We’re very excited to be a part of the tour for Paula Stokes newest release! This was such a wonderful book and I’ll tell you more about my thoughts below, but first… a little about Girl Against The Universe!Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: Liars, Inc.
Published by HarperCollins on May 17th 2016
Genres: Adolescence, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
From the author of The Art of Lainey and Liars, Inc. comes a fresh, contemporary story about one girl’s tragic past and a boy who convinces her that maybe her luck is about to change. Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen or Jenny Han.Maguire knows she’s 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 her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch. But then on her way out of her therapist’s office, she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star, who wants to help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away, but staying away may be harder than she thought.
I think that this might be my new favorite book from Paula Stokes and not so much because of the story, though I really enjoyed that… more because of the characters that Stokes has created! I really found myself enjoying Maguire’s journey.
To set the stage for you, Maguire has had more bad luck in her short time on earth than many of us do in a lifetime. The loss of her brother, father and uncle in a car accident where she was the only survivor… or the rollercoaster ride that jumped the tracks and everyone got injured but her… all indications to her that she is the worst kind of luck. So she’s changed her life… a once happy and out-going child, she starts to hide herself away… no one can get hurt if she isn’t around, and she’s acquired some obsessive tendencies that are really impairing her life as well.
With the help of her doctor she’s hoping to make some leaps to move past some of the things that have limited her with the ultimate goal of being able to get on a plane and head to Ireland to celebrate the lives of the family members she lost. She wants to do it not only for her, but to show her mother that she can get past this and that she is strong enough.
Jordy has his own set of problems, though maybe not as extreme as Maguire’s are, he struggles constantly. With a super controlling mom and a chance to go pro for tennis, he’s constantly trying to make everyone around him happy even if that means giving up the things he wants for himself.
By chance Jordy and Maguire happen to see the same doctor and after passing each other in the reception room, Jordy takes a chance and introduces himself. I have to admit that I loved the way Jordy just kind of plopped himself into Maguire’s life from the very beginning and unknowingly pushed her boundaries. And even though I was frustrated that Maguire hesitated and didn’t just dive right into anything with him, upon reflection it made the story even better because you get to see this friendship build right alongside the hints of a romance.
Jordy and Maguire set out to work on tasks that their doctor has assigned to them together. For Jordy, it’s spending time with someone who doesn’t know his tennis personality… for Maguire it’s getting in a car with someone other than her mom, or taking back something the universe took from her. All steps to help her realize that she isn’t the bad luck charm she’s convinced herself she is and that bad things don’t necessarily happen because she is there.
I absolutely loved the growth that Maguire has in this story. It was gratifying to see her conquer her fears and make friends and step outside her comfort zone to do it and Stokes did a great job of fostering the friendships in this story. It could have been so easy to make one of these characters your typical mean girl, but it was entirely refreshing to see her not go that route.
If you’re looking for a story of triumph and overcoming fears… a story filled with laughter and swoons… a story filled with friendship and romance, then look no further. Girl Against The Universe is exactly what you need to pick up.
This book is just one more reason why I will read anything by Paula Stokes and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
Follow the Full Tour
1 – $25 B&N gift card, or in the event of an INT winner, choice of one book from The Book Depository or Wordery.
2 – Swag pack winners
a Rafflecopter giveaway