ARC Review: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Title: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Published: 07 March 2017 | Clarion Books

Date Read: 13 March 2017

Synopsis:

The first day of senior year:

Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

*ARC Kindly provided by HMH Books for Young Readers for review*

My love for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is unexplainable. I easily fell in love with Ari and Dante and their world. I’m eagerly waiting for Benjamin Alire Saenz’s new work and I consider myself one of the lucky ones to get an ARC of The Inexplicable Logic of my Life.

I’ve finished reading this book for over two weeks now and as I’m writing this review it feels like I just read the book a while ago. The feels and love still feels so new. I loved Sam, Sal, Fito and probably everything about this book.

I can probably say that this book has one of the most memorable set of characters that I have encountered. In the span of 400+ pages I was able read the different life experiences of the characters. It’s so easy to connect to them and in the end so hard to say goodbye as well.

Sal is ready to start is senior year anew but circumstances happened. Salvador is trying to find himself – who he really is amidst the anxiety, sadness, tragedy and loss he’s currently encountering.

Samantha is Sal’s best friend. She’s independent and a “know-it-all” but you can’t help but really like and love her. Her relationship with Sal is so adorable. They are like two peas in a pod but so much different like two sides of a coin, but these differences that they have complement each other that’s why they had a great relationship. I was rooting for them to be romantically involved at the beginning, but as I go on reading, I find myself realizing that these two people are so much more better off as friends because the strong friendship and foundation that they have are all sisterly/brotherly type.

“But see, it’s not where I come from that matters – it’s where I’m going.”

Completing the trio of friends is Fito. The guy from the wrong side of the track that comes from an abusive family. I just want to hug Fito the whole time. He’s fun and happy on the outside but struggling on the inside. I really salute him because even though he comes from an abusive family he supports himself and still has the determination to finish school for him to succeed in life.

Once again, Benjamin Alire Saenz features an LGBT character who is Sal’s father Vicente.  I loved him so much! I’m really amazed by his pure-heartedness. He’s so loving and warm, kind, understandable. He’s just the greatest father material that I’ve read.

Family is one of the main highlight of this book. The familial relationship was made beautifully. The families are far from perfect but reading the good side and the bad side gives the story a realistic feel to it. The topic of loss was also highlighted on the story. It shows how family handles the hardship of losing someone.

  1. Aside from the characters and the topics, the writing style of this book was also quite noticeable. It’s different comparing it to Aristotle and Dante. Each chapter is like Sal’s diary –filled with randomish thoughts. It took me awhile to get used to the world building and the writing itself but when I was in – I can no longer get out. I was hooked with Sal’s story. In all honesty, the story feels like it doesn’t really have an actual plot. You don’t know what to expect and what will/might happen. But a lot happened. Goes to show that Benjamin Alire Saenz is a brilliant writer.

“People died every day. And people lived they lives every day. There were always survivors in the aftermath of all that death. And I was one of those survivors.”

The Inexplicable Logic of my Life is a love story. A love between father and child, mother and child, grandmother and grandson and best friends. This story is so full of different kinds of love. Reading this is like an educational trip to different kinds of love and loss.

Overall, it was a great reading experience. I loved how the story ended (despite all the loss that the characters had), it has closure. The story really captured my heart (it now earned a place on it). I’m so looking forward in hopefully reading more about Sal, Sam and Fito. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to get more of them right

ARC Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

aboutthebook

Title: The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas

Published: 28 February 2017 | Balzer + Bray

Date Read: 25 February 2017

Synopsis:

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

mythoughts

*ARC Kindly provided by Balzer+Bray thru Edelweiss for review*

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

The Hate U Give is a story inspired by Black Lives Matter Movement –  a movement made to fight anti-black Racism and the killings of black people.

I admit, I was a bit skeptical before reading this book. Aside from the big hype that surrounds it (especially on twitter) I don’t really know what to expect out of it.

But sometimes, the greatest things come unexpectedly, right?

I know it still might be a bit early to say this but The Hate U Give is one of the greatest book I’ve read this year. I’m honestly having a hard time right now putting into words all the greatness that is this book.

