Title: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Author: Lauren James
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Mystery/Thrillers
Publication date: July 3rd, 2018
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.
Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.
But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?
Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone…
“I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten what other people feel like. When I dream, I dream in screens. A line of text, a voice in my ear. Nothing real.”
Okay, I admit it: this book was equal parts beautiful and terrifying. I was so excited to finally pick it up because I had heard nothing but amazing things about it, and after reading a few things I said it was about damn time. And I’m so glad I did because it was such a well crafted story, and unlike anything I’ve ever read before.
I would say that what made me not give it a full five stars was the fact that I knew too much about this book, and I think this is one of those stories where it’s best to know as little as possible. The synopsis is pretty vague, but since I already had heard people talking about this book, there were things I was expecting and thought they would happen, and when they did, it wasn’t as shocking as I would have expect them to be (but that’s totally my fault).
The book has a pretty slow start, because the protagonist is explaining to us basically almost her entire back story and why she’s the only person in that ship, and I think it took a while for the plot to finally start. The pacing in the first 100 pages was a bit slow, and I wasn’t fully engaged, but once I kept reading I admit it became so much better and the story started becoming more fast paced.
“Some days it’s hard to remember the exciting parts. I get stuck in the memories. It’s hard to focus on the future when the past is so distracting.”
I really enjoyed the whole concept of the entire book, and the characters that were in it. Romy was such an incredible main character and it was such a pleasure to read from her point of view. At the beginning she was a bit plain and lineal, but she had an amazing character development, and once I continued with The Loneliest Girl in the Universe it became a bit easier to connect with her. She seemed quite a realistic main character and that helped the reader to empathize with what was she going through.
I also really enjoyed the relationship she had with her therapist. I don’t know, it was such a great addition to the story, and not something that is often seen in science fiction or fantasy.
That being said, there were some parts that were quite terrifying to me. I’m not going to delve much into them since I want to keep this review spoiler free and they would probably ruin the whole plot, but I’m just so scared of space. I think space and the ocean are two of the scariest things I can think of, and the fact that a teenager is alone and has to rely on emails that were sent months before is so terrifying to me. So I think the author did an amazing job with the whole plot and the characters, and I was pleasantly surprised with the whole story.
Overall, it was such a well crafted story, with very realistic characters and an intriguing plot, and if I read it not expecting some things and not knowing what I did, I would have probably would have absolutely loved it!
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