Review 260. Paula Stokes – Girl Against the Universe.

26156199Title: Girl against the universe.
Author: Paula Stokes.
Pages:  400.
Published: May 17th 2016 by HarperTeen
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: eARC on Edelweiss.
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 we all know by now that I'm not a contemporary reader. There are a few books that I've tried in the past that worked for me and this is now officially one of them. I heard a lot of good things about Girl Against the Universe on Twitter, so I decided to get a copy from Edelweiss to give it a shot – and I am so happy I did! This book was the perfect mix between fluffy and emotional. It was never too heavy, but at the same time did not shy away from the reality of both Maguire's and Jordy's problems. The author managed to strike a good balance between a tougher story and a blossoming romance that all starts with an unlikely friendship. The overall story was inspiring.

Maguire has had her share of bad luck and she writes it all down in her notebook to prove she is cursed. One of the worst things that happened to her was surviving a car crash, while her father, brother and uncle died. Maguire is now afraid to cause harm to others, so she stays away from friendship and situations where she is surrounded by people.  Maguire is now in therapy and she wants to work to one important goal: learning to overcome her fear and fly in a plane to her family abroad. 
Jordy is an aspiring tennis star who is with the same therapist as Maguire. He has a hard time figuring out who he is and his parents push him in other directions than his heart. The two of them meet after one of Maguire's sessions and when she has to join a sport, she runs into him during a tennis try-out. The two of them start a special kind of friendship; they both desperately need each other.

I loved how Maguire developed throughout the story. We see a girl who is afraid of anything grow into the person she was meant to be. The fact that she was brave enough to conquer her fears inspired me, because sometimes I let fears hold me back. Making a check list to help her work towards her goal was such a good idea and I liked how Jordy helped her. His story showed that sometimes it's good to talk with someone else, even if your problem might not look that serious. He definitely showed a lot of improvement throughout the story, but Maguire was the highlight to me.

I liked their relationship and how it slowly transitions. It felt realistic and friends-to-more is one of my favorite things, right after banter and sass.

 If you like contemporary books with a bit more depth, this is the one for you.


  1. I always crave contemporary novels in the summer and I've been hearing great things about this one! Your review has made me want to check it out even more. :)
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  2. I always feel better when bloggers aren't contemporary readers. Sometimes it feels like I'm the only one out there. Coming from you, the praise for this one makes me want to read it more than coming from anyone else. I'll have to add it to my reading list :)

    1. You are so right! That's why I love it that you are a fantasy reader too :D

  3. EEK I've heard such amazing things about this book! I absolutely love contemporaries so I think I'll have to pick this up as I think I'll really enjoy it. Wonderful review! :)

  4. I wasn't much of a contemporary reader until sort of recently, but now I read them all the time. This is definitely on the top of my list! I'm excited that they start out as friends and then develop from there.

  5. Oohhh, I wasn't really intrigued by this one BUT YOU CONVINCED ME. XD I want to try it!! Plus Paula Stokes is super nice on twitter and I won't lie, that helps sell a book to me. ;)

  6. I kind of ignored this one until I saw someone else's review, and with yours too, I WANT IT NOW. I'm not so huge on contemporaries either, but sometimes a good book is just a good book, eh?

  7. I feel like EVERYONE likes this book, so I really need to get off my butt and get myself a copy!

  8. Aw. Lovely review Mel :D So glad you liked this one. And that you weren't disappointed by it. <3 Yay :) Sadly, I did not like it much at all, haha :D But I get why you liked it. <3

  9. I've heard a lot of great things about this one and actually just got it the other day. It's on my July TBR for sure -- so glad to hear that you enjoyed it! That makes me even more excited to pick it up.

  10. I'm even more excited for this one now after your review! I've read two of Paula's books before, but haven't gotten around to this one yet, and now I can't wait! It sounds amazing!

    Brilliant review Mel :D


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