Nix has spent her life traveling through maps with her father. The ability to be able to travel through different maps, fictional or real, is something her father, a Navigator, has a knack for. The problem is that he has an obsession to find the map of Hawaii 1868, so he could find Nix’s mother . . . and erase his daughter from existence?
Why this book?: This is the Keep it Diverse Book Club’s first group read! I was so excited!
A new look at maps
The Girl from Everywhere originally caught my eye not because it was going to be featured as the first book of the KIDBC, but because of the unique premise. Never once before had I heard about a time-traveler that needed maps to going to certain places, and could never go back unless they got another map. That different idea caught my interest, and that was the main reason as to why I was willing to read this.
Because this was recommended through a Diversity Book Club, it goes to say that this book has some noticeable diversity. Nix herself is half Chinese, the culture and legends of which is mentioned multiple times in the book. I also appreciated Bee, a black women who had been in a WLW relationship. Kashmir was also Arabic, and was multilingual, which was also infused in the book.
The whole paradox mystery and two Nix’s was really what kept me reading, wanting to know how this would work out in the end. Otherwise, the writing was nothing special. I found that while it had character, it was rather hackneyed. It felt like the stereotypical YA novel, complete with the love triangle with the goody-two-shoes and bad boy love interests.
While I found Kashmir, the ‘bad boy’ love-interest, amusing and entertaining, he was just another ‘bad boy’ character. The other love-interest, Blake, was much worse, in my opinion. He was completely focused on Nix, and it was basically insta-love being shoved down my throat. It was all that was too Blake’s character, making him the most unbearable character.
I had heard from previous reviews that there were plot problems, and I now realize what they were saying. It was much more stretched out than the summary implied, dragging through unnecessary additions and boring scenes like they would eventually add up in the end. Except they never did wind up adding anything to the plot. This book could have been started much further back than it had, and the timeline might have been improved with being mixed up a bit. It just feels like Heilig didn’t consider the plot and timeline as hard as she should have.
Final Rating: ★★★☆☆
The Girl from Everywhere had a lot of potential with this extremely unique idea with the time travelers that rely on maps. However, Heilig fell back on overused tropes such as love triangles and bad boy/good guy love interests. The plot was off, hitching and being pushed around until it made no sense.
Would I Recommend?
I think that some people would like this. I found the characters to be familiar and repetitive from other books, despite being changed around with the diversity spicing it up. The diversity was a genuine thing, which you could tell with how much research was put into the Chinese ancient culture. This book’s execution just wasn’t done well enough for me to enjoy it fully.
Published: February 16th, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Page Count: 443
Genre: Fantasy/YA/Science Fiction
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.
Or she could disappear.