Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Girl Against the Universe - Paula StokesPublisher: Harper Teen (May 17th 2016)
Paperback: 382 pages
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

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.


This was on my TBR, though not necessarily on my immediate TBR, but on a whim I decided to pick it up. And I’m so glad I did because this book was just so wonderful to read.  I thought it was just going to be a cute, fluffy contemporary read but it turned out to be so much more.

How can something feel so crucial in the moment and then seem completely trivial after the fact?

I really enjoyed following Macguire on her journey of recovery. After experience many tragedies and horrible incidents, it’s easy to see why Macquire thinks she’s bad luck. She ends up seeing a psychologist, and with his help, to work on her fear, she makes a list (“shrink homework”) to try to overcome it and along the way picks up a new friend and potential romance-interest in Jordy. The list gives Macguire the opportunity to take back her life, from joining the tennis team, to making friends, to overcoming her fears. It’s tough seeing Macquire be so lonesome and insecure at the beginning, so it’s very gratifying to see such great personal growth with her.

I like Macguire and Jordy together. They’re good support for each other and I like that Jordy always tries to be honest with her. They share a lot of sweet moments. I also really appreciated the lovely relationships Macguire has with her mom, with her step-dad, her step-siblings and her new friends. In general, the relationships in this story is A+.

“I think about all the things I’ve lost, all the things I’ve given up. My family, my friends, my hobbies. . . my personality. I’m not the person I would have grown up to be if I hadn’t been in those accidents. The Universe has taken almost everything.

I like the idea of taking something back.”

Stokes give us a story that looks at PTSD (and other mental health issues) but still manages to keep it fresh and light-hearted, though still very heartwarming. Macquire’s story paints an optimistic but realistic path to healing. Overall. Girl Against the Universe was a fun, sweet, enjoyable read about a girl’who decided to take a stance against the universe.


Find Paula Stokes

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the Book:

Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Chapters !ndigo|  Amazon

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

6 Replies to “Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes”

  1. evaallbooksconsidered says: Reply

    Great review! I’ve really been wanting to read this after seeing so many rave reviews of it! I’m so glad you loved this — sounds like a winner!

    1. Thanks, Eva! This definitely a lovely read! Hope you enjoy it (:

  2. I keep seeing this book around, Cyn! I’ll have to check this out!

  3. I love the balance of an important issue but a light story 🙂

  4. I’ve heard so much GOOD about this book that I’m really anxious to read it. I didn’t realize there was a LIST in this book. I love lists!! Great review, glad you loved!

  5. Ohh, this was definitely not a priority, buuut now I want to read it ASAP! I should know, since I loved The Art of Lainey, but I kind of ignored this one? 🙁 Will. Not. Do. Again.

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