The Loneliest Girl in the Universe – Lauren James

Review

The Loneliest Girl in the UniverseTITLE: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
AUTHOR: Lauren James

RELEASED: September 7, 2017
PUBLISHER: Walker Books
FORMAT: Paperback

GENRE: YA Science Fiction
GOODREADS RATING: 3.98

TRIGGERS: Anxiety, grief, violence, death

SYNOPSIS
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 . . .

Standaard

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..

The good

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.

The bad

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.

4
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?

Nametag

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13 thoughts on “The Loneliest Girl in the Universe – Lauren James

  1. Anxiety is a huge trigger for me, and I remember reading the first few pages of this book and feeling weird. That atmosphere of loneliness and grief made me DNF it immediately. Still, I’m pretty sure I’m going to give it another try in the future, simply because I’ve read nothing but amazing things about this story. Plus, I’m kind of curious about the fact that a story like this can freak people out ahaha Thank you for your review, Kathy! So happy to know you really liked it!

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  2. Lovely review, Kathy ❤ I am so glad you enjoyed this book – I'm not a big sci-fi reader, but I loved the author's debut so I had to try that one as well and I wasn't disappointed. It was an addictive read for sure and… quite creepy at times, for sure! I agree with you about that ending though, it was a bit frustrating. Still, I realy loved this book 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marie! ❤
      Not a big sci-fi reader either, but I do like trying it out sometimes. I've noticed I go more to the dystopian side than the space-related ones though.
      Definitely creepy! I totally didn't expect it to be so dark, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve only read a handful of sci-fi books but this is one of my favourites! I didn’t expect to like it at all and only picked it up because I was seeing Lauren James at a book event but it was so dang good. Lauren James did such a great job of raising the stakes and building up to the last 100 pages where everything went unbelievably crazy – I was not expecting any of that at all. I also agree with you about the simplicity and accessibility of the science. It made it very easy to read and I was certainly grateful for that because the very technical and mechanical aspects of science often go over my head.

    I think in comparing it to Illuminae, I can see where you are coming from. I just wonder if that is a sci-fi thing and the authors are playing with the same tropes. I’m not 100% sure though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, that’s the exact reason why I felt so compelled to get myself a copy of this book and actually read it so fast too! [Like.. Instead of letting it disappear in my TBR mountain..]
      Amen to that! I honestly love it when novels like that count down towards a certain event. It makes it way more tempting to read on and on because you keep getting closer to THAT moment and then it all twists and turns around and you can’t stop reading because you’re in too deep.
      Same here. I had that exact problem with The Illuminae Files at times because some things really got technical – especially at the start of the books sometimes? Or maybe I struggled with those parts because I hadn’t lost myself in the story yet.

      Hm. Not sure about that either – guess we’d need the opinion of some actual sci-fi readers to answer that question, haha. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel exactly the same about Sci-Fi, I’m just not sure I like it… But this sounded good, so I might give it a go. And I haven’t read Illuminae…

    Liked by 1 person

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