Thursday, May 26, 2016

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

ARC, 377 pages
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Published by: HarperTeen
Source: TLA
For fans of: Sports, Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction, Diversity Disability (Illness)

     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.


     This book has been getting a lot of hype lately and after devouring it in about two days (two sittings) I can honestly say this hype is well deserved. I can definitely say this is going down as one of my favorite contemps of 2016.
"No one can help. [...] Because the Universe hates me"
pg. 9 (ARC)
     Maguire's life is hard. She believes she's bad luck. Because of this she prefers to stay in her room to ensure that everyone around her stays safe. But then one day she meets the irresistible Jordy and she can't seem to hide from him like she does from everyone else. 
"The first thing you need to realize is that mental health is fluid. It's not like you have an infection and a doctor gives you antibiotics and then you're cured. No matter what the two of us accomplish together, you're still going to have good days and bad days."
pg. 27 (ARC)
     The main thing about this that I liked was the characters. Maguire shows SO MUCH growth. There were times when I found myself cheering out loud for her because I was so excited for her. And then there was Jordy. His patience with Jordy and her illness was amazing. I was impressed that he never got frustrated or upset with her. That he  just GOT IT. All the secondary characters were amazing as well and they all played an equally important part in helping the story and I enjoyed reading about them all. 
"We're all afraid of things."
pg. 134 (ARC)
     The there was the way the mental health was handled. As someone who has OCD and anxiety, I thought I might find this book a little hard to read. Like Maguire I find myself not wanting to drive with people in the car and sometimes I don't even want to drive long distances. I thought maybe it would be too hard to see myself in a book, but Stokes wrote it in a way where I didn't feel bad about it at all. As with any book that I love, my emotions did get the  best of me, that was because I connected so much with Maguire. I knew what she was going through. I was happy that Stokes GOT IT. This is why we need stories that feature #OwnVoices.
"Sometimes the Universe just takes what it wants."
pg. 138 (ARC)
     As for the romance, I was happy that it wasn't easy. With someone dealing with some of the struggles that Maguire has, the romance couldn't have been only fluff and rainbows. When they did finally hit it off, it made the wait for it so much better. I appreciated it more than what I would have in a shorter time because it felt so real. 
"It's hard to let yourself be happy, isn't it?"
pg. 184 (ARC)
     From the romance, to the mental health of the characters, just everything about this was amazing. I loved this book and I can't wait to share it with the world. If you had second thoughts about this book DON'T. Everyone should give this one a chance.  

1 comment:

  1. I love it when the hype is well-deserved! I loved Paula Stokes' debut novel, and I'm sure that this is amazing as well!

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