The Girl From Everywhere

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This four point five star rating I am handing Heidi Heilig’s debut time-traveling adventure romance (add in whatever genre you can think of and this book has it) is not exactly what it seems like. Honestly? Forget about that four point five and picture this book as a perfect ten. The Girl From Everywhere was mystical, dashing, magical, stunning and just oh-so-good, unlike my initial expectations. PEOPLE. I find that it’s better to expect the worst than the best, even in reality. I initially expected a boring, un-understandable read for me with this one, but I flew through it in a sitting, and after it was over, I picked up my library copy and held it against my heart. (I get a little cheesy when I like a book so much). Oh, and why should you treat this as a perfect rating? Because the book was practically perfect. I will touch on a minor thing that set me off from granting this five stars, but it barely affected me in any manner. By the way, I just noticed the girl in the water on the cover of this book after reading. I LOVE THOSE SURPRISES. That’s mega-cool.

The Girl From Everywhere has such a perfect title for the 443 pages that are stamped inside of this beautiful cover.It explains our heroine, Nix, so well. I’m so giddy with this book that I don’t even know where my review should really begin. This is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year, and perhaps ever. I cannot fangirl about it more than I already have and will.

For some reason, I expected this to be bad. Why? Because in the past, I have never enjoyed books about time-traveling mixed with historical events and myths. Okay, first of all, myths are rarely incorporated into YA these days, so that’s a first… or second. Heidi Heilig writes about something that’s deep in her heart, and I bet that she is seriously passionate about: Hawaiian culture. HOLY LEIS AND PINEAPPLES. I love Hawaii, I want to go there so bad. I mean, I always wanted to fly to the island of Oahu, be lei-ed (or whatever they call it), yell “Ohana means family” and say Aloha to every person I meet there. But now? This book introduced Hawaiian culture to me and it was so interesting to read about the most gorgeous islands in the world… back in the day, specifically in the nineteenth century.

HOW DOES HEIDI DO EVERYTHING PERFECTLY? There’s so much diversity in The Girl From Everywhere that I cannot stop squealing. We have Kashmir (HOLY I LOVE HIM, I’LL GET TO HIM SOON), who is from Persia when Nix and her father, Slate, find him, and there’s also Bee, who is African. Bee’s a crew member on The Temptation, the ship that Nix and her father time-travel or Navigate with. She’s lesbian too, which shows us how DEDICATED this book is. I loved reading about each and every place that Nix Navigated to, including New York City and how she retold events from the past when they went to Scandia and how they saw dragons in the Baltic Sea.

“It was only the nervous shifting of his eyes that hinted at discomfort, but not with the city, nor with being on land. With his own skin. No matter where we went, he never felt at home. I recognized that feeling. I’d inherited it” (35).

Basically, The Girl From Everywhere is about our heroine, Nix, whose mother died when she gave birth to her. Her father, who is the captain of the ship that they, among others, time-travel, or Navigate with, called The Temptation, has never gotten over the fact that his true love is gone. He and Nix travel through time using maps that they find, going back centuries or millenniums into the past. Now, they are on the search for Nix’s mother back in the past in Honolulu, Hawaii. That scares Nix, because she knows that she could possibly disappear if they do find her.

I was on the edge of my seat for the whole novel. Although it’s about five hundred pages long, I couldn’t stop reading from the moment I began the story. Heidi Heilig writes so casually, yet absolutely lyrically and different, perhaps more poetic than I would’ve expected. I loved everything about this story, how it teaches readers about culture, myth and the beautiful parts of loving life. I wish that I could GRAB ALL OF THE MAPS AND NAVIGATE MYSELF. It’s a different twist on time-travel, and it’s for a good reason.

You see, I always need some kind of description of the gears of time-traveling in a book I read. That’s so important for me. Heilig did not info-dump on us, making up some weird explanations for why what Nix and her father do works. It was brief, yet unimaginable because no author has ever explored a bookish world like Heidi had.

I don’t understand the issues people had with this glorious story. It was racing, perfectly paced, and now? My life depends on the sequel. Honestly, a sequel isn’t needed because the story ended off perfectly and we readers could imagine a continuing ending that works, but THERE IS ONE COMING AND DAMN, I NEED IT. I NEED HARPERCOLLINS TO SEND ME A COPY ASAP. I’LL TAKE A MANUSCRIPT THAT’S ALL WRITTEN OVER, IF THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES. Or, I could ask my favourite couple, Nix and Kashmir, to personally deliver it. *twiddles eyebrows*

Nix is your dream definition of a heroine. I loved her personality, and how she dealt with the situation she was in. She had every right to be confused and feel discomfort with her life, because she was taken away from what was supposed to be her future. It was interesting for us to get a first-hand look at the life she would’ve had if her father hadn’t began Navigating for Nix’s mother in the past, in nineteenth century Hawaii. She wasn’t one of those protagonists who hated everyone around her for unexplainable reasons, you know? I found myself totally relating to her wanderlust, and NOW I WANT TO TRAVEL. People with severe wanderlust, this book is for you to take a trip with.

“Paradise is a promise no god bothers to keep. There’s only now, and tomorrow nothing will be the same, whether we like it or not” (390).

KASHMIR AND BLAKE. Guys, we have a slight love triangle here, but unless you’re really affected by them, you’ll be fine. Blake is a character we are introduced to halfway through the novel, and he is living in the Hawaii that Nix visits with The Temptation. He hides this secret that he is also a mapmaker, and Nix is immediately drawn to his mysteriousness. I would be, too. I loved Blake and his mysterious character, but honestly? My heart is for the gorgeous Kashmir. Kashmir is Nix’s best friend, and they have known each other for a long time. He is also a thief, and helps Nix’s father to all of the deeds that Nix herself would never want to do. AGH. My heart flutters like hell when he’s in a chapter. I need them to be together. She’s kind of torn between the two, and I wonder how the next book will patch things up. AND GUYS. THE ENDING? Nix is well… *SPOILER* stuck with them both. Hah. *SPOILER ENDS*

So what I had a slight issue with was the ending itself. That was just chaotic and I found that it happened so fast that I didn’t know what exactly happened. I still don’t even know. I don’t know how Nix’s father made the decision that he did, and I had to go over the last chapter or so a few times, but it still was foggy. I need a greater explanation, PLEASE. But that’s cool, fine. I LOVE THIS BOOK, OH EM GEE.

The Girl From Everywhere is one of the most stunning debuts I have ever read. WE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE (who cares about the love triangle? It works!), a heroine who is one of a kind, and a plot slash story that I cannot get out of my head. This book seems like a dream, I can’t believe I was so fortunate to read it, because it’s unlike anything that my brain would ever come up with in a million years. Who knows? Maybe I could Navigate into 2017 and grab a copy from the amazing Heidi herself. THAT WOULD BE THE BEST.

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