RELEASED: September 7, 2017
PUBLISHER: Walker Books
GENRE: YA Science Fiction
GOODREADS RATING: 3.98
TRIGGERS: Anxiety, grief, violence, death
Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?
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 . . .
So, you might know I’m not really one who picks up science fiction very often. I always feel like it’s a gamble when I do because I’m still in that place where I have to discover what kind of science fiction I like and which ones I don’t. Have to admit though, this is one I liked. Even though it creeped me out at times..
This novel absolutely read like a train. Or should I say like a spaceship shooting through.. well.. space? When I had just started reading, I found myself wary of the first person narrative. Romy, our main character, is stuck on a spaceship by herself after all. I really didn’t see how that would hold my attention – even more so since I’m only recently broadening my science fiction-horizons. But it didn’t bother me one bit! She might be all on her own and I might’ve expected to get bored but I didn’t! And the chapters starting with how many days Romy had left on the ship, definitely helped as well because you simply want to find out what’ll happen once that number hits zero.
As for Romy herself… Skies, I pitied that girl. Being stuck all on your lonesome cannot be easy – at all. Losing myself in her coping mechanisms, seeing her struggle with anxiety.. Not to mention the grief she’s struggling with over her parents’ deaths. It was truly heart-breaking at times.
All that made her a very fleshed out character though. You understood her, you knew how she became the person she is at that moment and it’s realistic. It’s real. Sure, she’s naive on certain areas but you can’t have experience in all matters, right?
[Oh, and an honorary mention to the fan fic she writes because YESSS. It also helped lighten the novel a bit because I sometimes found myself drowning in the seriousness of being all alone in space.]
The creepiness! Honestly! I wish someone had warned me of that, so I’m definitely mentioning it here. I didn’t expect to get as creeped out as I did. There were times where I actually had goosebumps because things freaked me out. I didn’t even want to continue reading in the dark. Nope. Okay, I admit I’m a pussy when it comes to creepy things but still! Just throwing this out there!
Another plus for me was how this novel didn’t get all technical and scientific. This is noobish science-fiction me speaking though. I simply always expect science fiction to get like that and it’s such a relief when it doesn’t. I remember when reading Illuminae, I sometimes found certain things flying way above my head because I just didn’t know what was being described. Didn’t have that problem with The Loneliest Girl in the Universe at all! Sure, sometimes I had to read certain sentences multiple times to make sure I got it right, but overall I didn’t have any issues with it.
Now that I mentioned Illuminae, I feel like… I just have to say how The Loneliest Girl in the Universe feels like it’s inspired by it. I’m still not sure whether or not it’s something to be happy with or annoyed by but I can’t shake that feeling, that thought. Guess I’m just a bit put out by the fact that I noticed that? I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. [I also read a review a while back where someone describes this novel as a mix of Illuminae and The Martian but since I haven’t read the latter, I can’t say anything about that…]
The last thing I’d want to mention is how I do feel like the ending was done fairly quickly. I would’ve liked more knowledge on how exactly everything ended up. That would’ve made this book way better for me, to be honest. Right now, I just keep wondering what’s happened and I hate when that occurs.. Open endings simply are not my jam, ha.
If you like science fiction and you want to read something quite unique, something that reads like a train and where creepiness is definitely an added bonus, I’m hoping you’ll pick up this one! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!
People who read this one who feel the same about my Illuminae-remark?
Anyone have suggestions for a science fiction-noob who loved The Illuminae Files and really liked The Loneliest Girl in the Universe?