{Bee’s Reviews} Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Posted May 14, 2016 by Bee in Reviews / 6 Comments

{Bee’s Reviews} Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Girl Against the Universe

by Paula Stokes
Published on May 17th 2016
by HarperTeen
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | Goodreads

Also by this author: The Art of Lainey

From the author of The Art of Lainey and Liars, Inc. comes a fresh, contemporary story about one girl’s tragic past and a boy who convinces her that maybe her luck is about to change. Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen or Jenny Han.

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 received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

4 Stars

You know what’s frustrating? When you really enjoy a book, but it doesn’t blow your mind and you can’t really pinpoint why that is exactly. When you don’t know why it’s 4 stars instead of 5. That’s what I have with this book. I really loved it, but there’s something keeping me from rating it higher.

This is my first book by Paula Stokes and I’m actually sad I haven’t read any of her books before. I had ARC’s of both, but I just never got to them. I should change that. Because, really, this is a great book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the writing and the story itself. I loved the diversity. But who doesn’t? I loved how Maguire’s issues were portrayed. And I loved how this book wasn’t as heavy and sad as I expected it to be. It was all balanced out nicely and I really liked that. It focused on more positive things like getting better, rather than the negative. Books with tough topics can turn out very dramatic and sad and heavy, but this one really wasn’t. It’s not a superlight and fluffy contemporary at all, though. Like I said, there was a very nice balance to it all.

I also loved the characters. I admired Maguire for her courage and strength. After everything that happened to her, I can see why she thinks the way she does. I’d be off far worse if I were in her shoes, for sure. No question about it. I also liked her friendship with Jade. I also liked all the secondary characters like Jordy’s sister Penn and even Kimber grew on me eventually after I got to know her. But I have to say I loved Jordy the most. He was such a sweet guy and I loved getting to know the Real Jordy, as he calls it. He makes so much progress throughout this story, just like Maguire and I just adore him. I love how supportive he was of Maguire and just followed her speed but was also ready to tell her she was wrong when needed.

The romance was very nicely paced and very sweet. It didn’t take over too much from the rest of the plot but it was never really in the background either. It all mingled very nicely. The romance helped Maguire and Jordy with their challenges, but the other way around too. Their challenges brought them closer together. I really liked their dynamics and they really worked well as friends and as a couple.

I still can’t pinpoint exactly what was missing for me, which really annoys me. So I’m just going to leave it here. Girl Against the Universe is a book you have to check out if you’re a fan of YA Contemporary. It’s sweet and touches on some heavy subjects without ever making the book itself too heavy or sad.


About 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.

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6 responses to “{Bee’s Reviews} Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

  1. I know what you mean! Sometimes books have everything that you want out of a book, but there’s just something missing and you can’t pinpoint why. I’m reading this one next and I’m looking forward to it since I’m a fan of the author (Her Art of Lainey is a must-read, Bee! The boy!! <3), so I hope I like it. I'm glad it's not too heavy or too fluffy. I like a good balance!
    Lovely review!

  2. I’ve had that happen to me too. I’ll like the book alright and the characters are great but something is missing. It just doesn’t make me sigh after I’m done reading it. I call those the good but not greats.

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