Girl Against the Universe

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Rating: 4.5 Stars
Published:  May 2016
Genre: Young Adult // Contemporary
Favorite Quote

Some people think they can just decree that everything will be fine.  The world doesn’t look like that.  I’m not sure the world gives a crap about anyone’s promises, well-meaning or otherwise.  Sometimes the Universe just takes what it wants.

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the roller coaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.
It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away may be harder than she thought. (Summary from Goodreads)

This is my first novel by Paula Stokes and oh boy,  I loved it! I read it in a day.  I’m pretty picky with my contemporary novels and this is a wonderful addition to my collection.  This book was included in my May’s Uppercase box and I had been putting off reading it generally in favor of fantasy books.  But I picked it up one day and couldn’t put it down!

Maguire is cursed with bad luck.  She’s kept herself isolated and that’s the way she likes it.

Jordy is, well, Jordy has his problems.  But he’s working on them, just like Maguire is.

This book is a prime example of how books influence my habits.  Reading about tennis really makes me want to go out and play.  But I know I’m terrible at tennis (and yes, it takes practice, I get that). I shouldn’t want to go play tennis.

I like that a big part of the storyline is therapy.  Books written about mental illness make me feel less alone.

I will always have a soft spot for YA Contemporary novels.  No matter how cheesy, sappy, or improbable, YA Contemporary gives joy and hope and teaches you about yourself.

“The world is full of holes and uneven seams, wrinkled places that you can’t make smooth, no matter how hard you try.”

This was a book that I needed to read at the exact time I read it.   This book made me think about my own mental health.  Books that make you think, that make you change the way you see the world or other people, are always good books to have read.

The characters were dynamic and flawed.  The story was borderline predictable.  But I devoured this book.  I read it within a day or so and just felt so many emotions once I put it down.

If you’re into YA Contemporary, read this.  If you like cute love stories, read this.  If you want to read more books that contain therapy/mental illness, read this.

I’m looking forward to more books by Paula Stokes. Have you read any? What’s your favorite?

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