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Monday, May 30, 2016

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

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Review by Suze
Bad things are happening to Maguire. Her uncle, father and brother died in a car crash and she was the only one who came out of it alive. She also survived a roller coaster accident and when a third incident happened and then a fourth people started to talk. Maguire thinks she causes the bad luck and does everything she can to keep the people around her safe. Her mother remarried and had two more children and the family is now moving to a new place. Maguire has the chance to start over, but she thinks she's still responsible for other people's misery and a new home and school don't change that. That's why her mother sends her to a therapist.
Maguire meets Jordy at her therapist's office. She's surprised when she sees him again at the school's tennis practice. Jordy is assisting her coach. He's a young tennis star and wants to become a professional. Their therapist has given both of them goals to achieve and Jordy and Maguire decide to help each other with their quests. For the first time in her teenage life Maguire has a friend, but she doesn't know if it's safe. Shouldn't she stay away from Jordy, so he can avoid the trouble she brings with her?
Girl Against the Universe is a beautiful heartwarming story about a traumatized girl who develops mental health problems because of everything that happened to her. Paula Stokes writes about this topic in a sensitive and truthful way and I can't praise the way she's handles her topic enough. She's done such a fantastic job. I loved Maguire, she's a sweet and talented girl. Unfortunately the universe has dealt her a bad hand. She tries to cope, but it isn't easy. She needs help and she's doing her very best to get better. She's incredibly strong and I admired that about her. Jordy is kindhearted and they are great together. I kept hoping they would both overcome their fears enough to enjoy life again. I loved the ending of the book. It's not all sunshine and roses, but it's lovely and fitting instead, which was a wonderful surprise.
Paula Stokes has an easy flowing writing style. I read this book in one sitting and couldn't put it down. I love her vivid descriptions of both the thought processes of the main characters and their movements. That makes them complete people and I could picture them without any difficulties which enabled me to focus on the story itself even more. I think good books about main characters who struggle with mental health issues are really important and this is definitely one of my favorites. I enjoyed the loving way in which Paula Stokes writes about Maguire and Jordy. She is such a good writer and her stories are all unique and absolutely brilliant.


  1. I can’t wait to read this one! I really liked THE ART OF LAINEY and this one sounds fantastic–a bit bittersweet and not as cutesy as her last book, but that just means it’s going to be a powerful read. Great review!! :D

  2. I can imagine how she started to get a complex about bad luck! That's a lot of bad stuff happening to one person.

  3. Sounds heartstring-tuggy, but nicely done!


  4. I'd like to see how Maguire grows throughout the story.