The Hate U Give is a very timely book that is an eye-opener on how several black people were treated. It is pollical, topical and very timely. Grief, anger, sadness and trauma surrounds the book but what I really appreciate was how the issues were handled in the story.

Our lead, Starr is just sixteen but she already witnessed two murders in her life: the first was of a young girl shot in a drive by and the other was her childhood best friend who was shot multiple times by a cop.

Can you even imagine how would you feel if you are in Starr’s place? All the grief and sadness in losing your childhood best friend and the trauma of losing him right before your eyes. Though the situation is very tough, I’m glad that Starr has a great support system – her family.

The portrayal of Starr’s family is perfect. They all are not perfect as person but their lives was made realistically. Her dad was an ex-gang member but is a very cool and loving dad, her mom got pregnant and married young to her dad, her brother Seven is also cool and very protective and Sekani her youngest brother is just is a pain-in-butt cute. The dynamic between their family was created beautifully by the author. Their family feels so warm and loving and accommodating despite what they are all going thru.

There are a whole set of other people present on this book and they were all given great importance and roles on the story. I really appreciate the complexity of not only the main characters but the supporting as well.

Another thing that I just want to share is that Starr have a boyfriend – Chris. And he’s white. Goes to show that skin color is not relevant if you care and understand each other.

“We let people say stuff, and they say it as much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re going to be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Starr is a very engaging story teller. Her voice is clear and distinct. Though Starr was hesitant on the first part of the book to speak out what she’s feeling, it was so good to see her give it all out in the end. At the end of the story, we all learned that our greatest weapon is our voice and we should use it and not let other people put words in our own mouths.

Overall, The Hate U Give is a very influential book about family, the harsh realities of life for black people, being who you are 100% of the time and simply finding your own voice. This is a fictional book with fictional characters but this story has been told over the news and newspapers. Very timely and real. Please do yourselves a big big big favor and don’t miss out on reading this one.

 final-rating

4-starss

ARC Review: #famous by Jilly Gagnon

aboutthebook

Title: #famous

Author: Jilly Gagnon

Published: 14 February 2017 | Katherin Tegen Books

Date Read: 20 February 2017

Synopsis:

In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.

mythoughts

*ARC Kindly provided by Katherine Tegen Books thru Edelweiss for review*

#famous is just the book that you should pick up if you’re looking for a story that boasts a lot of cuteness and adorableness!

In our current world where social media is the “in” thing and being “internet famous” can be achieved in one picture and one post, this book feels so real, relevant and relatable.

I think #famous’ blurb says what mostly this book will be about:

Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous.

Being “internet famous” has been a thing for a while now. Pictures of random guys and girls usually went viral on the internet and that anonymous guy or girl suddenly become “internet famous”. Even here in my home country, Philippines – where social media usage was rampant – a lot of guys and girls gets attention because someone posted a picture or a video of them.

But the thing that made #famous’ plot line a bit different from what is happening with the real life is that instead of solely focusing on the guy on the picture that went viral, the story also reached out to the girl who took the picture. And together – Kyle and Rachel – started living the life of the so-called “#famous”

Told in alternating POV’s of Kyle and Rachel, we saw the complete picture on what is happening on in both of our main characters lives especially how the instant fame affects them both.

It’s easy to like Rachel. As Kyle said, she’s 100% herself all the time. Despite her being somewhat different – different looks, likes and social hierarchy – she stands out as her own character.

“If I’d learn anything from the past week, it was that other people could be cruel-needlessly cruel-for no reason at all.”

When the picture she has taken went viral, people starts to send her vicious and hurtful comments. Cyber-bullying is one of the problems we are facing today and Rachel has been a victim of it. Good thing she was in company of great parents and awesome best friend – Mo. Jilly Gagnon did a great job of creating a character with flaws but downright relatable.

Honestly, Kyle pissed me off more than a couple of time throughout the book but he still did capture my heart in the end. He’s naïve and had a hard time making up his mind on the first parts (okay even in the latter parts) of the book. But I’m thinking, he’s a teenager, right? He’s acting like how a teenager should. He got caught up with his fame at first but eventually managed it and soon enough realize how he may have hurt people (ahem Rachel) along the way.

