Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig


The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Book One of The Girl From Everywhere series
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Rating: 2 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

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.

In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.

What I Liked:

This book was such a colossal disappointment - FOR ME. I recognize that the issues that I had with this book aren't issues that everyone will have. There are a slew of super positive reviews on Goodreads that came way before my review. So there is a very good chance that most people will find this book magical and wonderful and whatnot. But me? No. I will write my harsh negative review in hopes of warning others who have preferences like mine about the things that didn't work for me. 

Aboard the Temptation with her father as Navigator, Nix has been to many places and many time periods. She was born in 1868, but she's been to modern-day New York and deep into the past as well. Her father is searching for a 1868 Honolulu map to be reunited with Nix's mother. But going back to the past, to the mother that died in childbirth, might mean that Nix's existence will disappear. She doesn't know if this WILL happen, but Nix would rather not take the chance. Nix is determined to make it out alive - but there is more at stake than she knows. 

From the synopsis, this book sounds pretty great. Time-traveling fantasy, lots at stake, LINEAR ROMANCE (or so it sounded) -- "If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own." That makes it sound like Nix has one love (Kash, who was mentioned in the line of the synopsis just before this one); WRONG. See next section.

The best part of this book was probably Kashmir (Kash) - I love him so much, and I ache for him, because he does not get what he deserves (a million pounds of gold, a hot bath, and a girl who loves him and only him). He's charming and intelligent and clever and observant and hilarious. And he deserves better.

I honestly thought I was enjoying this book for a bit, with all the interesting historical facts and settings, the weird tales and myths of Hawaii (once the crew reaches Hawaii). It's clear that Heilig really did her research for the story, and it's well-written in that sense. Take away the negatives that I'll list below, and you've got a story of great world-building. And probably a decent, interesting story. But I REALLY did not like certain things, and those things ruined the book for me.

What I Did Not Like:

I'll warn you now that there may be spoilers ahead. I am too f***ing pissed to even think about screening spoilers in this section. Read at your own risk - but if you hate love triangles, you might want to read further regardless.

LOVE TRIANGLE IN THIS BOOK. And it's not a shy one. The synopsis makes the book sound like there is a linear romance! Kash, Nix, riding off into the sunset (or whatever). I LOVE it when the heroine is in love with and/or slowly falls for her best friend! But that's not quite what happened here.

It's obvious that Kash loves Nix. Soooo obvious. He's a flirt and a tease and so charming and wonderful, but he's totally in love with her. Nix has him so friend-zoned though, although she starts to see otherwise as the book goes on. So that's part of the romance - she's seeing that she actually likes him beyond a friend.

But then the second part of the romance is introduced - Leg 2 of the triangle. Blake Hart is on Honolulu (year 1884 - daddy dearest overshot a little). AS SOON AS the author started going into a detailed physical description of a boy "close to Nix's age", I KNEW that he would show up again and he'd make up a love triangle. Why else do we care about his physical appearance? Right, because the heroine is going to fall for him too. YUP.

It would be one thing if Blake were one of those boys that falls for Nix, but Nix doesn't fall for him. You know, those "love triangles" in which one of the boys is an annoying pesky fly that won't go away, but you know he's the dead leg of the triangle because he's just annoying and the heroine doesn't care about him. But... she does. Don't get me wrong - Blake IS annoying. 

The love triangle represents - wait for it - Nix's choice: Blake is a grounded boy, on the island, a constant guy. Kash is your wanderer, part of the crew on the ship. Choose Blake, you choose a settled life on Honolulu. Choose Kash, you choose the wanderer's life, ever the adventurer. SO F***ING CLICHE. And did I mention that Blake is annoying?

Spoiler -- she kisses them both. This bugs some people, and I know it's a deal-breaker for some. For ME, it just solidified the fact that there is a love triangle, and the type of love triangle that isn't about to go away.

