Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Girl Against the Universe by Paula StokesGirl Against the Universe
by Paula Stokes
May 17, 2016
400 pages

Goodreads Summary:
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.


Paula Stokes slays- in a really good way, I promise! Girl Against the Universe deserves all the applauses. This book has everything. Whether it's the heavier side of portraying mental illnesses or the lighter side of giving off cutesy fluffy feels, Paula does it just right.

The writing in Girl Against the Universe is really easy to get into. Trust me when I say the pages will fly by when you read it. Paula writes straight into your heart with Maguire's story. It's low on drama with enough conflicts and struggles to keep the story going. There's humour, swoons and of course meaningful resolutions.

The story is incredibly well-researched in my opinion. From the medical terminology spoken in Dr. Leed's office to the tennis and rock climbing lingos used in Maguire's new social life, they all felt authentic and logical. Maguire's good luck rituals had me nodding my head. This whole book was so engaging. There's this really great moment in the book where Maguire just gives in and lets go. I could totally relate to that impulse. You know it's probably a bad idea but you can't help but want to do it anyways. Bonus that it's a super swoony moment~

Maguire thinks she's cursed because of a string of heartbreaking events that has happened in her life. Things sucked and I really felt bad for her. Only, she begins to open up and strive for changes when she meets a dazzling cute boy at her therapist's office. Maguire's growth was tremendous. Slowly, she comes to realize that she can't control every thing that happens in her life. "...The more good things you have, the more there is to lose." (ARC, p. 373). The Universe has dealt her some bad cards but it's not out to get her. In order to let go of her fear, she needed to take action. I love that we're with her every step of the way as she knocks down her walls.

Jordy is amazing. He's sweet beyond words. I was giddy whenever he was on the page lol. Also, I can't get enough of Maguire and Jordy! They are the cutest. Their banter, the push-and-pull were perfect. The piece of paper Jordy gives Maguire towards the end had me swooning hard. He's definitely the ideal (book) boyfriend!

I got to meet Nurse Pili and she is awesome <3 I was also very touched by how supportive Jade and Penn were. Even Kimber surprised me. Can I expect great things from them in the future? Pretty pleaseeee Paula?
Girl Against the Universe is a thoughtful engaging read with wonderful characters one must meet. They will for sure teach you a few things but really just make you smile. Yes, the Universe wants you to pick up a copy already ;)
5 CatsRipple Star
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way. All quotes were taken from the Advance Review Copy I received.


  1. This sounds too cute for words, but also with a dash of seriousness. I might have to pick this one up, STAT! I'm so glad you liked it, and I'm definitely going to hunt the book down. :D

    1. Woot YES!!! Fingers crossed that you'll love it Ellen!!!

  2. YESSSSS!! This one does deserve the special extra Ripple star for suuuure!!

  3. Ohh awesome review this one really does looks and sounds absolutely amazing. Hopefully one day I can check it out. Thank you for your great post.

    1. I'm so happy you think so! Thanks for reading my review :)

  4. I read Liars Inc by her and thought I would absolutely love it, but tbh I was barely moved. So I'm nervous now. I hope if I pick up another, like this one. I'll love it!

    1. I hope so too! And this reminds me I should probably read Liars lol.....

  5. I'm glad you like this one! I thought it was amazing for a lot of the reasons you mentioned, especially how well-researched it was. I also really loved the roles that are usually non-positive in YA and the way Paula turned them around (like with Maguire's stepdad and her therapist). SO MUCH YES in this story. Glad I finally got the chance to visit your blog!

    - Eli @ The Silver Words


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