The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, by Lauren James
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Release Date: July 3, 2018
Length: 305 pages
Times Read: Once
Rating: HOLY SH*T
A surprising and gripping sci-fi thriller with a killer twist
The daughter of two astronauts, Romy Silvers is no stranger to life in space. But she never knew how isolating the universe could be until her parents’ tragic deaths left her alone on the Infinity, a spaceship speeding away from Earth.
Romy tries to make the best of her lonely situation, but with only brief messages from her therapist on Earth to keep her company, she can’t help but feel like something is missing. It seems like a dream come true when NASA alerts her that another ship, the Eternity, will be joining the Infinity.
Romy begins exchanging messages with J, the captain of the Eternity, and their friendship breathes new life into her world. But as the Eternity gets closer, Romy learns there’s more to J’s mission than she could have imagined. And suddenly, there are worse things than being alone….
What I Liked: YOU GUYS OH MY GOD WHAT EVEN WAS THAT JESUS I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING. Whatever you think you’re about to read, I promise you it’s going to be different and so much scarier than you thought.
♥ Romy. I mean Romy had learned astrophysics by age 11, and I was counting on my fingers trying to figure out how messages traveled forward and backwards through time from Earth to the ship (for the record, I never worked it out and my head hurt the whole time because time travel is MADNESS and how does everyone else understand it I can’t even discuss it coherently). Romy is my GIRL. She is smart as a whip, self-sufficient like what, supremely well-adjusted for being both raised in space as the only kid and being the only PERSON on her ship for the last 5 years, but she was also still just a teenager, into fanfic and paranormal teen romance just like the rest of us. She was so well developed, especially when things really get going and we’re immersed in her fear, in her loneliness, in her panic. I was right there with my girl, terrified in the dark and hiding in the crawl space.
♥ The Setting. There wasn’t a ton of description on the setting, but in this case that really worked for me. I tend to get confused when dealing with diagrams of spaceships when I need to know where things are in relation to each other (as in Illuminae Files), and we all know what space looks like. I already have plenty of references for ships in my head (this one ended up as a cross between the ships from The Martian and Passengers, scaled down), so I used what I had and moved on with things. In general I’m not a huge sci-fi girl, but there are some that get me SO invested (The Illuminae Files, Mara Dyer, Darkest Minds) that I start to think maybe I am a big fan after all.
♥ J. He’s sweet and kind to Romy, a good friend who’s there to talk and listen, and she desperately needs that in her life. I can’t say any more because SPOILERS GALORE BUT OH GOD SO MUCH MORE TO SAY.
♥ THAT TWIST. About 2/3 of the way through everything COMPLETELY CHANGES and whatever you thought you knew, you were WRONG. Again I can’t say anything more, but even though I knew some big twist was coming I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING.
♥ EVERYTHING AFTER THAT TWIST. I mean it almost completely switches subgenres and it does it so effectively and so seamlessly that I was still totally in the moment, still right there with my girl, wondering wtf what going on.
What I Didn’t: There is honestly not much that I didn’t like here, and anything I didn’t I can’t really talk about.
⊗ The mystery surrounding Romy’s mom. It was really slowly revealed, but I can’t say that I didn’t understand why once it did come out.
⊗ Romy’s fanfic. It was really not well written. But since the rest of the book was SO GOOD, I get that it was meant to be. And the reason we read it at all makes sense in the end. It just didn’t do anything for me, because we never knew anything about the characters she was writing about, her writing wasn’t very good, and the stories weren’t original. Again, kind of the point though.
Favorite Quotes: “Love take so much energy, and it just leads to pain. I think it’s probably best for people to be self-sufficient. If I was strong enough to be independent, then I wouldn’t be so desperately lonely. I’m sure of it.”