ARC Review: Girl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes

Girl Against The Universe
Author: Paula Stokes
Release Date:  17th May 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: ARC from publisher and Author for review purposes.
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.

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD

Paula Stokes

Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.

When she's not working (rare), she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She's petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant's trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.

*Note: ARC received from the Publisher, HarperCollins, and the Author, Paula Stokes. I was not compensated to review the book. Every opinion stated are solely mine. 

Girl Against the Universe (aka GATU) is a story about a seventeen year old girl, Maguire, who suffers a mental illness after her most of his family died in a car accident that she thinks happened because of her. Then, one time after her therapy sessions, she meets Jordy, the boy who asked her out for ice cream. She was faced with a list of challenges in order to reach her goal and one of it was join the tennis tryouts. Making her way with her challenges, she faced her fears to return to her old self again, the happy and fearless Maguire, with the help of her new found friends. 
"There’s a thing that sometimes happens in your brain when you’re the only survivor of a horrific accident. Part of you is happy because you’re alive, but the rest of you is devastated. Then the sad part beats up the happy part until nothing is left, until all you feel is terrible sorrow for the people who didn’t make it. And guilt. Guilt because you wonder if the Universe made a mistake. Guilt because you know you’re not any better than those who died."
I entirely enjoyed reading Girl Against the Universe because let's face it, PTSD, mental illnesses and other underlying causes, and or similar cases are copiously found across this vast world. And this wholly topic is something we should give focus on since a lot of teenagers of different races suffer it. A lot of people misunderstood and underestimated mental illness for being lonely. These two cases are a lot different from each other when compared. We just have to dive deep and understand the things that people with mental illnesses go through. 

The story doesn't go straight serious the whole time but a little carefree here and some serious there, sometimes light. I know I've mentioned light but I kind of think this book will give readers ardent feelings and sudden empowerment and hope because that's what this book gives right? I adore how Paula wrote this book because it gives off a feeling of another chance at life to enjoy it, hope for the hopeless and power for the weak. 

GATU is also about friendship, and a great focus on family. I love how it came in a bundle and didn't solely rely on romance (I did enjoyed the slow and careful romance here though it was really sweet but enough of that!). Since Maguire hasn't really focused on meeting new friends, she strived to go against her normal solo self. She met new friends. One of them was Jade. I really loved her enthusiasm and crazy tactics. Everything about her oozes energy and fun and easy go-with-the-flow life. She actually stands out among all the other characters but not overthrowing Maguire. She's the kind of friend who is unique among all other girls. She's the BFF-to be. It wasn't told but I have a hunch. Plus she's the first person Maguire considered as her friend because she's crazy-good and funny. 
"Accidentally hurting yourself is way better than hurting other people."
The slow burn romance between the two main Characters, Maguire and Jordy, was a total killer. I loved how careful and delicate it was. How real the chemistry between the two is, and how dreamy could it get more? Seriously! I'm in love in the first place they ate ice cream. Or when Maguire almost tripped. Can you feel the love tonight? Because I definitely can, still to this day! I can still vividly see in my mind how everything happened like I was one of the on-lookers in the story. The romance will definitely lure you to stay and watch, or read :)

Girl Against the Universe is a must-read, you guys. This is like a stand out among all other books that tackles mental illness because it's light, humorous, and romantic. At first, I thought I would be depressed again because stories like these are my thing (you might think I'm a very lonely person, but trust me). If you like light and fluffy reading, this book is for you! Everyone will definitely enjoy this one. 
"The more good things you have, the more there is to lose."

Labels: , , , ,