The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
First Line: It was the kind of August day that hinted at monsoons, and the year was 1774, though not for much longer.
Summary: Nix has been on her father’s ship for her whole life. As long as Slate has a map for it, they can travel to any time or any place, real or mythological. But Slate is obsessed with finding a map of 1868 Honolulu, the time before Nix’s mother died. When Slate enters a plot that will help him acquire the map, Nix must decide how far she is willing to help her father, when her own existence could be erased.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Girl From Everywhere. Heidi Heilig created a rich world and characters that I was invested in, along with an extremely intriguing premise.
Each twist and turn kept the plot enticing and the stakes high. There was never a dull moment. Throughout it all, Heilig deftly weaves in elements of mythology to create a cohesive world that one would expect for time-traveling sailors. It influences the characters’ banter and colors the metaphors. Not only that, but the use of myths contributes to a greater, more interconnected story that is slowly revealed.
I really enjoyed Nix’s personality; she felt distinct to me, with her love of language and knowledge of myths, in a way that many YA characters haven’t. The secondary characters were also great. Kashmir, her friend and primary castmate, was charismatic and fun. And surprisingly, I ended up enjoying Slate’s character. Even though he neglects his daughter in favor of recklessly obtaining the correct map, Heilig builds a sympathetic portrayal.
My favorite part was the complex and interesting relationships between the characters, especially that of Nix and Slate. The main conflict centers around them, giving a glimpse into the messy bonds of family. Even though they are at opposing ends, they deeply care about each other, and it was interesting to see the facets of their relationship explored.
Nix and Kashmir also had wonderful banter and chemistry, and I loved their romance. It made the love triangle kind of annoying at first, but that surprisingly added depth to both Nix’s characterization and the book’s theme.
Heilig presents a striking world with an enticing plot and authentic character dynamics. Highly original, The Girl From Everywhere pulls readers it with its unique concept, but remains familiar with its themes of family, ambition, and love.