“I know I’m pretty square, but I like weirdos, you know”

It started as a one-sided crush turned into friendship and blossomed into something more. The friendship and romance was slow-burn but worth reading and waiting for.

Overall, #famous was such a fun and adorable read. Very relevant to today’s “internet fame” thing. I really enjoyed how the author conveyed a lot of message about – internet fame, cyber bullying and just being yourself – on the pages of this book.

PS. I don’t think I’ll ever look at an order of French fries the same way again without remembering Kyle and Rachel’s story. *wink*

final-rating

4-starss

ARC Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

aboutthebook

Title: By Your Side

Author: Kasie West

Published: 31 January 2017 | Harper Teen

Date Read: 29 January 2017

Synopsis:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

mythoughts

*ARC Kindly provided by Harper Teen Thru Edelweiss for review*

Let me start this off by saying that I love Kasie West. Whenever I’m in the mood for some fluffy and easy to read romances, her books are always there for me. It made me swoon and smile and feel “kilig” whenever I needed to feel those things.

Any Kasie West book is an auto-read for me and By Your Side’s premise certainly captured my interest.

A girl and a girl got locked up inside the library for the weekend.

Autumn was set to go to a bonfire and cabin with her friends until she finds herself locked up inside the library because of too much Dr. Pepper. Just when she thought she was stranded there all by herself, she finds out that the school’s troublemaker and bad-boy Dax was also locked up inside.

Autumn is your typical girl next-door. She has good grades, good set of friends and a great family life. She’s seems perfect on the outside but she has anxiety disorder that she kept from her friends for the fear of being treated differently. Dax is dark and mysterious. He has a reputation of being a loner and apparently, after his stint at juvie, a troublemaker.

As much as I admire Autumn and Dax, I really had a hard time connecting with them. Both felt flat for me. They both have the potential to give more, to us readers, but they didn’t. Thus, there characters ended up feeling flat.

The budding romance between these two started when they were locked inside the library. Yes, I get giddy at times but since I had a hard time connecting with the characters as individuals, I also had a hard time feeling the connection between these two. The first few parts were cute but the rest felt “meh” for me. Oh, and not to spoil you guys and girls, but there’s a love triangle here. A love triangle that seems a bit forced and just really didn’t convinced me.

By Your Side carries a much serious topic like Autumn’s Anxiety disorder and Dax’s problem with the foster care system. I appreciate how West could convey these serious subjects in a different way. A lighter way avoiding the heavy drama.

Overall, it was just an okay read for me. Not really the best of Kasie West that I’ve read but still okay. I still love Kasie West’s engaging and easy to read writing. I know there’s still a lot more to come from her so I’ll definitely wait for those.

final-rating

2-stars

Review: 738 Days by Stacey Kade

aboutthebook

Title: 738 Days

Author: Stacey Kade

Published: 07 June 2016 | Forge Books

Date Read: 23 January 2017

Synopsis:

At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he’s sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?

mythoughts

738 Days.

Amanda Grace was held captive by a man when she was fifteen for 738 days. The poster of then famous actor, Chase Henry has been her coping mechanism when she was there. He is what helps her get through each day and someone that gives her hope.

“One of the side effects of surviving the worst possible thing to happen to you is that you’re left with this new awareness of the world. There’s no control, no true safety; it’s all a random chance. Anything can happen anytime, to you, to the people you love. The world is full of sharp edges, just waiting to hurt you, one way or another.”

Now that she’s rescued and back in the real life, she’s finding it hard to just jump back to the life that she left before she was abducted.  She’s still stuck living in a life at the edge and not moving forward. For two years, she’s just coping but not moving forward. She’s having good days and bad days. Simple things become triggers and gives her a flashback.

Despite all this, Amanda is a survivor for me. She’s trying and doing her best to be able to get out of the shell that she’s wrapped around herself.

“Acting is the only time I ever feel whole, connected to the world and in sync, doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”

Enter the real-life Chase Henry.

His previous career nose-dived after several bad decisions made. Now, he’s a recovering alcoholic and finding it hard to land a single acting role. His reasons for helping Amanda was selfish at first but the good thing is that he immediately saw the error on his actions and immediately stopped his selfish plans.

“Life is too short to hold yourself back. From love, from happiness, from the fear of falling when you could have the joy of jumping. And I, of all people should know that.”

