Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes | Blog Tour & Giveaway

I will read anything Paula writes, so I am so thankful to have been placed on this tour!


Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 382 (eARC)
Source: Edelweiss From Publisher
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.

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I am always excited to read anything that Paula writes. She's one of two authors, next to Sarah Fine, who I am proud to call "friend" and have been with since book one many years ago. But, I will admit, I was a bit apprehensive to dive into this one. I am all for tough subjects. I think they need to be written about, and I (as I am sure many readers in general) relate to them and find solace in books who handle such topics with respect. I suppose that I was apprehensive because I was not in the mood for a tougher book when I picked this one up, but Paula finds a way to take such tough subjects seriously and handles them with infinite respect while keeping her book lighthearted and fun.

Maguire is convinced she's bad luck. Let me tell you, I totally am bad luck too, so I loved the idea behind this. My luck isn't as terrible as hers...being the only survivor of countless accidents that resulted in the injury or death of others is really going to take a number on your mental health, after all. She's easy to relate to, and very easy to love. I especially found all of her good luck charms and eccentricities to be redeeming, and they helped characterize her so well. Maguire, actually, is the reason I wanted to read this book back when it was first called Bad Luck Charm because I thought her character sounded so fascinating. Stokes really hit this one out of the park.

Then there's Jordy, the tennis star who lives a controlled life and doesn't really know who he is. He can't reconcile the Jordy he is outside of tennis with the Jordy he is while playing tennis because his parents control every aspect of everything he does. He also goes on a journey of self-discovery, and seeing as I love such journeys, it was nice to witness complexities in characters other than Maguire. Let's not forget the fact that he is totally adorable and perfect for Maguire and I ship them so hard it's not even funny. I can't say anything more without gushing for paragraphs, so I am choosing to stop there.

I also want to say that I love that this book has to do with tennis! I love sports books and have been drawn to Miranda Kenneally's books naturally because of this. A lot of my childhood friends grew up playing tennis and my aunt is absolutely obsessed with it, so it is a sport I appreciate though I severely suck at it. It was cool to live in it for a little while! It brings something different to the story than the average football/soccer/baseball bad boys, you know?

If you like contemporaries that handle tougher subjects respectfully, you should read this book!

4 stars


Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for this honest review.


1 winner will get a $25 B&N gift card or, in the event of an INTL winner, a book from the Book Depository, and 2 winners will get a swag pack!
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  1. Since I know myself that I am kind of unlucky.
    Everything that can go wrong WILL go wrong, at the worst time possible (like the Murphy's law).
    Everyday I hurt myself, I break something or I loose something...

    Rafflecopter username: Joana Bento

  2. I agree that Paula managed to handle a tough subject without unnecessary angst or drama and she managed to be respectful and to add a big layer of swoons and feeling good stuff!

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading Girl Against the Universe (though I've not read any of Paula's other novels yet)! I just really adore the premise for this one, and I think that I'm going to find the story really interesting.