Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.
As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.
But the end to it all looms closer every day.
Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.
For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.
She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.
When I got this book on my kindle everyone at the time who had read it already was raving about how brilliant it was, which made me genuinely excited to read it. It is four days shy of it's two year anniversary of the release date so I obviously took too long to finally read it because I kept pushing it aside and picking up other books instead. But when I finally decided, yes, this was going to be on my TBR for February I was just as excited as I was a couple years ago. The Girl From Everywhere had so many elements that pointed in the direction of this being a perfect story for me. Unfortunately, there was just something about it that made it almost incapable for me to get pulled into the story.
Depending on what character you're talking about, they're either great or boring. Our main character, Nixie, has an amazingly written friendship/budding relationship with Kashmir, a boy who is helping her father find the map they need to get to the year where her mother was alive. Kashmir is incredibly witty and fun and every time he popped up in a scene, he made it better. Kashmir was definitely my favorite character. I also felt for the tragedy that was the relationship between Nixie and her father Slate. I think the writing was really well done when it came to the emotions of these two characters. Nixie is so desperate to get the approval and love from her father, where he is so focused on getting back to his wife he has taken for granted the daughter he has in present day. It's incredibly heartbreaking. However, Nixie herself on her own was a bit of a boring character. With Kashmir she was sarcastic and witty, with Slate she was relatable and sad. But on her own I didn't really know anything about her. And all the other characters felt almost 2D at times. Their backstories are barely touched on and they don't come up enough for the reader to really get to know their personalities. I would have loved to get to know the crewmates because they all seemed so interesting. I also didn't care about Blake, at all. I felt myself eyeroll anytime he showed up. I am not entirely sure why, I just hated him.
The plot itself is incredibly interesting and sounds epic. It was one of the reasons why I got it for my kindle. I am not one to be super into time travel but I was here for the premise of the book along with all the praise it was getting. However, for a lot of my experience reading I was really bored. I would have to skim just to convince myself to keep reading and when exciting moments happened they were either over too soon or the writing made it hard to follow what was happening. After 50% of the story I was full on skimming and even then I had to force myself to finish. I thought the conflicts the characters had to go through were realistic and interesting but it wasn't enough for me to feel fully invested. However, there was a clever part at the end that I really enjoyed and definitely made me like the story as a whole more than I thought I would.
The writing I think was my main problem. I definitely think the author has moments of great writing, but there are a lot of parts that I think needed improvement. The dialogue was well written and I think Heilig is talented at getting emotion through to the readers. I felt like the characters (at least, the three we get to know the most about, Slade, Kashmir, and sometimes Nixie) came through with their dialogue. But the action sometimes got muddled and things got really boring at times. It wasn't engaging enough for me to stay completely focused. I couldn't slip into the story and most of the time I had to force myself to read it.
This is a well loved book, so I know Ii am in the minority here when it comes to my opinion. So although I cannot say I recommend this book but I can't say I don't recommend it either. Maybe I read it at the wrong time, maybe the writing or story (or both) just wasn't for me. Who knows? I definitely say give it a try if you read the synopsis and it sounds interesting.