Feb 9, 2016

Blog Tour: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

'Ello mateys! I'm very excited because today I get to tell you all about Heidi Heilig's fantasmical debut The Girl from Everywhere. This is a book filled with MAPS (yes, plural), a time traveling ship, a ship it ship (or two), interesting characters, and wonderful writing. Oh, and a PRETTY COVER. I'll be sharing my review with you today, letting you know where you can find Heidi around the internet (she's pretty cool even though she'll tell you to eat your vegetables), and there's a giveaway worth all the treasures in all the worlds, so please prepare to board the Temptation.

TitleThe Girl from Everywhere
Author: Heidi Heilig
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publishing Date: February 16, 2016
Pages/Format: 464, eARC

It was the kind of August day that hinted at monsoons, and the year was 1774, though not for very much longer.

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.

Book in One Word: FRESH

I think what first made me want to read The Girl from Everywhere was the promise of maps. Maps, as in multiple maps. (In case you didn't know, I heart maps.) That, coupled with a time traveling pirate ship (!!!), various settings in time and location, the threat of changing the past and consequently altering the future, a Persian thief, and that cover, all had me anticipating this debut novel very much. The reviews were raving, I hyped myself up for it, and, well...those may have slightly effected the book. (Damn you, hype monster. *shakes fist*) But other than that, The Girl from Everywhere was sweet fun to read.

Nix lives on the Temptation with a crew of three and her father the captain. But the Temptation isn't just any ship: it can travel through time. So the crew members are from various points in time but are all together as one, and they travel through time acquiring treasure to use as payment and collecting various maps (the latter of which is necessary to traveling to specific times and settings.) One day you're in, say, England in the 1800s, and the next you're in modern day New York eating a greasy burger. Really, it's all rather fascinating. But time traveling comes with a hitch, and one I think we've all heard: messing with the past can change the future. And that's what Nix's father Slate is dead-set on doing: he wants to return to Honolulu 1868, when/where Nix's mother died in childbirth--and save her. But there's a big question looming: will saving Nix's mother alter Nix's existence? (Time is a tricky thing, isn't it?)

I won't tell you where they end up--because hello, spoiler--but let's just say the book is one giant, super fun adventure (with some danger mixed in, obviously). And really, it was hard to dislike any of the characters. Even though I had to question Slate's parenting--I get that you want to save your wife but what about your daughter--he was an otherwise very badass dad (and not someone you would think to call "dad"). Despite some troubles with her father, Nix was rather good at standing her ground and is definitely a strong character. She has an idea of what she wants but isn't sure who she's trying to please--her or Slate. In a way she was an average girl, but she could still kick ass and damn well take care of herself. AND SWAG! I almost forgot Swag! He just might be the best damn character in this book and he didn't get nearly enough page time (please remedy that in book two, Heidi). I want a pocket dragon. Preferably him. Please and thank you.

And then there's Kashmir. SIGH. I want to describe him as loose, but not that kind of loose. He's kind of like a free hippie-spirit and a very interesting character and yes, I SHIP IT. (He kind of reminded me of Jesse de Silva from Meg Cabot's Mediator series. Probably because of the whole "amira" thing.) But I also liked Blake. (Though not as much--as a person, not necessarily the ship--because you really can't compare with Kashmir; he's his own brand of human. Or creature. Really, the whole crew kind of is.) Now, I know what you might be thinking--love triangle. But look at it this way: Nix has been stuck with the same people all her life and never really entertained the idea of living off the ship and being with someone other than Kashmir--if that would ever even happen. (Whether or not anything even happens between them besides sweet flirting is something you'll have to read to find out.) So Blake is this whole life off the seas and away from the crazy life of the Temptation. It's not a triangle, per se. Just give it a chance.

The thing about The Girl from Everywhere is that it's refreshing. We're in various places and time periods and it's unique and not sci-fi (or it doesn't feel like a science fiction novel) and something about it is page turning. I can't quite describe it, but the feel of this book...it's almost like summer? It's that fresh, light feeling summer gives you, and it only comes once a year. (Or at least it does if you live in Washington.) And I liked that! It was new and set The Girl from Everywhere apart from other novels--but in a good way. The writing helped too. The prose was like...tropical juice instead of orange juice. You're used to orange juice--it's good, especially if it's sugary Sunny D--but there's something sweet and refreshing and extra nice about having tropical flavored juice every once in a while. It's Tropicana! And I'm going to stop now, because I'm certain I'm not making any sense.

I appreciate when novels bring something new to the table and do it well, and The Girl from Everywhere did that. It had lovely prose, sweet romance, scenes that make you want to bite your nails to nubs, adventure, time traveling, and a cast of dimensional, fun, and ragtag characters. And that last line--honestly, I'd be fine if this was a standalone (though I'm definitely happy there's a sequel) because that last line was perfection. It was the icing on the cake, the umbrella on the glass of tropical juice. This was a unique take on time travel and a twist on historical fiction and reading it was a blast. And based on what happened in this book, The Girl from Everywhere's sequel is bound to have even more adventure and action and thrills (and more kissing please). Welcome aboard The Temptation, ladies and gentlemen.

Did I like it? Yes!
Did I love it? Not quite.
Would I reread it? This is more likely than not, especially if it's a hardcover--I want to see those maps.
Would I purchase it? It sure would look pretty on my shelves...
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of time travel with a twist (in my opinion; I don't think it's a time travel story, per se), fresh settings, compelling casts of characters, and fun adventures.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Heidi Heilig grew up in Hawaii where she rode horses and raised peacocks, and then she moved to New York City and grew up even more, as one tends to do. Her favorite thing, outside of writing, is travel, and she has haggled for rugs in Morocco, hiked the trails of the Ko’olau Valley, and huddled in a tent in Africa while lions roared in the dark.

She holds an MFA from New York University in Musical Theatre Writing, of all things, and she’s written books and lyrics for shows including The Time Travelers ConventionUnder Construction, and The Hole. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their pet snake. They do not own a cat.

Week 1
February 8 Brittany's Book Rambles | Interview
February 9  Beauty and the Bookshelf Review
February 10 Fangirlish | Guest Post
February 11 The Forest of Words and Pages | Review
February 12 | Nerdophiles | Guest Post

Week 2
February 15 Curling Up With A Good Book | Review
February 16 Reading Lark | Interview
February 17 Reading with ABC | Review
February 18 Once Upon a Twilight | Interview
February 19 Mundie Moms | Review

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  1. It sounds DELIGHTFUL! I've had my eye on this because time travel and also pirate ship and also 1880s and also adventure. I can't wait to read it. :D

  2. Lovely review! I'm so curious about this one. It sounds like a really fun time travel story, and a finished copy sounds like it would be SO beautiful.


  3. Cool review! Thanks a lot. Besides this seems to be a fun story to read!


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