Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dual Reviews: The Girl From Everywhere & The Leaving Season

Hey, everyone! These two reviews are sooooooo long overdue. Mostly because one of them, I had trouble finishing it properly, but since I wanted to do a dual review post instead of two separate ones, the other has been put on hold too from publishing it. Apologies for not having put these up sooner, but better late than never, right? ;) Let me know what you thought of them, if you have read them, or if you plan to read these novels sometime in the future :) Without further ado, here are my thoughts:

Title: The Girl From Everywhere
Author: Heidi Heilig
Published: February 16th 2016 by Greenwillow Books
Read: Dec 20th, 2015 to Oct 2nd, 2016
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
*an ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review*
Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.

She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear.

There are multiple elements that make The Girl From Everywhere a fantastic read for a lot of people, and I certainly see why there has been so much rave by fellow bloggers and readers alike. I always love a good pirate stories and movie, plus I love traveling in real life and through fitcion to different locations and time periods. At first glance, this book has everything I want in a story, but while some elements succeeded for me, some did not.

the great

  • An author who writes #ownvoice stories; yes please!
  • A half Chinese, half Hawaiian heroine who has some spark and spunk to her, who is thoughtful, kind and on a journey of self-discovery
  • Temptation's crew is very diverse and I found all of the crew members (with one exception, more on that below) very endearing
  • Speaking of the crew, I LOVE KASH SO ÜBER MUCH WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE ISN'T REAL *falls into a puddle of feels* 
  • The setting; I have never traveled to Hawaii, but due to the lush and vivid setting, my urge to visit this beautiful place one day is even bigger now (though ofc a lot has changed since the time period when this book takes place and now) 
  • The start of the book was really great: intriguing, fast-paced, filled with longing, funny remarks and even pulls at your heartstrings!
  • I also liked the ending and all the possibilities where the story could go
  • I'm not a fan of Nix's dad, because he dismisses her so much, and it hurts even more to read it from Nix's point of view and seeing her hurt over his constant dismissal, but I did like the vulnerable moments from both of them that peeked through from time to time
  • I liked that this book featured bipolar disorder and it isn't stated that this book isn't specifically about bipolar disorder but just features a character who is bipolar; it shows well that even in a fantasy/sci-fi world you can very well include neurodiversity and it doesn't have to be left just for contemporary novels

the (maybe) not-so great

  • The plot. I was forced to put the book down because of my exams in January, but after that.. I just found it hard to pick up? I was about halfway through by then and every time afterwards when I tried to pick it up, even after my own hardcover copy arrived, it was a struggle, because nothing. was. happening. Or more like, things were happening, but it was still the same thing and next to no progress was made: the same conversations, the same plans, the same everything. Needless to say it dragged a lot in the middle and the latter half of the novel.
  • The love triangle elements. Honestly, I'm not opposed to love triangles anymore. Weird, right? I've grown to appreciate a good love triangle and they don't bother me that much. I also don't mind Nix wanting to experience something that is not tied to Temptation and just be an ordinary girl. I'm all here for this! (you know.. as long as my ship is endgame..) What I do mind though, is that the blurb (I think the original blurb might have been changed, because I seem to remember Kash's name being mentioned; hmmmmmm) gave no implication of a love triangle and it very much implies that Kash is the only love interest (or at least it was so at the time I requested this book for review). I'm sorry, but I can't even remember the name of this other love interest, because he's so bland and how could anyone ever compete with Kash in these books! It's an injustice in itself, to be honest. The other guy is extremely pushy and annoying; by the time he actually dared to threaten Kash so Nix would consider his plan or whatever, I was ready to sucker punch him in the face. I wish this other guy hadn't taken up so much of the book. (I guess it's pretty obvious which team I'm on.)
  • I did say above that I loved traveling to different places, but while the scenery, clothing and such were described well, I would have liked to have seen more of the local cuisine, customs and whatnot. I read Written in the Stars eariler this year (I will try to review it soon here, too!) and that book excelled so beautifully at introducing the local culture that, at times, TGFE just fell short for me.
  • The world building outside of Hawaii. For a time traveling book, there is barely any time traveling besides the first few chapters. I'm thinking there will be more in the sequel? I'd also like to know more about the Navigators' world, more of its history, the specifics of how it all works etc. There's a lot to explore there.

