Sunday, June 5, 2016

Review: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Firstly, thanks to Allen & Unwin for this review copy <3


Date Read: May 22-30 2016
Date Released: May 2016
Publisher: Allen & Unwin/Hot Key Books
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Sci-fi/time travel
My Rating:

Note this review may contain some spoilery ranting.

"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."


You guys it happened again *cries*. I got sucked in by a pretty cover and lost. The Girl from Everywhere started so strong, in seven short chapters we’d travelled to three different countries and centuries. And after that it all went downhill.

I found that the blurb didn’t explain the book properly. It did not meet my expectations and sadly I felt misled. What I was expecting: a mad race across eras and countries in search of this map to find Nix’s mother (the blurb on my edition didn’t even explain this, all it says is the MC is in danger), something along the lines of Passenger. What I got: 75% of the book spent in Hawaii planning a lame and stupid heist.

The premise goes like this, Nix and her father can time travel through maps (I felt this wasn't properly explained, I felt jipped). And her father’s whole life has been spent trying to get back to Hawaii in the late 19th century to go back to Nix’s mother. The book could have been an action-packed wild goose chase, instead it was a steady bore with them docked in Hawaii for the most part.

Nix was so bland ugh. She’s spent time in the 21st century so she’s got the qualities of a modern teen which is fine. But she’s also meant to have spent just as much time in the 18th – 20th centuries… So when they’re in the 19th century she’s all like “oh I need to act like the Victorian era otherwise ppl will be sus” but she doesn’t? Like what I thought you were meant to have lots of travelling experience how have you not learnt to assimilate into cultures? You could say she’s rebellious but when it comes the time to be rebellious and brave she backs out. Girl get your priorities in order. Pretty sure 90% of the book is her sulking that her dad wants to find her mum and not for one moment does she wonder what it would be like to meet her mum.

Which brings me to the next point. There’s heaps of characters and they all have stories and yet the relationships between these characters are not explored. Father and daughter seemed so fake, no idea how the crew members joined the ship, no inkling of Slate’s (her dad) relationships and feelings towards anybody else except his obsession with Lin (momma Song). And also no mention of whether mother cared for daughter at any point. Where were the connections? The feelings and emotions?

Oh wait! They were too busy being concentrated on the attempt at not-a-love-triangle-but-it-really-is GAGGGG. This was absolutely terrible. Heilig was trying oh so very hard (or maybe not so hard) to make the romance not a love triangle but it 100% was (I’m not sure why I keep using percentages in this review LOL). I was completely on board with one guy but the other guy was completely unbelievable. She was saying how she had feelings for him and I was like no you don’t, you totally like the other guy. AND APPARENTLY THERE’S A SEQUEL SO?

As I mentioned in the beginning, my biggest gripe was with the plot. I felt very misled because there was barely any time travel and it wasn’t some dangerous adventure at all. Ok it sort of was but I was so bored I didn’t feel it. And unfortunately that’s the word I’d use to describe this book: boring. Chapters 1-7 are pretty interesting time travel, then 8 onwards is spent in Hawaii where nothing happens. There’s supposed plotting and schemes but it was all happening extremely slowly. And then Heilig chucks in this random place near the end like no that does not make it better *yawns*.

At first I thought the world-building was good and the writing decent. Then I was speaking with another blogger and she was saying how the Mandarin was wrong and the Hawaiian research was actually not properly done and I was even more disappointed because at this point the book is beyond saving.

Then I got to the end and I was like ARE YOU JOKING ALL OF THAT FOR WHAT? I can’t imagine what the sequel could be about because this story is way finished. 


  1. YES I DEFINITELY WANTED MORE TRAVELLING. I mean that amazing premise was just WASTED, right?


  2. LOL Jaz I can definitely feel your disappointment in this review! Yeah, fake promises with the time travelling and that whole random China thing was like totally out of the blue. The love triangle was frustrating and I wasn't a fan of the MC either. We all know who the clear winner with the triangle btw but her indecisiveness was so frustrating.

  3. I'm in total agreement! I really liked the first and last quarters of the book but the middle just dragged on forever! And the time travel rules were definitely not properly explained. It just seemed like anything was okay. The fact that it was fast-paced saved it for me.