Character Bio & ARC Giveaway: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

November 2, 2015 Giveaway, Promo, Young Adult 22

Girl Against the UniverseGirl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes
Published by HarperTeen on May 17th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
Buy the Book
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.

Hey guys! Today I’m here to introduce you to the main character from Paula Stokes upcoming novel, Girl Against the Universe! I had the greatest opportunity to read a super early version of the story (and name a character even!) and I’m so excited to provide the chance for another to win an ARC of this book! I’ve never read a book in such an early stage and I’m looking forward to reading it all over again as a finished copy to see how it evolved from the beginning. So without further ado:


Paula: Maguire is the book’s main character, named for the daughter of a former spinning instructor who had me sign a copy of The Art of Lainey for her. I fell in love with the name and when I got the idea to write a book about a girl who believed she was bad luck, Maguire was a perfect fit. Here’s a little more about Maguire:


Name: Maguire Kelly

Age: 16

Grade: Junior

School: Pacific Point High School

Family: Mom, stepdad, half-sister, half-brother

Hobbies: Running (okay, jogging, whatever), reading, collecting good luck charms


And here’s a peek at Maguire from the beginning of the book:


As I cross the waiting room, the receptionist waves and Perfectly Assembled Boy glances up. He gives me a longer look this time—so long that I start to feel a little awkward. I peek back at him as I open the door to the hallway.

“Your hair,” he says finally. “It’s so . . . big.”

I get this sort of thing occasionally, normally from friends of my mom. I’ve got one of those manes that everyone likes to ooh and ahh over but no one really wants for their own. Thick black hair that hangs past my shoulders in corkscrew curls and sticks out a few inches from my head if I don’t tame it down and tie it back. Kind of like that old-school guitarist Slash, only I’m a lot smaller than he is, so my hair looks even bigger. I almost always wear it in a bun.

Can’t wait for you to meet her! And we shall see if anyone can guess which character I named from the book. 😉

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About Paula Stokes

Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of several YA novels, most recently Girl Against the Universe and Liars, Inc. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

22 Responses to “Character Bio & ARC Giveaway: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes”

  1. Summer

    This sounds so good to me, Maguire’s clearly going through some tough stuff, yet in the brief excerpt there’s a self-deprecating sense of humor as well, so it’s very much the life-like sort of contemporary that I enjoy.

  2. Lisa ten Brummelhuis

    This cover is so bright and eye catching! I love it! I think the cover designers made a wonderful choice with the illustrated girl, instead of a cover model. Her brown hair matches the orange backgroud perfectly, and I love that she has a (note?)book next to her even though she’s at a tennis court. She is laying in a very realistic pose, which is great! I feel like I can already relate to her, by just looking at this cover

  3. Lauren Deal

    I think my favorite aspect of this is that she plays tennis! I have a lot of students who enjoy sports books, and I try to find books about every sport to appeal to the kids who play that particular sport. I don’t think I have any tennis books at all!

  4. Victoria (thepetitebookblogger)

    I really like how this character plays tennis. As a tennis player you really don’t see to many books where the main character plays tennis. It’s usually karate, dance, cheer leading you know something that might be useful in becoming homecoming queen. I think that Maguire is going to be my new favorite character, she’s so snarky!

  5. Yash Levi

    I love Maguire’s name! I was a little disappointed that Maguire’s (hair) description doesn’t match the girl in the cover. Still, the cover is eye-catching and I’m definitely adding this to my birthday haul!

  6. Kalani

    I really can’t wait for this book!It’s such a beautiful cover and I can’t stop staring at it!

  7. sophia

    Even though i’m not a fan of the colour orange, i love the shade it has dark and light orange in it. A really nice cover.

  8. Kristy Petree

    I already want to give Maguire (love the name, by the way) a big hug! I also want to explain to her that Slash isn’t old-school–he’s from MY time. Right? Right, that’s my story. Anyway, sounds like a great read. Thanks.

  9. Kristy Petree

    In addition to my post about Maguire, I really love the cool orange cover, the neat font, and the layout with Maguire and her belongings. The combination of Maguire and these fun side characters sounds like it will make for a great read.

  10. Sarah Mackenzie

    While I liked the original storyline of GATU (and the title, also, admittedly), I absolutely love the idea of an MC being in therapy. Maguire is a character I am looking forward to meeting and reading about.

  11. Lauren Goff

    Bahahaha! I can already tell I’m going to love this character. “Your hair is so big” “I get this a lot”. That is just amazing. Also her name is EPIC! I can’t wait to learn more about her and to read the book!!

    Lauren G.

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