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Girl Against the Universe
Cover of Girl Against the Universe
Girl Against the Universe
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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...
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...
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Description-

  • 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.

About the Author-

  • Paula Stokes is the author of Hidden Pieces; This Is How It Happened; Girl Against the Universe; Liars, Inc.; and The Art of Lainey. Paula lives in Portland, Oregon. You can find her online at www.authorpaulastokes.com or on Twitter and Instagram @pstokesbooks.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 14, 2016
    In a romance built around tennis and psychotherapy, Stokes (Liars, Inc.) introduces high school junior Maguire Kelly, who believes that she causes terrible things to happen to everyone around her, and has isolated herself following a series of tragedies. Maguire’s attitude softens, slightly, after she meets a young tennis star, Jordy, in the lobby of their therapist’s office. With help from her therapist, Maguire assembles a list of goals for regaining a social life (including making the tennis team) and a road map for overcoming the debilitating belief that she is cursed. The bad luck that continues to follow her (a tennis mishap with Jordy, an unfortunate fall by his sister, etc.) can feel like interruptions to this otherwise engaging story. Though Maguire’s struggle with her perceived bad luck is meant to be the plot’s key hook, its true appeal lies with Stokes’s well-developed characters—Maguire’s caring family, her new best friend, her insightful therapist—and in the way Maguire and Jordy support each other’s efforts to conquer the challenges they face. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2016

    Gr 8 Up-The past few years have been hard on 16-year-old Maguire. She escaped injury in both the car wreck that killed three of her family members and the roller-coaster accident that injured two of her friends. Nor was she injured when a candle she left lit in her windowsill burned down the neighbor's house. Maguire believes she is a jinx. To cope, she has developed a litany of compulsive behaviors, not the least of which is isolating herself from other people lest she harm them inadvertently. When Maguire gets the opportunity to fly to Ireland to visit her deceased dad's family, she is determined to overcome her fears. Therapy and Jordy, a cute guy she meets at therapy, help her carry out her plan. A fledgling romance with Jordy, crippling emotional issues, a new town and school, and terrifying goals-this is a lot for Maguire (and readers) to manage. Throw in Jordy's reasons for needing therapy, and the story gets a bit dense in places. Still, teens will find in Maguire a compelling heroine. Her obsessive behaviors are depicted in convincing detail-the luck notebook she keeps, the periodic five-second checks she does of her surroundings, the ritualistic behaviors. Maguire's forays into wellness are anything but pat, giving her story additional credibility. The novel is written in first-person present tense, which may be distracting because it simply does not work in scenes such as the roller-coaster ride and the car wreck. VERDICT Teens who enjoy emotionally charged stories will appreciate this novel about resilience.-Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Libraries, NC

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2016
    A seemingly cursed teen tests her luck. Sixteen-year-old Maguire has had it rough. Five years prior, she was the lone survivor of a car crash that claimed the lives of her father, brother, and uncle. A year later, the roller coaster carriage she was in careened off the track, critically injuring everyone else around her. Shortly after that, when the white teen found herself running toward her neighbor's house as it was engulfed by flames, Stokes' besieged protagonist wound up in therapy, where this bildungsroman opens and much of its introspective character development plays out, session by session. Viewing herself a "disaster magnet" rather than uncannily lucky, Maguire suffers so terribly from survivor's guilt that she begins actively avoiding others, thinking "accidentally hurting yourself is way better than hurting other people." As Maguire's fears and compulsive coping mechanisms threaten to derail her adolescence, she meets an alluring, white classmate in her therapist's waiting room--with a few issues of his own to work out--and the two team up to see if each can exorcise the other's demons. Though the disasters in Stokes's calamity-filled plotline occur with soap-operatic frequency, the progression of Maguire's treatment unfolds convincingly as she attempts the various cognitive behavioral challenges her therapist sets before her. Stokes' engaging prose and sympathetic characters serve up great lessons in acceptance for teens dealing with trauma. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    May 1, 2016
    Grades 8-11 When Maguire is around, terrible things happen to other people. The worsta car accident that killed Maguire's father, brother, and uncle, while she walked away unhurt. Then there was the roller coaster that careened off the tracks, leaving everyone injuredexcept Maguire. Don't even ask about the house fire. Suffice it to say that Maguire's now in therapy, thoroughly convinced that the universe hates her. As part of her therapy, Maguire has set up challenges for herself, which is why she shows up at tryouts for the tennis team. That's how she meets tennis star Jordy, the seemingly perfect boy whom she recognizes from her therapist's waiting room. This could lead to romance, except that Maguire doesn't dare let anyone close enough to get caught in her catastrophic bad luck. There's some great tennis here, as Jordy coaches Maguire, who has a measure of natural talent of her own, and romance fans will enjoy the slow, sweet, and tentative burn between the teens. Recommend to readers who enjoy Jenny Han or Maureen Johnson.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews "Stokes' engaging prose and sympathetic characters serve up great lessons in acceptance for teens dealing with trauma."
  • School Library Journal "Teens will find in Maguire a compelling heroine. Her obsessive behaviors are depicted in convincing detail. Maguire's forays into wellness are anything but pat, giving her story additional credibility. Teens who enjoy emotionally charged stories will appreciate this novel about resilience."
  • Publishers Weekly "An engaging story. Its true appeal lies with Stokes's well-developed characters and in the way Maguire and Jordy support each other's efforts to conquer the challenges they face."
  • Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) "Maguire is a brave, relatable character...There are friendships formed, family relationships tested and restored, and issues of identity explored. This is a satisfying and breezy book with likeable characters working through trauma to move to better, healthier places in their lives."
  • Tamara Ireland Stone, NYT bestselling author of Every Last Word "Filled with equal amounts of empathy, humor, and heart, Girl Against the Universe is an empowering story about finding the courage to piece your life back together, even when it feels irreparably broken."
  • Miranda Kenneally, bestselling author of Catching Jordan "I loved this sweet, slow-burn romance. Sports fiction at its best!"
  • Sarvenaz Tash, author of The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love "Romantic, honest, and deep, Girl Against the Universe is one of those books where I couldn't believe that the characters were only a figment of the author's imagination-they simply jumped off the pages with their relatable flaws and hard-earned wisdom."
  • Ann Aguirre, NYT bestselling author of The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things "Absolute perfection. Completely magical. Girl Against the Universe is a poignant, beautiful story."

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