Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 7th September 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Add it: Goodreads
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’ve got mixed feelings about The Loneliest Girl in the Universe because on the one hand, I read it in a single sitting and I did enjoy it. On the other, I think the book could have been improved in a few different ways. It’s a real mixed bag for me.
Romy, the main character, was really smart. I loved how intelligent she was, and how she was able to run an entire space ship by herself. She was obviously suffering from some sort of PTSD or anxiety, which flared up at points. She was, however, really freaking gullible. I guess it made sense because she was basically raising herself from a young age, but still.
There were a couple of really thrilling scenes towards the end where James did a fantastic job of building tension and creeping me out. She wrote these scenes really well.
But then there are the criticisms. Firstly, the book could have been longer. It is an incredibly short book, at just over 260 pages, and I felt like it suffered for it. Of course, there was only so much that could happen when the main character was by herself on a space ship, but I think with a bit of tweaking it could have turned out longer and better. Especially as the ending is so open ended for a potential sequel, because Romy’s journey definitely isn’t over yet.
The romance aspect was a complete let down and it’s one of the main reasons why I didn’t love the book as much as I thought I would. Romy became too attached to J far too quickly. This is another thing that makes sense in context, as Romy was literally the loneliest girl in the universe before J showed up, but I still didn’t like it. Especially the fan fic parts and the daydreaming. It was all a bit much.
The part about the war on Earth was so interesting, and I wish we could have learnt more about it. But we didn’t, because of reasons. It was definitely the most gripping part of the story.
And the twist at the end that everyone is raving about was soooooo obvious! I was expecting a lot more in that regard after reading the reviews and tweets about the book.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed The Loneliest Girl in the Universe well enough and if there is a sequel (Lauren James said there might be in a few years) then I’ll probably read it because I want to see the rest of Romy’s story.