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.
I finished Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes, and I can’t even put my thoughts into words. It was THAT good.
The main protagonist, Maguire, must come to terms with her loss from preceding years of her life, which sounds like the typical YA contemporary novel, but was very different. Stokes has Maguire overcome her fear of hurting the people she loves through out the the entire book.
Things that I liked about it:
This sounds silly, but sometimes I don’t pick up a book if the main character has a name that I don’t like. When I read the inside cover and saw that her name was Maguire, I was hooked. It’s a name that isn’t often used in the book community.
In addition to the names of many characters, I LOVED the way the book was written. In some chapters, she was working with her psychiatrist, and it melded really well into the book. I usually complain that a book is really choppy, but this one wasn’t because it was so clear and organized.
I also thought it was very realistic. Aside from the fact that Maguire had been in a ton of accidents and came out unscathed every time, Maguire deals with her emotions so naturally, and I thought that the slight touch on mental illness was done well.
Lastly, the significant other in Maguire’s life, Jordy, goes to the psychiatrist as well, and Maguire wonders why for a while, because he is such a normal guy (besides the fact that he is a tennis star!) I thought it was cool that Stokes decided to point out that not all people that go to a psychiatrist are mentally ruined. That message is really important, and I’m happy she brought it to the book.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book was that it ended!!!
If you want a sporty contemporary, grab this one ASAP… It is the best YA I have read in a while. 🙂