Release date: May 15, 2016
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.
Girl against the Universe is about Maguire, who believes she is cursed. From the accident that she escaped unscathed from but cost the lives of her father, her brother and her uncle, and a later accident on a rollercoster, she gained a nagging paranoia that she is dangerous to the people around her. So for five years, she has been staying aloof, checking her surroundings for signs of danger, and generally shutting herself from living. She has been undergoing therapy and wants to learn to be brave in situations where she has no control, like the flight to Ireland she wants to take to meet her father’s family. The book is centered around her recovery process, how she makes goals and tries to fulfill them despite her fear.
Along with her for the ride is another therapy patient, Jordy, a famous tennis star who dreams of going pro. He is having an identity crisis, and he wants a reconciliation of his famous persona and his real self. At the start, I thought he was going to be one of those guys – you know, who go after the girl because she doesn’t fall at his feet like the other girls. He evens comments to her how any girl in the school would actually love to claim to be his girlfriend. But as the book goes on, he sort of grew on me. He was supportive to her, and helped her out on her therapy goals; mind you, most of the growth she achieved was her own, and not due to him, but it was good for her to have him to share her doubts and fears with. The atmosphere of the book itself is not grim, considering it is dealing with a girl who has survivor’s guilt, and instead is hopeful and light. It also has good secondary characters, like the girls on the tennis team (who so easily could have been cast as the jealous type) and her family. Overall, it is a good book, and adorable to boot.
Received a free galley from HarperTeen, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.