I have seen so many people rave about this book and love it a lot, but even though I enjoyed some aspects, there were things that dragged for me and what I wanted to see more of. I haven't decided yet whether I want to pursue the sequel, though I really want to see where it goes and how Nix's story ends. Overall, this book lacked for me in many areas, but as a whole, it was still a promising debut and I can't wait to see where Heiling takes us next as we follow her in her career.

Overall rating: 3.0 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★

Meet the author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Thank you to Edelweiss and Greenwillow Books for an ARC. My thoughts are
my own and in no way did this review copy affect my thoughts.

Title: The Leaving Season
Author: Cat Jordan
Published: March 1st 2016 by HarperTeen
Read: February 22nd to 25th, 2016
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
*an ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review*

Middie Daniels calls it the Leaving Season—the time of year when everyone graduates high school, packs up their brand-new suitcases, and leaves home for the first time.

It happens every late August, but this year Middie’s boyfriend, Nate, is the one leaving. Nate, who’s so perfect that she can barely believe it. Nate, who makes her better than she is on her own. Nate, who’s promised to come back once he’s finished his gap year volunteering in Central America.

And when he does, it’ll be time for Middie to leave, too. With him.

But when tragedy strikes, Middie’s whole world is set spinning. No one seems to understand just how lost she is…except for Nate’s best friend Lee.

Middie and Lee have never gotten along. She’s always known that she was destined for great things, and Lee acts like he’s never cared about anything a day in his life. But with the ground ripped out from under her, Middie is finding that up is down—and that Lee Ryan might be just what she needs to find her footing once more.
I must admit that I requested this book because I really felt like it would be my kind of read what with the contemporary genre, self discovery, a blossoming romance between seemingly unlikely match. But then I saw the Goodreads rating when I marked it as "currently reading" and it's quite a low one; none of my trusted friends had read it yet and it gave me a small fright that perhaps this may end up as a disaster. I decided to still try it at least since the publisher was generous enough to provide an arc and I'm glad I did, because soon I found myself immersed in Middie's life and wanting to see how it all turns out.

I'm not sure how I feel about the "going to Central America and have that kind of thing happen" part, because it doesn't paint a particularly good picture of Central America to the reader and while these dangers do exist in the world and are a real issue, it was still a bit icky, because there could have been various other ways to create that drift between Middie and Nate. That aside, I enjoyed seeing Middie grow into a person she truly is in her heart and not letting others dictate or put boundaries on who they want her to be. Middie is definitely a character that some readers may not appreciate, but I certainly did. She's flawed and human; she makes mistakes, but she also learns from them. (Most of the time.) There were moments when I wanted to shake her though and tell her to not be so self-absorbed and look at the things Lee is going through as well, especially at some parts in the latter half of the novel. Lee and Middie are both stubborn which creates a bunch of angst, but thankfully I'm the kind of gal who loves angst in her fiction, so there were quite a few tears on my part at one point. 

One of the things I love the most about The Leaving Season is sex positivity. This book doesn't shy away from (safe) sex talk nor the act itself. Seeing as it's a YA book, obviously it's not anything explicit, but it's not erased or completely fade-to-black. There are some really enjoyable, fun scenes and thoughtful discussions. It is hard to connect to Middie at first since the book jumps right into Nate leaving (and, by the way, Nate is great), so it takes some time to empathize with the whole situation and what happens next, but as a whole, this was a pleasant surprise which made me laugh at times and feel sad, which I didn't expect as much at the beginning stages of my reading experience. While not my favorite book of all time, it was exactly what I needed at the time of reading it!

Overall rating: 3.0 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★

Meet the author


Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for an ARC. My thoughts are
my own and in no way did this review copy affect my thoughts.


  1. I think from both of these reviews I would enjoy The Girl From Everywhere, which I'm quite surprised, as I would typically gravitate towards books like The Leaving Season. I like how The Girl From Everywhere has a lot going for it and I of course can see myself falling for someone like Kash, I'm pleased to see that you enjoyed this book overall despite having some issues with it. Great reviews darling! :)

  2. Siiri I can't believe I missed one of your blog posts rip I've been so off my social media game lately but I'm sorry to see that TGFE ended up being the lukewarm read despite all the positive hype about it. I really need to finish that myself, but I can't seem to muster up too much enthusiasm for it though I do want to tune in for Kash. Also The Leaving Season does sound like my type of book too, so I might check it out at the library bc the sex positivity is a def bonus and I kinda am intrigued by the whole Lee and Middie dynamic. I've missed your pro-con reviews so I'm so glad to seem them back <3

    Eri @ Airy Reads