by - 5:29 PM

Title: Girl Against the Universe
Author: Paula Stokes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing: May 16th, 2016
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Goodreads blurb:
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 rollercoaster 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 meeting 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 is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

A great summer book, Girl Against the Universe made me sigh in love and swoon so hard for the story and for the characters involved. Maguire is dealing with the accidents that keep happening around her - accidents where she doesn't get hurt but everyone does. So she thinks she has bad luck. She decided to grab her books and spend her days inside her room where nothing bad could happen to people. But she didn't expect to meet a famous tennis player outside her shrink's office.

Jordy is one of my favorite characters from this book. He's so cute from the start and really, really nice. He's also dealing with some stuff and that's why he needs Maguire's help in a way. They form this bond that involves practicing tennis alone, inside jokes, opening up about their lives/past and sharing some good laughs together. They are the greatest friends at first but it's clear Jordy likes her very very much. And I'm actually really happy that their ages weren't something weird or like their parents were against their relationship because of it. Sometimes books take a big step towards NO NO NO it doesn't happen like that. And I liked that about this book.

The structure of the book is also a great thing. You got her therapist sessions with Dr. Leed and then you get her every-day life. It's actually really a smart way to do this book; you get these small chapters that let you know about how Maguire is feeling and how is it going with her challenge's list and how she is trying to go to that place she wants a lot. And when you get to her every-day chapters is simple and great where you just love to see regular activities and tennis practice in school and her interactions with her friends.

Paula Stokes's book is fluff on fluff. Perfect for summer.


Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.

When she's not working (rare), she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She's petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant's trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.
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