The Girl From Everywhere
by Heidi Heilig
I'm not sure what to say about this book really, because I liked it...but it felt like I should have loved it and I can't quite pin point why I didn't. I can definitely see why other people would love it (Julie rated it 5 stars) and there were parts of it I did love but something about it just didn't work for me overall.Summary: 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.
The story was really original and I loved that, I loved how the time travel thing was handled in the book (especially the way it mixed it with mythology). Time travel in books is very hit and miss for me (and can be a bit headache-y) but it was definitely a hit in this case.
And the characters -- I loved them and their relationships (mostly). Especially Kashmir. His character was my favourite and I really loved his relationship with Nix (as friends or more -- both were adorable). Their scenes together, and just his character in general, totally stole the show and that was the thing about the book that I loved most.
But the plot itself (beyond any Nix/Kash stuff)...I found it really difficult to care about it most of the time and never really felt invested in it until maybe the last chapter or two. I think part of the problem was that, because Nix is the main character, the reader knows that certain things won't happen...so it was difficult to get swept up in the build up when you know how it'll turn out anyway. Not the specifics of it, but in general, you know how one big part of Nix's story will end up and I found it hard to care about the journey knowing the destination.
Plus, I really did not like the love triangle set up. I was rolling my eyes as soon as Blake showed up. Maybe it's because of the originality in other areas of the book, it was just exasperating/disappointing when it seemed to be going down the same road as 90% of the other YA novels out there. I'm not even one of those people that hates love triangles, I just only like them if they're done well and most of the time they're not -- although I did appreciate that romance didn't overshadow the plot in this one.
Blake is the exception to my loving the characters and relationships comment -- he wasn't a bad character necessarily, just very bland. Given his talents, I can see he could have purpose in the sequel and maybe his character will grow on me in the next book but for now, I'm just hoping that his part in the story isn't just to be the predictable third point to a love triangle that really isn't needed.
Basically, this was a really good book. It was original and fun and I know that most people that read it will probably adore it, but something about it just held me back from really losing myself in the story.
I'd rate it 3.5 stars out of 5, it's definitely one worth checking out. I can't fault the book itself, any issues I had really were just down to personal preference.