Monday, July 4, 2016

Review: Girl Against the Universe

Title:  Girl Against the Universe
Series:  None
Author:  Paula Stokes
Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publication Date:  May 17, 2016
Source:  Gifted.  Thank you!
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. 

Find Girl Against the Universe online

Okay, this book was seriously exactly what I needed.  I've been in a little reading slump lately (as well as a posting slump), but this book just made me so happy.  It's been a long time since I sat down with a book and didn't get back up until I'd finished it but that's exactly what happened with this one.  It's my first Paula Stokes book but after how wonderful this one is, I'm excited to get my hands on the others.

Probably my favorite thing about this book was how well trauma and mental health were handled.  The main character, Maguire, has experienced horrendous trauma in her life and is trying to work through all of the things have have happened to her in the past.  I was so thrilled to see her go to therapy in this book, especially because of how it was portrayed in such a positive way.  I feel like the author did a lot of research into these things and crafted an amazing book that showed how to healthily work through trauma and personal obstacles.  It was awesome to see the growth and change in Maguire.  It was slow and gradual and made all the more believable because of it.  Honestly, I just can't express enough how thrilled I am at the representation of mental health and therapy in this book.  For that reason alone, I think this book should be on many people's TBR lists.  

Besides the absolutely fantastic representation of mental health, the characters in this story were fantastic.  They all had their own struggles and problems they were working through and I loved seeing them all brought together and interacting, especially Maguire and Jordy, her love interest.  Jordy is just honestly so precious.  I adored him throughout the story and loved how sweet and patient he was with Maguire.  Their relationship had such a wonderful slow burn and their backstories and personalities complimented each other wonderfully.  I loved seeing the way they supported each other in their efforts to stick up for themselves and come to terms with their past.  They just had such a genuinely nice and healthy relationship; it was great to see something like that represented in YA.  

This is a book that left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside after I put it down.  I loved every aspect of it, particularly the positive message about mental health and the awesome characters.  I'm really excited about this book and I hope I see more like it in YA soon.  I can't wait to read more books with such positive story arcs and character growth.

“Time doesn’t heal anything. It’s like drinking. The best it can do is help you forget, if you’re lucky.” 

Five Teapots

Happy 4th of July to those who celebrate!  Be safe and have a great time :) 

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