And the ending - HA! The ending is a very clear indication that the love triangle isn't going to go away! We have ALL THREE OF THEM - Nix, Kash, and Blake - in the same space! Going to the same place! Are you f***ing kidding me?! That solidifies the love triangle EVEN MORE - Nix gets to bounce around between the two of them in book two. THIS IS WHAT BOTHERS ME THE MOST ABOUT THIS LOVE TRIANGLE.

All caps are totally necessary. 

I thought the love triangle would turn out to be mild - at one point in the book, it looks like Nix is going to leave Hawaii (and Blake) forever - but that wasn't the case. So I'm ridiculously angry because the synopsis REALLY had me thinking that Nix's "love" would be Kashmir (and maybe it is, but then her "love" part 2 is Blake?). I love Kashmir. I think Blake is a waste of space. Pansy. Idiot. Weak. One-dimensional. A space-filler. The author REALLY wanted a love triangle in this book. 

I want to say that Kashmir is the "real" choice, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. The heroine gives no indication of a preference, of which boy has more of her affection. Honestly the more I think about it, the more I despise Nix. She's not incredibly astute, intelligent, and decisive. Not that everyone has to be but... the fact that she isn't when she could/should be, bothers me. A lot.

Well this review is rapidly turning into a love triangle rant, so I'll switch gears for a second. This book is LONG - nearly 500 pages - and it really felt that way. Usually long books don't bother me! 300, 400, 500 pages never really deterred me from reading - or finishing - a book. But 10% into this book, and I was feeling the length. I dreaded continuing this book; maybe I wasn't in the mood, but this book took forever for me to get into it, and obviously I never really got invested. Or maybe I got too invested, which is why I reacted so badly to the love triangle. 

But anyway, I struggled with this book, especially when I first started reading it. It didn't hook me. It never hooked me. It took me entirely too long to finish this book, longer than it usually takes me. Some parts of it were sooo boring, other parts more exciting.

This book threw me because I thought for a second that I was reading a carbon copy of Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. Both deal with ships whose captains/navigators can take you to different times and locations. Weird, no? I didn't like this one nearly as much as I liked Passenger

So, to recap. Love triangle; dumba** heroine; a struggle to get into the story; eerily similar to Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. Mostly - LOVE TRIANGLE with no end in sight. Ew ew ew.

Unfortunately this is a prime example of peer pressure gone wrong - I never would have gotten this book from Edelweiss had a friend not reviewed the book before the book was available from the publisher. I kind of regret ever considering this book! I rarely pick up books based on peer pressure alone - this is exactly why. Go with your instinct/interests, people!

Would I Recommend It:

I so do not recommend this book under any circumstances, especially if you hate love triangle like me, or if ANYTHING I mentioned in the previous section bothered you. If you don't mind love triangles... this is probably going to seem like a jolly good story with lovely world-building and a uniqueness to the locations and whatnot. Otherwise? Steer clear of this one. Far faaaar away.

Rating:

1.5 stars -> rounded up to 2 stars (this is my generosity at its finest, people). I'm rounding up because there is a SLIM chance that I might read the next book, if only to see what happens.  If the love triangle disappears quickly into the sequel, then I'll bite. But at the moment, I refuse to think about continuing with the series. SOMEONE COMFORT ME PLEASE.


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

26 comments:

  1. I was wondering about this book. I wasn't sure I'd like it. I'm sad that you gave it two stars. I think I shall bump it down. There are so many others to read.

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    1. I'm curious to see what you'll think if you read it, Brooke! But you're right, the TBR never ends. O_O

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  2. I hate love triangles. HATE them. I'm so glad you were brutally honest in your review. I agree with Brooke. My TBR pile has taken over my house. I'm not going to waste precious time on yet ANOTHER book that with lazy writing (which is what love triangles are, to me), instead of developing something fresh and worthwhile.

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    1. I can't stand them! This is one to skip, for you, Michelle. I agree about love triangles and lazy writing! It's not an enticing plot device at all. No thank you!

