Girl Against The Universe by Paula StokesGirl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes

Girl Against The Universe

byPaula Stokes

Paperback | June 6, 2017

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From the author of The Art of Lainey and Liars, Inc. comes a fresh, contemporary story about a girl coping with PTSD and the boy who wants to help her move on from the past. Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen or Jenny Han.

Sixteen-year-old Maguire knows the universe is against her. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when she's around. Like that time the roller coaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch. Despite what her therapist tells her, Maguire thinks it’s best to hide out in her room, far away from anyone she might accidentally hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star who wants to help her break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for him is to stay away, but it turns out staying away may be harder than she thought.

Paula Stokes is the author of The Art of Lainey, Liars, Inc., and This Is How It Happened. She lives in Portland, Oregon. You can find her online at or on Twitter as @pstokesbooks.
Title:Girl Against The UniverseFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.94 inPublished:June 6, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062379976

ISBN - 13:9780062379979


Rated 4 out of 5 by from So many things I love about this one. This book is full of family feels, friendship feels, romantic feels, so many that I want to give it a big, squishy hug. The normalization of therapy and the extent that Stokes talks about the process of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was great and an important inclusion. I've learned a bit about it because my best friend was in sessions for this and I think it's something that could benefit a lot of people. Also, that therapy a lot of the times can be two steps forward, one step backward, because it is so difficult to fight your demons and talk about your own weaknesses. A few incidents seem a little too convenient, but it's more important how Maguire processes them. Girl Against the Universe successfully blends fluffy contemporary with hard-hitting topics.
Date published: 2018-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very few faults but not nearly enough tennis puns This novel of a teenage girl afflicted by PTSD in reaction to numerous unlikely tragedies in the course of her short life is a rather charming tale of first love and self-healing that felt just a little unbalanced (and I don't mean mentally). The relationship between the narrator and Her Love Interest is really well done but her interactions with her new best friend seem forced; in fact, the character of Jade is sadly underdeveloped and I was aggrieved she ended up getting so little attention (her first appearance seemed so promising!). The psychiatrist, too, got less play than I thought he should, as he kind of disappeared once the story got rolling. On the other hand, I was expecting the step-father to be a total background prop and was most gratified to be wrong. And every so often, the readability of the story is put into a sharp contrast by a discordantly chunky paragraph of pointless detail, usually a trivial detail that should have been glossed over. As a side note, I really felt like this book's title should have been a tennis pun (Courting Disaster maybe?); Girl Against the Universe sounds like a humorous, sci-fi epic about a chick with superpowers.
Date published: 2017-11-20

Editorial Reviews

“Absolute perfection. Completely magical. Girl Against the Universe is a poignant, beautiful story.”