Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

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 the accident that killed her dad, brother and uncle but left her unscathed. She wants to accept an invitation to visit her grandparents and her dad’s relatives in Ireland but she is afraid that she will cause something horrible to happen like the plane crashing. Her therapist helps her set goals to get her to the point where she could take this trip and one of the goals is to join a sports team. She joins the tennis team at school and is surprised to see that the guy that has been chatting her up in the therapist’s waiting room is the tennis team’s assistant coach and a professional tennis player named Jordy. As Jordy and Maguire’s relationship grows, they help each other change their lives and grow into more functional, healthy people. I really appreciated how the author made the characters so down-to-earth and relatable that it made it easier to understand and relate to the situations and feelings they were having that some people may have a hard time understanding, especially relating to mental illness and PTSD.

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 on Goodreads.


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