Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Published May 17th 2016 by HarperTeen
Length: 382 pages
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.
GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE was an emotional yet adorable book that publishes today (go buy it now!)! I have to say, this book even made me almost cry a couple of times. This novel follows Maguire, who believes that bad luck follows her and that she’s a curse after bad things happen to people when she’s around. So when she meets Jordy, another tennis player and patient at her therapist’s, Jordy and Maguire have to learn to trust each other and learn to face their fears. I thought this concept was really quite adorable and truly brings more awareness to mental illnesses.
Maguire and Jordy’s characters were quite well-developed. They both have their baggage but they are able to still develop a lovely friendship and something more. They both have these challenges, both socially and mentally, that they have to face and I loved reading about how they learn to overcome those fears and struggles and really learn to live.
The romance was also super adorable. The romance was in no way an insta-love, (that will probably please lots of readers) but a romance that grows from mutual trust and friendship. The romance develops from Jordy helping Maguire with her serve in tennis, from from their friendship, and from them both helping each other with their challenges.
Overall, GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE puts a lot of emphasis on topics that are not usually that well-discussed in young adult literature as this book is, such as mental illness and even tennis. It was lovely and poignant and I highly recommend it if you enjoy contemporary romances and books that make you cry.