books, review

Book Review: Girl Against The Universe


Original Release Date:

May 17th 2016

Date I Read The Book:

January 2017

My Star Rating:

4.5 stars



Official Summary:

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.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

Maguire’s story gave me anxiety – and I kind of came into it expecting a supernatural vibe – that she really is bad luck – but its a PTSD-related contemporary and I have to say I enjoyed it as that more than I thought.

If memory serves, they don’t outright say PTSD – but it seemed very strongly like what it was portraying. I liked that they showed the steps of the recovery process, little and big, and that back-sliding was more or less inevitable but help was not weakness. And that a boy couldn’t fix her problems. She isn’t cured but working towards recovery which was kore honest than most mental illness contemporaries.

I liked the sports aspect – mostly because it required absolutely no understanding of tennis.

The romance was cute and a slow burn. And I loved all the character inter-actions and their growth through out the story. Especially Maguire’s improving relationship with her step-dad.

It was a great story, well written and with a great portrayal of PTSD without brushing off symptoms for the sake of the romance or stereotypes.


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