|Photo credit: Goodreads|
Lucky for me, I temporarily got my hands on an ARC. And it was everything I'd hoped for and more.
Before I go on, here's the Goodreads summary:
"It was the kind of August day that hinted at monsoons, and the year was 1774, though not for very much longer.
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."
So 2016 seems to be a relatively big year for pirates in YA, which is lucky for us all because pirates are awesome, but this is the first time I've seen a story about pirates who travel through time and I loved it.
Nix is Hapa (like the author) which was really cool to see, and she was also a really fun, spunky, and still sensitive protagonist. I connected with her quickly and really empathized with the way she tried to handle her complicated, messy situation. The dynamic she had with her dad, a drug addict obsessed with a single mission that could lead to Nix's not existing anymore, was real, raw and layered.
Add Kash to the mix—the Persian, thief love interest—who very quickly jumped onto my favorite book boyfriends list, and an adorable dragon named Swag along with other quirky and memorable characters, and the cast alone made The Girl from Everywhere incredibly enjoyable.
Then we get to the plot. While the timeline was a bit confusing at times (this is the kind of book, I suspect, you'll want to read more than once), the complicated magic and lush world building made it all worth it. I really enjoyed how the crew's travels wasn't limited to to just real places—they're able to travel to made up worlds as long as they have a map—and yet the rules to the magic system involved really made the whole system feel authentic and unique. As a bonus, the ARC I read had soooo many spots for maps to come—half of my excitement for the hard copy alone is just to see the gorgeous maps in all their splendor.
All in all, The Girl from Everywhere hit it out of the park. If time travel stories and pirates are your thing, I really couldn't recommend this one enough. And even better—you won't have to wait very long because it releases February 16th.
Diversity note: The protagonist, Nix, is Hapa, one of the love interests, Kash, is Persian, one of the crew members is lesbian, another crew member is Chinese, and another is Sudanese.
What have you been reading lately?