGS!* And this review is going to be mild shrieks of delight. You have been warned.
(Also I couldn’t resist using BOTH covers because they are divine.)
* I may have mentioned this before but I had a childhood pirate obsession that I never quite shook. I won’t apologise. I will just yell at you pirate-ishly from time to time.
- It is about time travel and pirate ships. Okay it’s not really about pirate ships…but after perusing the author’s note (like a true nerd) I believe the story is inspired by a pirate heist in the 1800s in Hawaii. (Which is freaking cool.) ANYWAY. There is a ship and it feels piratey. BUT SAILING FORWARD. The characters are somewhat modern, but the book is mostly set in the 1800s. (Although they do pop into modern New York at the beginning.) It’s basically about Captain Slate who is a time-travel-dude, and his daughter Nix, and their search to find the “right map” to take them back in time to save his wife from dying.
- DID I MENTION I FREAKING LOVE MAPS????? Omg, I love maps. L.O.V.E. MAPS. As a small hobbit, I used to copy them from atlases for fun. And if a book even dares squeak the word “map” then I AM ALL OVER IT. In this book, you have to have the “right map” to get to a certain place. Maps meant a lot to the storyline. Ergo = I loved it.
- You know how I love diversity? There was a LOT of diversity aboard. Starting with Nix, the protagonist, who was half-Chinese and her best friend, Kashmir, who was Persian. The crew members were ethnically diverse too and they go ALL OVER THE WORLD throughout the story.
- The writing was a mix between a paradise cruise and a breakfast of burned clams. Okay, that sounded confusing. BEAR WITH ME. I loved the writing, but it got tedious with length explanations about historical and mythological events. When it went on and on and ooooon about things, I felt it distracted from the story. BUT AT THE SAME TIME — I admire the book’s history enthusiasm.
- Can we talk about Kashmir now? Surely it’s time to talk about KASH. He is a slippery fingered, smooth-talking little thief of devilry with so. much. sass.
“You’re blocking the view.”
“I am the view, amira,” he said, framing himself with his hands.
Dangit, sassy fine thieves are my ultimate downfall.
- I should probably talk about Nix too? Her being the protagonist and all? I smell reluctance…yes. OKAY. So the problem is Nix wasn’t bad but she wasn’t fantastic either. I felt she was outshone by the vibrant cast of secondary characters.
- Which, of course, leads me to talk about ROMANCE. I am all aboard this Kash and Nix ship — TOOT TOOT — but I warn you: the book is not very romantic. It focuses on friendship.
- Did I mention there was sass and banter? BECAUSE THERE IS.
- Also there is a tiny pocket-sized dragon. It doesn’t play a hugest roll (or much of any roll, actually) but HELLO THERE IS A DRAGON (!!) and I hope you appreciate the wonderful wiseness that is any book that includes a dragon. DRAGON ENTHUSIASTS WAKE UP! WE HAVE A BOOK ALERT.
- I did grind my teeth during the finale, when the Men Of The Book had a sudden, “Omigosh, don’t let Nixie do anything dangerous!” What even dudes?? I hate this plot device because it’s a) sexist, and b) Nix did dangerous stuff the WHOLE BOOK but they only choose the finale to be frustrating? Not a fan.
- I need to whisper something in your ear. Come closer. Clooooser. There, there, now…ready? THIS BOOK HAS MAPS (!!!) AND A POCKET DRAGON (!!!) AND SHIPS (!!!!) AND I AM IN LOVE (!!!!!!)
- Yes? I’m mildly enthusiastic, thank you for noticing.
- Also to further cement the fact that The Girl From Everywhere was, in fact, written specifically for me: it has delicious food.
A table was laid on the deck, and on the table, all the culinary delights New York had to offer: pungent halal chicken and rise doused in hot sauce, pork dumplings in Styrofoam clamshells, a cardboard box marked Difara’s pizza, pastrami sandwiches thick as dictionaries, creamy cheesecake covered with glistening scarlet strawberries.
Kashmir flung his arms wide. “Happy theft day!”
- I do have niggly guppy sized doubts, of course. Like the fact the book dragged in the middle and I was bored. (Talk about being becalmed.) And how I didn’t love Nix so much….
- But overall: I’M SO HAPPY WITH THIS BOOK. I really really really wanted to like it and so far it’s a highlight of the year! Oh shush, I know it’s only early. BUT I AM ALLOWED TO BE EXCITE.
- If you want a story that involves ships and thieves and obsessions and maps and diversity, then this is for you. It’s for me, anyway. ALL FOR ME. Also, FYI, I love this book.
“The last thing we need is for you to go to jail.”
“For treason?” he said, running a comb through his touseled hair. “We wouldn’t go to jail.”
“We’d be shot.”
“You always know just what to say.”
THANK YOU TO HOT KEY BOOKS ON NETGALLEY FOR THE E-ARC. The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig is published March 3rd, 2016.
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.