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Girl Against the Universe

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  4,902 ratings  ·  905 reviews
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.

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.
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by HarperTeen
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Paula Stokes There is not a sequel--in fact so far this book has not sold enough copies where my publisher will even buy another contemporary novel from me, so ple…moreThere is not a sequel--in fact so far this book has not sold enough copies where my publisher will even buy another contemporary novel from me, so please keep recommending it so one day that will change ;) In the meantime, there are a bunch of deleted scenes on Wattpad if you're interested :)(less)
Paula Stokes I saw where a girl in a review recommend COURTING DISASTER and I was like "Hey, where were you when I was pitching alternate titles?" The original tit…moreI saw where a girl in a review recommend COURTING DISASTER and I was like "Hey, where were you when I was pitching alternate titles?" The original title was BAD LUCK CHARM, which I still love, but my publisher felt was too cutesy and possibly a little too middle-grade sounding.(less)

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Cristina Monica
‘‘Bad stuff happens around me.’’ I fold my hands in my lap. ‘‘You’re risking your life just by being in this room with me.’’

I have finally read a book by Paula Stokes.

Paula Stokes is a lovely discovery. Her writing is eloquent, her characters are relatable and her love-interests damn charming. I don’t even care if Jordy is slightly clichéd (hot, popular, chick-magnet guy), because she makes everyone in the book likeable.

The humor is never contrived and the atmosphere of the book is very light
Paula Stokes
May 25, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
A funny thing happened on the way to publication. We changed the title and then thanks to the brilliant suggestions of my editor, I changed a LOT of the book. Like 40% of the book. And although it's still swoony and funny and I still think fans of The Art of Lainey will enjoy this, it's taken on a darker, more serious tone.

But not too dark. Page one is a therapy session so I don't feel like it's spoilery to tell you that Maguire is struggling with some psychological issues. A lot of my own strug
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Reminds me of Anna & The French Kiss + Dreamology
ME: *flailing* *twirling* *wants to go out and take on the universe*

How do I write a review on a book too precious and perfect for this world?

I can't remember ever having read a book about mental illness that was so positive and hopeful, but still so incredibly realistic? It gave an honest look into how a girl worked through her trauma with the support and encouragement of her family, friends, and therapist.

Maguire is
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
❝There's a thing that sometimes happens in your brain when you're the only survivor of a horrific accident. Part of you is happy because you're alive, but the rest of you is devastated. Then the sad part beats up the happy part until nothing is left, until all you feel is a terrible sorrow for the people who didn't make it. And guilt. Guilt because you wonder if the Universe made a mistake. Guilt because you know you're not any better than those who died.❞

I don't think I've ever read a book
Aj the Ravenous Reader
“The first thing that you need to realize is that mental health is fluid. It’s not like you have an infection and a doctor gives you antibiotics and then you’re cured. No matter what the two of us accomplish together, you’re still going to have good days and bad days. Makes sense?”

This is another winner in the contemporary YA genre that deals with mental health issues. There came a time when I thought I have had enough of these books but recently I’ve learned that I could never have enough.
Fafa's Book Corner
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner !

Beware spoilers ahead!

I had heard about this book through GR. For awhile I was very hesitant to read this book. Not gonna lie but the first came across this book I only read the first sentence and immediately thought Maguire was crazy. I went back again and this time finished reading the synopsis and I actually liked it. A few months passed and I found out about the mental health in this book and I put it together. It's not that Maguire is crazy but it's bec
meh. no, thanks.

i get what this book was trying to do and that's rad and if what it's trying to do managed to be what was done for you...well, uh, good. but it didn't work for me.

this kind of reminded me of Made You Up in that the world feels so surreal and ridiculous and the high school experience is so simplistic and easy and friends and love interests just pop up right when you need them but only disturb you when it will further the plot and so all of that just makes the mental illness rep fe
may ❀
DNF @ 25%

I'm unsure whether I dislike the general feel of the book, or the cliche-ness of it, or if this is just a strange slump that's making EVERYTHING hard to read but I just don't have the heart to continue.

There's not WRONG with it, it's just blehhhhh and the plot is kinda just romance and im bored and not invested at all so like imma pass yo.


1.5 stars!!
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 brothe
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Bad things happen to other people when I’m around.” I sigh. “It’s like I’m bad luck.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl who believed she was bad luck to those around her.

Maguire was an okay character, and it was easy to see why she’d believe she was bad luck. To be in more than one accident where people died, and she walked away unharmed did seem a li
Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
This book was just sooooo delightful! There needs to be a proper word for something that makes your heart a little sad but equally giddy. Maybe there is a word for it? I don’t know but this book is whatever that word is. I’m sad I made my YA contemporary beach read list already because this one would have definitely been at the top — compulsively readable and just heart-melting. And YOU GUYS…one of the sweetest, swooniest dudes in YA.

I LOVED the relationship between Maguire and Jordy. So banter-
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some books hit you right in the feels and this book did more then that. It felt real in it's portrayal of mental illness and the slow baby steps it takes in therapy and the way Paula Stokes showed how therapy really works was something I applauded. I think this was the best portrayal of how real therapy works I've ever read.

Maguire was a wonderful heroine who trials tugged at my heartstrings. Each step she took you were cheering for her,every challenge she conquered you felt proud for her. All
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By now we all know that I'm quite picky about my contemps. I was lucky enough to read an early MS of this and then got to read it again officially for review.

I love Maguire and Jordy. They're strong for each other and so supportive. I loved reading them work through the shrink challenges and figure life out. Penn and Jade were awesome friends and I could easily read a companion book about either of them. And don't get me started on Dr. Hottie...

