'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 5 June 2016

Review: The Girl from Everywhere

Sixteen-year-old Nix is a time-traveller, one of only a handful of people who can navigate to any place and any time in the world simply by following a map.

From modern-day New York to ancient Rome, as long as the map is accurate, Nix can use it to take herself, her father and the crew of their ship The Temptation there. There's only one catch — each map can only be used once.

Actually, there's another catch. Her father is desperate to go to one particular destination: Hawaii in 1868. At this time, in Honolulu, the love of his life, Nix's mother, was still alive … but Nix wasn't yet born. So if they do find the right map, and Nix does take them there, will Nix even exist anymore?

This is far more than just a sweeping adventure with plenty of romance thrown in. The relationship between Nix and her father is one that transcends the fantasy setting of the novel. As he battles his addictions and the pull of his memories, Nix is torn between loving him and resenting him. At times, she's the adult looking after him, and it's a role she would do anything to escape.

Heidi Heilig also paints a fascinating picture of a key time in Hawaii's history. In 1868 it was still an independent sovereign kingdom, but the king would soon be overthrown by European and American capitalists intent on exploiting its wealth for their own ends — the first step in Hawaii eventually becoming a US state in 1959. These historically turbulent times form a backdrop that neatly parallels the emotional turbulence of Nix's own life, adding an unexpected depth to the story.

And as an aside, this is one of the most beautiful covers I've seen on a novel in a long time.

Title: The Girl from Everywhere
Author: Heidi Heilig
Publisher: Hot Key Books, $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: May 2016
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781471405105
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult Fiction