Oh man, Girl Against the Universe was one of my most anticipated reads for 2016 and I was thrilled when I got my hands on it early. It's about a girl who thinks she's bad luck and tries her hardest to prevent anyone from ever being hurt, even if it means not leaving her house.
First, I really love how this is set up. We have chapters where our main character is in therapy and also when she's out doing her thing. I can't imagine what this book would be like without these sessions and I'm so glad that they're included as they provide some pretty great insight into our character.
Maguire may feel like bad luck and try to isolate herself on behalf of others, but man you kind of feel it too. Paula writes in a way that makes you really empathize with Maguire and everything she is going through internally. It's so wonderful and I definitely cried a few times. (Damn you, Paula.) Now our other main character, Jordy, I love him to bits. He's so flirty and confident even though he's insecure. Which I can definitely understand and relate to and that's so cool. Mostly, he's sweet and also kind of funny. I need myself a Jordy. Obviously there are more than these two and some honorable mentions are Penn, Jade, and for sure Dr. Leed. There really isn't a single character that I don't like. How refreshing.
One of my favorite things about Girl Against the Universe is the approach it takes on mental health. It truly normalizes it just like we should. My favorite quote is actually Dr. Leed talking to Maguire:
The first thing 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. Make sense?
And I love this because it is so incredibly true and more people need to realize it. Mental health is not a destination, it's a journey. No body is going to have the perfect life and be happy every single day. As Meredith Grey would say, "That's not mental health, that's crap."
Girl Against the Universe was everything that I hoped it would be and more. I laughed, I cried, and even had some anxiety pangs because I just love these characters so damn much. I honestly wish we could get a sequel or a companion from Jordy's perspective. *Prays to the publishing gods* I strongly recommend you pick up this cute contemporary with a twist. If you're interested, Girl Against the Universe will be out on May 17, 2016 and Paula is sending some preorder swag that you can read about here. I'd love to hear about your most anticipated reads and your thoughts on Girl Against the Universe in the comments!