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  3. I've been curious about this book BUT I didn't *really* care about it that much. Seeing that there's a blasted love-triangle and that the MC is so stupid is enough for me. I'll skip this one altogether and save my time on something better! I'm sorry this one was such a letdown for you and hopefully your next read is/was better! Thanks for sharing your thoughts here Alyssa^^ xx

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    1. Hahaha! I personally think that's a good decision for you, Micheline. My next read after this one was The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine, and I LOVED it! (Which I think you saw - thank you!)

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  4. Wow. Totally skipping this book. Perfect review.

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  5. Goddamn it. I shall stay far, far away from this book :( STUPID LOVE TRIANGLE. I am so angry right now. WHYYYYY do authors do this? I don't get it. It isn't fair. It isn't good. And just. Ugh. Fuck this book. lol. SORRY :D Your review is all kinds of lovely, though, Alyssa. <3 Hugs. I'm sorry this book sucked so much. But now I am THRILLED that you have read it, lol :D Because now I know to never ever read it. She kisses both? SERIOUSLY? Yeah. I'm never reading it. NEVER. So annoyed. Sigh. Now I shall forget about this book, lol :) Thank you for letting me know sweetie. <3

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    1. You especially do NOT want this book, Carina! I know you hate love triangles just as much as I do - and I wrote that line about her kissing both of them, with you in mind! It bothers me too but I know it bothers you more. Soooo... nope nope nope. Just pretend it does not exist!

      You're very welcome - and thank YOU!

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  6. Oh bummer. I only started reading for reviews for this one because I was in the decision making stage of the read. I didn't know if I should read it or not. So far my trusted blogging pals have all summed up that this read is just kind of blah for a multitude of reasons. I can handle a love triangle if there really seems a reason why she struggles to choose a guy, though I still have the mind to believe your heart really only wants one and all that. But yeah. Not a love triangle fan, but I deal with them when it's a book I really want to read. Since this was one I was debating on, I'm now thinking of just avoiding it. Nice honest review! I don't mind the rants! It shows your passionate about reading! :)

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    1. Honestly I'm kind of mad at myself for downloading it in the first place. It was not worth it! I did it because of peer pressure - which usually backfires on me. Go with your gut, Alyssa...

      I'm not sure you'd like this one! With the love triangle, and the indecisive protagonist... it really marred the story.

      Thank you, Jessica! <3

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  7. I'm sad that you didn't like this one! I am really excited for this one. I think I'm still excited, but maybe not quite as excited after reading this. That sounds like an extremely annoying love triangle, but I think the author is really cool and I love the cover of this book. I hope I'm not making a huge mistake by choosing to still read this book, but I'm gonna give it a shot in February! Great review! I love the honesty!

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    1. Let me know what you think of it, when you read it! The author IS really sweet (although I swear, I feel like she read my review, not that I tweeted at her or anything). I'm actually super disappointed that I didn't like the book! But it is what it is.

      Thank you, Cyra! Happy reading!

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  8. Hmmm... I can handle love triangles if they are done right. I am definitely not putting this on top of my to read list then. I was really excited for it, but maybe I'll wait lol!

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    1. If you read it, Erin, I hope you enjoy it! :)

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  9. gah I'm so sad you didn't enjoy this!! I finished it last night and absolutely loved it!! I am totally on the Brett is a twat train, but I have to admit triangles just don't bother me all that much. I loved the history and world building in this one and I feel like I've been reading a lot of time travel books lately, but they haven't been meshing together for me quite as much.

    I have to say that I feel the exact opposite about where Heilig left this... the end with them all in one spot makes me excited to see what travels are next.

    I will say that I felt like her connection to Kash was way stronger especially at the end, but that could have just been my wishful thinking for sure. I did love him, possibly as much as you! He calls her 'Amira' *sigh*

    okay I'll stop rambling, but I am super duper sad you didn't enjoy this one! On to the next though right?!
    x
    jaime

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    1. I saw that you were reading it! We're reading twins lololol. And I saw that you loved it! That makes me happy - it makes me sad that I despised the book. :/ I'm one of those people that get up in arms over love triangles! Especially when I have to wait for the next book(s) to see how the triangle is resolved. UGH.