Chase and Amanda’s characters were created realistically. They were both dynamic and complex characters that are very easy to like. The ups and the down they’ve both been thru were awful but they are trying and surviving.  I really admire how the author handled several sensitive topics this book has. Amanda Grace’s trauma, fear and anxiety was dealt nicely. Same thing with Chase’s alcoholism.

The first part of the story was hard and tough for me. We get to see the suffering Amanda has been thru when she was abducted. The emotions and feels that this book gave was raw and very genuine. I find myself so engrossed with Amanda and Chase’s own stories on the first few chapters of the book.

“I was the one taken, but my abduction happened to them.”

Another thing I really admired about this book was the family dynamic of the Grace’s. There’s the over-emotional-worrier Mom, Guilt-ridden elder sister, silent dad and the annoying little sister. They are far from perfect but you can easily see their love and concern for one another. I also like how the author told us that though the abduction happened to Amanda, her whole family aches over it.

The only thing that knocked me off this story was the insta-love. How can these two characters fall in love in just days? Three or four days? I saw how genuine their feelings have been for one another but it would be so much better if we give them more than just a week to fall in love. Yes, I know, falling in-love can/might happen in that short span of time. But given the characteristics these two characters have, it feels a bit forced for me. It lacked depth and development. The chemistry was there. The anticipation on what would happen next was also there but it all happened too fast.

I loved Stacey Kade’s The Ghost and the Goth Series. Her writing style for 738 days was quite different from The Ghost & The Goth, but nonetheless great. The dual POV is done greatly as I easily saw the difference and similarities between the personalities of Chase and Amanda.

Overall, it was a great and remarkable reading experience.

final-rating

4-starss

Review: The Syrena Legacy Series by Anna Banks

aboutthebook

Title: The Syrena Legacy Series (Of Poseidon, Of Triton & Of Neptune)

Author: Anna Banks

Published: 22 May 2012 | 28 May 2013 | 13 May 2014 / Square Fish

Date Read: 01 January 2017 | 06 January 2017 | 08 January 2017

Synopsis:

Anna Banks’s Syrena Legacy is a romantic fantasy young adult trilogy that follows the love story of Emma and Galen. In Of Poseiden, Galen, the mermaid prince of the underwater kingdom of Syrena, travels to land in order to find a girl who is said to be able to communicate with fish. There he meets Emma, a girl who he has an immediate connection with and who may be the key to saving his kingdom. As the series continues, Emma finds that she has connections to the undersea world that put her at odds both with mermaids and with humans. With the help of Galen, she has to work to reconcile the two worlds in order to continue her life in peace.

mythoughts

I started the first week of 2017 by binge-reading The Syrena Legacy Trilogy of Anna Banks. In all honesty, this series is not the type that will give you the “Woah! Wtf happened” expression neither give you the “will-blow-your-mind-to-pieces” kind of thing but what I loved about The Syrena Legacy trilogy is how easy and fun it was to read.

Before I proceed with my review, just to share you a little side note (especially to my international friends), here in the Philippines mermaids in our native language are called ‘Sirena’ or ‘Sireno’ – Just spelled a little differently from the ‘Syrena’ right? Galen might be insulted but Mermaids and Sirena (Syrena) just have the same definitions here in the Philippines.

Anyway, on to the review…

In summary, The Syrena Legacy is about a normal teenage girl Emma who’s just trying to live her life as to what a normal teenager would do until she literally runs into Galen who is the prince of Syrena. From then and there, they continue to run into one another (not literally) and made discoveries that connects the two of them.

The first two books (Of Poseidon and Of Triton) was all about introductions to the two territories that made up The Syrena – Of Poseidon and Of Triton. I just flew into the first two books. It was so easy to read. And though there are complications and twists and turns along the way, it was all worked out in the end.

Now, the third book (Of Neptune) feels a bit unnecessary for me. Don’t get me wrong. I really appreciate the additional story and the idea of a place where Emma finds her own kind (half-breed) got me intrigued but the whole set-up feels kind of forced.

