Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

30 september 2016

Girl Against the UniverseTitle: Girl Against the Universe
Author: Paula Stokes
Genres: YA, Contemporary

'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.'

Rating: ★★★★/5 stars

Girl Against the Universe is about a girl named Maguire, who's convinced she's bad luck. This is because horrible things happen when she's around. Her father, brother and uncle were killed in a car crash where she walked away with barely a scratch. The rollercoaster she was in with her friends jumped off its tracks, and everyone broke something except for her. Oh, and she accidentally set her house on fire.

She hardly leaves her house anymore, when her therapist encourages her to join a sport to help her deal with her feelings - and she picks tennis. This turns out to be the best thing she could have done, because here she forms new friendships, meets the very hunky tennis coach Jordy, and she learns that she's actually pretty lucky.

I have no idea where to start with this review, so here are 4 things I loved about Girl Against the Universe:

1) Jordy. I fell head over heels in love with Jordy while reading about him. Yes, his cocky woman-izer personality is unbelievably cliché, but it's so deliciously cliché. His adoration for Maguire made me melt, and his personality made me grin like an idiot.

2) The romance. If you know me at all, you know how much I hate those 'ohhh you have a mental illness, but here's a boy and now you're fixed' novels. And yes, this book seems to be one of those books, but it's not. Maguire doesn't need a saviour.  Yes, Jordy helps her with her therapy tasks, and she helps him, but ultimately it's not him who 'fixed her', she did it herself. And I'm damn proud of her. But besides that, their romance is the cutest thing in the world. It was Anna and the French Kiss level cute, which is, in my opinion, a big compliment.

3) The family aspect. After the accident, Maguire's mother remarried and Maguire now has 2 adorable little siblings. Her little sister was such a ray of sunshine and I loved her so much, but the thing I loved most was Maguire's relationship with her stepdad. There's a very important scene between the two of them, where they open up to each other about their feelings and what's going on, and I loved it so much! Her stepdad even offered Maguire to help her with her therapy tasks, and this made me so happy that I had tears streaming down my face. 

4) The friends. I looooved the friendships Maguire formed with Penn and Jade. They both had very fun and outspoken personalities, and they were so supportive! Jade actually reminded me a lot of one of my best friends, and that might be why I loved her so much <3

So, if everything was so amazing, why didn't I give it 5 stars? Well, because there was one thing that I really didn't like.

I'm very sensitive when it comes to anxiety-issues, because I've been struggling with them for years. That's why some things Maguire did in this book didn't feel right. For example: for one of her therapy tasks she has to go for a drive with someone else besides her mom, so she picks Jordy. They go for a short drive, and she has a panic attack. A week later they go for a 3 hour drive, and she isn't struggling with it at all. This was very frustrating to me, because it just didn't feel realistic at all. But maybe that's just me.

All in all, I really enjoyed this one, and I wish there were more books out there like this one. And, above all, I wish Jordy was real <3

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