The plot was captivating. I celebrated the highs an
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Stokes is one of those authors who can write anything. The light tone of this, combined with the deep and thoughtful subject matter (not to mention stellar romance) really reminded me of her debut, The Art of Lainey, which is an absolute favorite of mine. I think this might even be better.

Girl Against the Universe is about Maguire, a girl who believes she's cursed. Ever since she became the sole survivor in a car accident which killed her father, uncle, and older brother, Maguire has kept to he
Kristin Hackett (SuperSpaceChick)
Originally posted on Super Space Chick:

Personal Thoughts: I had been wanting to read Girl Against the Universe since it’s debut, largely due to the gorgeous cover. I’m not really a fan of the color orange but this beautifully illustrated tennis court just works for me. And I love that Maguire is strewn across the corner, looking like she’s given up on everyone and everything. I knew going into it that Maguire believes she’s bad luck, but I was never expecting to find a character that I personall
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Girl Against The Universe is the kind of contemporary that I can re-read time and again and love it as much or even than I did the first time!

Contemporary YA is not my go to genre, but since I'd read anything that Paula Stokes would wrote and her first contemporary was absolutely therapeutic for me (The Art of Lainey), GATU was a must read and it delivered in every which way.

It's what I call a "feel good" book, there's conflict, there's serious issues but there's no overabundance of drama and th
Sara➽ Ink Is My Sword
3.5 Mental heatlh Stars

BONUS: Logic-Anziety 🎵 🎵

Dear everyone, I present you a book where mental health is the main topic and it stays focused on it. *Round of applause*👏 👏 THANK YOU THANK YOU We follow the main character in her therapy with her psychologist during months, and is so realistic. I mean finally there is just not a small appearance of some random dude or woman to say they are a "psychological" help to the MC, once in the whole book, and for the MC just to babble how much they ha
Jaime Arkin
Definitely 4.5 stars

I think that this might be my new favorite book from Paula Stokes and not so much because of the story, though I really enjoyed that… more because of the characters that Stokes has created! I really found myself enjoying Maguire’s journey.

To set the stage for you, Maguire has had more bad luck in her short time on earth than many of us do in a lifetime. The loss of her brother, father and uncle in a car accident where she was the only survivor… or the rollercoaster ride that
Wendy Darling
3.5 I liked this story, and it does a lot of things very well.

-- The book portrays coping mechanisms (with grief and life in general) and mental health issues believably, as well as therapy in a positive, healthy way.

-- It shows school routines, extra-curricular activities, and kids actually thinking about and planning for their futures. This was a huge part of my life as a teenager so I'm always surprised that it takes such a back seat in most YA books.

-- The relationships are solid: girl frie
This was my first Uppercase book and I was a little nervous about it since I usually avoid teenage romance novels like the plague but I was intrigued by the mental illness side of this story. Maguire is a black cat. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong around her. And she is a klutz. She tries to do certain rituals to keep bad things from happening but obviously that doesn't always work so she avoids going outside and social activities when at all possible. She feels like she is to blame for ...more
Crystal | decorating.reader
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I seriously have so much love for this book. <3 I can not wait for everyone else to be able to read it. ...more
Sara (sarabara081)
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
May 2016 -
I first read Girl Against the Universe in 2015 under the working title, Bad Luck Charm. It was in the very early stages but I instantly adored the characters and the story. Re-reading the final version a year later has been such an experience. I’m not a huge rereader but this was a whole different experience because the story had evolved. Details are not my thing so a year in between reads left it a little hard to pinpoint all the specific changes but a few definitely stood out. Once
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I finished this book I couldn't stop hugging it. Such an inspiring and powerful story!
Really enjoyable and adorable and swoony, and one of very few really pro-therapy YAs I've read. (Also one of the few with a great stepdad.)
A wonderfully written contemporary story about a teenage girl who suffers from OCD and PTSD from the deaths of her family members. I loved that it showed therapy in such a positive and productive way. What I found most refreshing was that the main character became brave and chose to fix her problems herself. I also just love her friends and her family. And the love interest wasn't too bad either. This was such a positive book and such a quick read!
Becca Fowler (PivotBookTotes)
New favorite Paula Stokes book. Full of heart, swoons, best friends, laughter, and some tears. Loved the characters, their backstories, the underlying message, and the unique plot line. Mark your calendars for May, folks. You NEED this one!!! Take my word for it.
The Captain
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Ahoy there me mateys! Now I am not a big YA contemporary fan. When I read YA, I tend to read sci-fi or fantasy books. Occasionally I will read some historical fiction. But I have to admit that the cover for this one is what drew me in:

Something about how she is sprawled on the court just made me laugh. Plus the title is silly. The premise of the book is that a teen named Maguire knows she is cursed. Bad things keep happening and the only common denominator happens to be her. So she tries to stay
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Four and a half stars: A delightful YA contemp that tackles some important topics.

Maguire is convinced she is bad luck, and no matter how many good luck charms she carries, or five second danger sweeps she performs or rituals she carries out, the universe still conspires against her. It all started back when she was eleven when a car crash claimed the lives of Maguire's father, uncle and brother. Maguire was miraculously spared with only a few scratches. Then consider the roller coaster accident
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Uppercase Box Boo...: May 2016 Book 7 71 Jul 30, 2016 06:33PM  
Crazy for Young A...: Girl Against the Universe, by Paula Stokes → Start Date: June 23, 2016 21 21 Jul 01, 2016 05:44PM  
GATU ARC fixes (non-spoilery) 1 72 Oct 02, 2015 04:35PM  

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*** Please contact me via the contact information on my website: ***

Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.

When she's not working (rare), she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in farawa

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