The storyline is interesting but pretty much cliché and typical. What I really appreciate is that inside this whole story there are a lot of sub-plots to look out for (eg. Grom and Nalia, Toraf and Rayna’s stories). I also enjoyed the author’s way of giving humor and entertainment to the story because honestly it makes the reading much more fun.

The only reservation I have with the storyline was how Emma can hold her breathe and talk underwater at the same time? Uhm, I’m kind of trying to do it now and it’s not working for me?

The world building was good because as a reader I was given a very good picture of how the world of Syrena functions – from their laws, legends and stories –  and how the two different territories differ from one another. The phase of the story was quick and never dull.

I believe that the characters really played very good roles on this series. Emma is the human (or so she thought) character who is feisty, hot-tempered and independent. Galen is a Syrena and a Royal. He’s hot and fun and hot. Should I say more? *wink* Well, he’s kind of naïve on how human life works but I find him as a sweetheart. Add in to these two are the other Syrena’s Rayna and Toraf whose interactions and banters gives a little more spice to the story and I really enjoyed how their own story progress.

A slew of characters was also introduced along the way and each one of them played a good role to the story and basically completes the whole world of the story.

I will surely miss the crazy gang that I met on this series. I really enjoyed the characters, backstories, mysteries, legends and of course the love story. And will recommend this to readers who are fond of YA-Fantasy, legends, myths and mermaids

final-rating

3-stars

ARC Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Title:  Girl Against the Universe

Author: Paula Stokes

Published by: 17 May 2016 | HarperTeen

Date Read: 12 June 2016

Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis 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 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.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

REVIEW

Girl Against The Universe gives us the story of Maguire – a girl who believes that the universe is all up against her; She’s cursed and all the bad lucks that the world could give has made its way to her.

“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 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.”

Maguire has experienced a series of tragic and unfortunate events throughout her life – a car accident, a roller coaster accident and a fire accident.

With her mind on set that the world is all set up against her she begin to start having her five-second check ritual and even carries charm or lucky trinkets wherever she goes. With the help of her therapist, she takes on challenges that would help her mental struggles and reaching her summer goal – To Ride an Airplane to Ireland.

She’s determined to move past the life that she’s living right now and step out of her comfort zone.

“And Loneliness is just like everything else – if you endure it long enough, you get used to it.”

Maguire is coping not living.

To us readers or to us who are not on her place, we might simply think that maybe she was just unfortunately placed smacked in the middle of these bad circumstances – a case of wrong place at the wrong time – easier said than done, that’s what would Maguire said to us. With these tragic events that happened to her, Maguire’s state of mind was already set differently, it makes her feel guilty so she do the best that she can to protect the people around her even if it sacrifices her own happiness.

From the first chapter, I already begin cheering on for Maguire. She’s a very strong female lead. I love her determination and courage to conquer what she’s on to and has her mind set on her goal. There are mishaps in the middle and it is definitely not an easy task to do but Maguire take it one little step at a time.

Of course, there is the romance part on the story as well. A fluffy, cuddly ball of romance. *squeee* Jordy is a famous Tennis Player and despite of the things that is going on on his own life I really appreciate all his efforts in helping Maguire. The sparks are definitely there between Maguire and Jordy. I like how they were able to relate and help each other along the way. Add in the fact that both of them loved Tennis! Playing it has become an outlet for the both of them.

I really appreciate the great support system that Maguire has on this story – family and friends. It was definitely not an easy road to take but with the right support system, in time, everything will work out, right? Maguire’s relationship with her mother and step-dad is quite rocky at the beginning but it was so heartwarming to see their support to her. Their love is evident and shoots thru the heart.

The subject of this book – PTSD, OCD, Anxiety and such – are not easy topics but what I really liked is despite the heavy topics, Paula Stokes was able to convey it on a very light way. I like how she handled Maguire’s struggles. The story feels realistic and genuine.

“Sometimes terrible things happen and its no ones fault. Sometimes we do the best we can and still have bad outcomes.”

As I turn the last page of the book, I was able sigh happily. I’m happy that Jordy and Maguire were able to conquer their struggles. Seeing both of them overcome it was all so worth the *some* stresses along the way. Girl Against The Universe is a very empowering and uplifting story filled with family love, tennis, self-challenges and a fluffy ball of romance. You will definitely want to pick this one up.