Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Podcast Review: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Title: The Girl From Everywhere
Series: The Girl from Everywhere #1
Written by: Heidi Heilig
Published: March 3, 2016 by Hot Key Books
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****

I'm really excited for this review because in addition to having a written review for you, I also have a podcast review! If you haven't been following Please Feed My Bookworm Thoughts, it is the bookish podcast I have been doing with Britt from Please Feed the Bookworm. This is our first ever review so check out down below to listen to our thoughts or visit us on Soundcloud. But be warned, the second half of the podcast does have spoilers. The written review is spoiler free though.

The Girl From Everywhere was one of my most anticipated 2016 debuts. It sounded like an absolutely amazing exploration of time travel and family. And it was good. Just one more on a list of great time travel books coming out recently. However while I loved the character moments, the general plot development didn't always work for me.

My favorite thing about this book was probably the more character-driven moments. For one thing, I really liked Nix as a main character. She was a great combination of strength and vulnerability making her a complex character that I was rooting for. She’s smart, resourceful, and tough. I like how much people rely on her and treat her as an equal but that she makes mistakes and isn’t perfect. But my favorite characters were the secondary ones, especially those on the ship. Kashmir was great, Bee was fun, even Rotgut. And then there was her father, who I surprisingly loved. He had really great development throughout the book. But better than that, the relationships between Nix and the other characters were really fantastic. I particularly liked how she and her father related to each other and how that developed throughout the book. Even the romances were great and kind of refreshing. Some readers might get annoyed with the love triangle but for me it worked. But that was probably because there really weren't many romantic moments. It was just the start of something, maybe.

The setting and historical aspects too were really interesting. Most of the places that they traveled was really interesting, and there was a great combination of history and mythology that I really appreciated. But the bulk of the story took place in 19th Century Hawaii and the author did a great job of developing that setting. I read this book as part of my pirate month and you had not only really great sailing and high seas elements of this story but the tropical island really came alive. There was beautiful coastlines, waterfalls, jungles. It made me want to go to Hawaii more then I already do. There were also some subtle political intrigue and interesting historical moments which I honestly knew very little about. This had me looking up and researching Hawaiian history because I needed to know what actually happened and that to me is the mark of great historical fiction.

But as much as I liked the historical elements, the time travel stuff didn't totally work. I think I could have used a little bit more of those aspects. I like my time travel to have clear rules and yes, there were specific rules and the way they actually traveled was interesting, but it just was a much smaller part of the story than I was hoping for. I like my time travel to for lack of a better phrase, to go big or go home. Here the time travel was more of an undercurrent. I was thinking there would be more conversation of the butterfly affect and other aspect of time travel but here it was more subtle. They didn't even really talk about or explain the consequences of travelling through time until two-thirds of the way into the book.

However, when that time travel stuff did kick in, it was a fantastic read. It did have a bit of a slow start to me with quite a bit of exposition before getting into the heart of the story, but in the end the plot was incredibly intricate. Things came full circle and little things from earlier in the book came back in a big way during the climax. I saw a review from Alex at The Book Buzz where she called it a heist and that is so accurate. The heist elements were so brilliant and definitely my favorite part despite it not totally connecting with the historical elements. And that may have been because that was the big finish. I was definitely on the edge of my seat during the last 15% of the book. And while this is the first book in a series, I really appreciate that this one had a clear ending with exciting prospects of what will happen next.

All in all, a good read that had great characters who interacted in fantastic ways, and interesting historical settings that combined history and mythology perfectly. Despite the slow pacing and the fact that it took me awhile to get into it, finished really strong with a conclusion that brought things full circle.

I give The Girl From Everywhere 8 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy/Borrow. I would recommend to fans of historical fiction or anyone looking to try time travel for the first time. But I would also recommend this book to readers who like more character based stories that explore family relationships. That was the best part of this book to me.

Have you read The Girl From Everywhere? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. And don't forget to check out the podcast down below for more of my thoughts and learn what Britt thoughts of the book. Especially if you read the book because we have spoilery thoughts in the last 20 minutes. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. Great review! I'm seen this book around, and I definitely need to read it soon. I don't time-travelling often, so I'm excited to give this one a try! This is the first time I've seen an audio review, and I love it :)

    Erika @ Books, Stars, and the Pages in Between

    1. I'm glad you liked the audio review. I think we're going to try to do them once a month. I'll be interested to see what you think. I do time travel a lot.