Title: The Girl from Everywhere
Author: Heidi Heilig
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins imprint)
Nix's life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix's father can sail his ship, the Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he's uncovered the one map he's always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix's mother died in childbirth. Nix's life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix's future, her dreams, her adventures... her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who's been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.
The Girl from Everywhere is full of adventure, intrigue, danger, and magic. It's a story of searching and hunting and racing across the seas, a story of hope and fear and impossibility.
Nix is rough and opinionated. Her relationship with her father is ragged and jagged around the edges, a constant battle of love and distrust and fearful arguments. For a girl with her whole life in front of her, she fears the past and the future. The past, when her mother birthed her and died. The past her father is desperate to return to, to save her mother. But is Nix continues along with his plans, if they return to a point in time before her mother died, what will happen to Nix? What if she makes plans of her own?
The history here is rich and detailed. The Temptation travels through time, yes, but with an old world magic and glamour to it. Maps have always been the key to travel, the ways we plot out our journeys. Our adventures. In this book, to this captain, they're a way to travel across space and time, gliding across the page and into the seas themselves. Towards distant countries and mystical islands. And the detail in which 19th century Honolulu is portrayed is wonderful. It's so rare to see a book set in this place at this point in American history, mostly because it's largely ignored and often forgotten.
This is a book of possibility, of regrets and hopes and tension, of mistakes and second chances. This is a book about obsession, about how we cannot let go of what we crave. Who we love. Nix's father cannot let go of her mother, of his love for her, and Nix cannot let go of her desire to live. To continue. To be a real girl and not an accident or mistake. This book is filled with adventure and danger, of treasure-seeking and home-searching, of impossibility and mortality. How wonderful it was to find a book with a diverse heroine, a complicated and sometimes angry heroine, and multiple characters of colour. And have it be genre fiction! As I turned the last page, I couldn't help but wonder about whatever could happen next. What's coming in the next book?
(I downloaded an e-galley of this book from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.)