Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"The Girl From Everywhere" by Heidi Heilig

FTC Disclosure: I received an e-ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

This young adult novel had a little bit of everything - time travel, adventure, romance, history, and pirates. It was combined in a fun, fresh narrative with solid heroine, and I simply could not put it down.

Nix travels with her father, adventuring around the world and through time in their ship, the Temptation. As a Navigator, her father can use any map to travel to the place and time it was drawn, real or fantastic. But each map can only be used once. Nix longs to learn to Navigate herself as a means of protection - her father seeks a specific map that may undo Nix's very existence.

At the heart of this novel is Nix's complicated relationship with her father. She has traveled with him her entire life, but never felt that she was at the center of his world. She feels she is simply a tool in his quest to return to her mother's time. Yet surrounding her is the crew, encountered and brought on board throughout their travels. These crew form her family of sorts, and her relationships with them are a captivating element of the novel.

I appreciated the way the author explored the world - Nix knows how her world works, the ins and outs of the maps. But she doesn't actually know how to Navigate, and the reader learns details and specifics along with her. Heilig's writing is simple and direct, but occasionally she turns a sharp, beautiful phrase. This book is marketed as young adult, but I think a mature middle grade reader could handle it - there's just a first kiss and the beginnings of a not-yet-annoying love triangle. I recently saw that Heilig is working on a sequel to this novel & I can't wait to read it!

Verdict: Affirmed. This novel created a new world nestled within our own, and I can't wait to see where Nix & the crew Navigate next.

"The Girl from Everywhere" by Heidi Heilig, published February 16, 2016 by Greenwillow Books in the US and March 3, 2016 in the UK by Hot Key Books.

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