Wednesday, May 4, 2016

REVIEW: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Girl Against the Universe
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.

I've been wanting to read this book for awhile, since the book had no cover and was titled "Bad Luck Charm". The idea behind this book sounding so interesting and I was so curious to read Maguire's story! This story was not what I expected, it was much different than what I imagined, but that's not a bad thing. I like how this book surprised my and how it handled the subject matter.

Ever since her brother, father, and uncle died in a car accident, that Maguire survived, Maguire has considered herself to be bad luck. Bad things happen around her. Maguire prefer to stay at home, away from people that can be potentially hurt by just being around her. But her grandmother is having a little memorial for Maguire's father, the problem is that Maguire has to go on a plane to get there. How can Maguire go on a plane worrying that everyone on the plane will die just because she's there? So her therapist gives Maguire a homework assignment, to create a list of things that will slowly reach her goal. She starts out by playing tennis again. It's there that she makes new friends and one friend, Jordy, is a aspiring tennis star that is determined to help Maguire.

For some reason I was expecting a fun contemporary (I've been in a fun contemporary mood lately), but I new I was wrong about that when the book starts off talking about the car accident. I knew this would not be a fun, chipper read. But this book did give me the feels and I did leave happy.

This book touches on mental illness, a subject that has been popping up in YA recently and I hope it keeps popping up. Mental illness is a subject that needs to be talked about. Maguire believes that she's a bad luck charm that simply being around her will harm others. It made me so sad seeing how afraid Maguire was of hurting others, but at the same time you could understand what brought Maguire into thinking this. I felt like Maguire's character was very realistic, and this book didn't romanticize her mental illness.

What I really like about this book was how helpful her friends were. Some people would have called Maguire crazy for having her thoughts, but her friends, which she only knows for a short while, help her. They want her to feel comfortable and they want her to be happy. They also don't rush her and make sure she okay with everything they are doing. Jordy, the love interest, also helps her so much. Jordy is also struggling with his own problems and Maguire also helps him. And, yes, I did like the romance. It's very hard to get me to like a romance, but I thought they were cute.

Overall, I enjoyed this book! It wasn't at all what I expected, but this book was able to surprise me and it gave me a wonderful read! I really liked Maguire and I loved her friends! I think this book dealt with the subject matter well and, despite the sad topics within this book, it left me with a good feeling.

I hereby give this book
4 Stars!
Meaning: It was amazing!


  1. I'd never heard of this one before but it really does sound good. Thanks for getting it on my radar and great review!

  2. This does sound really good, and contemporary isn't my genre of choice. Great review!