ARC Review: The Girl From Everywhere

Author: Heidi Heilig
Series: The Girl From Everyone #1 (Duology)
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Time Travel
Page Length: 464 Pages
Publication Date: February 16th, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: eARC via Edelweiss 
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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.
Let me start by saying what a brilliant author Heidi is. Not only is her story engaging, but her meticulous planning and artful weaving of the plot leaves my mind blown with all expectations hit out of the proverbial park. 

"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."

The majority of this book takes place in late 1800's Hawaii, and I love how well Heidi captures the vibes and feel of the paradisiacal island of Oahu. Her descriptions and tenderness towards the setting has me anxious to visit and feel and experience everything just as these characters did. I also really appreciated how Heidi captured the turning point where Hawaii lost more of its Hawaiian charm, culture, and authenticity and became overrun by foreign influence. It's a sad and tragic past, but someone has to tell it. So often it's written off as inconsequential, but Hawaii was annexed and diminished from its natural peacefulness in such a horrid way.

The main character, Nix is really intuitive and easy to relate to. She struggles with her warring desires and her idea of home and family. Slate, her father, is quite an enigmatic and complex person. I loved his development in the book. Kashmir is dashing and the wittiest comic relief. The secondary characters were fleshed out and each had their own respective backstories. Mostly everyone was likable too. One of my favorite parts of the book was the evolving relationship between Nix and Slate. Slate's monomaniacal obsession with saving Nix's mother in the past really fractured any genuine father-daughter relationship. I loved seeing their relationship grow, and my favorite scene in the whole novel happens between these two.

The romance in this book is kept to a minimum and although it looks like there might be a love triangle forming, it's hardly there at all and won't overshadow the plot or your love for the book. Also this is a duology, so everything will develop and sort itself out in the next book. 

I was hooked on this book immediately from the beginning. The idea of this story is so well developed and explained. It was fascinating learning about the time travel and the importance of maps. I love how Heidi mixed various fantasy/myth and historical elements into her story. We get to read of places and elements we're familiar with and other creatures and destinations that are innovative creations. Some parts were a bit confusing at times with the time travel, but everything happens for a reason, and all is revealed by the end. There are so many unexpected events in this novel; the unpredictability of this adventure novel was a definite hit for me. I also love the incorporation of diverse cultures placed in the novel.

This book could read as a standalone, but there's one more book to give us another amazing adventure with this great cast of characters and a phenomenal author. I can't recommend this book enough! 
Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.

20 comments:

  1. Sounds lovely! Been dying to read this for a while, but I guess I'll have to wait until the pub date like everyone else. I haven't read any book set in Hawaii before and time travel is one of my favorite genres, or tropes, if you will. Excited!

    - Jen from The Bookavid

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  2. I'm really looking forward to this one Rachel! And yay for a duo! I can't get enough of those! I'm really interested in Nix and Slate's dynamic!

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  3. Great review. I have seen this one around and was really curious about it. I am generally not a fan of time travel, but your description makes me feel confident that I'll enjoy this one. Adding it to my TBR list now!

    Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road

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  4. Ooh yay, you have me sold! I can't wait to dive into this goodie waiting on my kindle for myself now! I love the idea of the writing working perfectly with the novel and the whole story just being so captivating. Gimme, gimme!

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  5. YAY!!! I am so happy you loved this one so much, especially since I just received a review copy of it. I love the look of it and it sounds amazing, I really hope I end up loving it too.

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  6. I hated this book! LOL. The love triangle killed the book for me - I couldn't get into it after we get the first glimpse of Blake. But that's okay! I don't know if I want to read the conclusion. We'll see!

    Great review, Rachel!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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  7. Yay! You know I love this one oh so much...and Heidi. She is just the best. I'm so glad you loved it too. Beautiful review.

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  8. Okay, I'm totally sold. I tend to struggle with time travel books but all the other elements in this sound absolutely fantastic, especially the world building. It reminds me a little of Passenger, which I enjoyed, so it would be interesting to see how they stack up to each other. Great review :)

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  9. YAY! I am so glad to see you loved this one. It was so amazing, and besides an amazing book Heidi is so amazing herself (I'm meeting her on 2/16 and I am so excited!) Great review Rachel!

    Amber ❤ The Book Bratz

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  10. Lovely review Rach, I love how you covered the Hawaii aspects of the plot which sound like they were covered really well! The time travel does sound like it could be a confusing point for me, but I'm glad it all works out eventually.

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  11. AHH I'M SO GLAD YOU LOVED IT TOO!! It was like 4.5 stars for me, because I'm so incredibly fussy, hehe, and I did think it dragged a bit in the middle?! But all the characters were afjdklsad perfect and OMG THE METICULOUS RESEARCHED DETAIL. :O I felt like I was really in the 1800s in Hawaii. And I loooved the diversity and just the freshness of the plot line and the complexity and...omg, yes yes, I could rave forever. XD This is definitely a highlight of 2016 for me so far. xD

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  12. 5 stars?!? That is quite a ringing endorsement. I must read it! Love the review.

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  13. Wow what a review! I want to read this one even more now. I had no clue it is going to be a duology so maybe I'll wait till the second is out as well. :)

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  14. Wow. I remember going to Hawaii last year, and even though it was 2015, I saw some signs alongside the road about how development is ruining the country. Especially with all the tourism going on in Oahu and Waikiki Beach, I could completely understand the concerns of development on the island.

    I'm super excited to read this! I really can't wait to see how time travel is utilized, and the culture, the characters, all of it.

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  15. OMG! Great review, I want to read this book so much! Ugh, I have to wait until I have enough money to order it... I'm really curious about Hawaii's descriptions (never been there) and I really hope there won't be a triangle. I hate triangles.

    Laura @ psilovethatbook

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  16. Wow, this one sounds fabulous. I have been seeing it around lately, but never thought I would want to pick it up. Definitely going to move it up on my to-buy list :)

    Great review, Rachel :)

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  17. I've been good things on this one.. I don't know about the possible love triangle but knowing that the romance is kept in a minimum makes me want to forget that. You just made me more excited for this one!

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

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  18. I love this book SO MUCH. I am in love. The setting is, of course, magnificent, and the whole story just pulled me in, really. Because there's the perfect balance of stuff going on- without being overwhelming. And while you're right and the romance wasn't a huge factor, I DO have a definite ship, and if it doesn't come to fruition, I shall cry ;) Great review, I am so glad you loved this one too!!

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  19. I first need to say that you write and express yourself very well. This review was a pleasure to read :-)

    I'm happy to hear that the romance is kept to a minimum, and that the overall story arc reflects a father-daughter relationship that undergoes repair and transformation. The history of Hawaii and how it was affected by foreign influence sounds fascinating indeed. Ever since reading about how European settlers upended the lives of Native Americans, I've had a soft spot in my heart for stories that reflect the good/bad/ugly of foreign invasions.

    I plan to add this book to my shelves, and am more excited about reading it now, having read your review :-)

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  20. I'm really excited to read this one! I love time travel. Glad it seems to be getting good reviews. Your review has got me more pumped for it! xD
    Bruna Writes

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