      I DO think that the protagonist's connection is stronger with Kash, like you said, and this makes me happy because ew Blake the twat. But I can't help but be mad that her feelings for Blake also exist (*rages*). I LOVE his pet name for her! Honestly I was so in love with this book (and Kash) until they get to Hawaii and she spies a certain islander! *RAGES MORE*

      My next one was The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine - it was MAGICAL! :D

      Thank you, Jaime!

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  10. Nooooooooo!!!! You know how I feel about triangles. I especially hate them as representations of two choices. And when the heroine bounces back and forth between 2 guys forever. Why do people think waffling is sexy? I hope this Kas guy finds a new girl. But I bet the publisher likes this triangle too and it isn't going anywhere. Triangles sell books, sadly. :((((( I hope your next read is amazing. Don't end 2015 like this, girl!

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    1. UGH SERIOUSLY THOUGH, THAT CLICHE IS SO CLICHE AND UGH! lololol. Oh gosh the waffling is not amusing or enticing and doesn't make me want to read the book at all! Same for you! Kash is so sweet and I looooove him and I love that he loves her but UGH he deserves better (even if she DOES love him over Blake).

      But you are right, triangles sell. Which is unfortunate. It's too bad because Heilig won't be getting my money.

      Certainly not! I read The Shadow Queen next and LOVED it. :D On to The Distance From A to Z!

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  11. Bless you for your reviews! I'm so glad you go into enough detail with the romance...
    Well, needless to say I will definitely be avoiding this one! SUCH a shame because the synopsis, like you said, gives no hint of a triangle and it sounded like a great romance. I hope the author reads your review lol. It makes me so mad!

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    1. <33333 I do what I can!

      It really is a shame! I so wanted to like this one (believe me, I didn't go in with the intention of hating the book!). Everything up until Hawaii was AMAZING (Kash and his pet name "Amira" -- gah!). But the love triangle f***ed up everything soooo I just couldn't recover after that LOL.

      I kind of think she has... not because I tweeted this directly at her, but I DID tweet a general link with no "@"'s and she follows me so I feel like she saw it... that's awkward and it makes me feel weird BUT I can't help not liking what I don't like? Just like she can't help that she wrote a book that I didn't like. LOL

      Anyway! Skip and move on, Danielle! Happy reading and Happy New Year. :)

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  12. I just finished this over Christmas and was rounding it up to 3 stars...but when I started writing out my thoughts, I struggled to find positives. Yep, it's probably going to go down to 2.

    I'm not sure what the author's planning for the next book. I wish I could say there was no love triangle ahead because Nix does kind of seem to come to firm decisions regarding both guys...but she doesn't exactly voice it clearly? I don't know. The dog can stay, but the boy should have died/stayed behind. :P The only way I can see this working in Book 2 is if we get a new narrator and see an established/unchallenged Nix/Kash romance on the side...

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    1. I can't think of many besides my love for Kash. :)

      If she came to some sort of conclusion about the boys (did she though?), it wasn't clear. She kept going back and forth, and then she was like, I'll never see THIS guy again, and then she was like, well what happens on the beach stays on the beach... k NO. I'm just not all that interested in the wishy-washy behavior!

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    2. Yeah, I think we were meant to understand Nix had come to a decision that loser boy was just an unserious flirtation and Kash was the real deal, case closed...but it wasn't exactly spelled out...which was strange. :P I'll likely be skipping Book 2 unless it delves into completely different waters...like a different ship and set of time travelers? :)

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    3. Ooo, that would be cool, if the POV changed or something! I'd like to see more from the time-travel aspect and less from the only-focused-on-Hawaii part. Book two must fall from the sky for me to read it, I think. I've completely lost interest, the farther away it gets from when I actually read the book. LOL

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