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The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Review

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Lauren James is a British young adult novelist born in 1992. While studying chemistry and physics at the University of Nottingham in the U.K., she sold the rights to her debut novel, THE NEXT TOGETHER. That book then became a series of two books and novellas. Her newest novel, published first in the U.K. in 2017, THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE UNIVERSE, was released to U.S. readers in July 2018.

It’s the year 2067, and 16-year-old Romy Silvers was born on the spaceship Infinity. It's all she has ever known. When her parents' deaths leave her all alone onboard, it is Romy’s mission alone to find a new planet that the world hopes will be Earth II. NASA keeps in contact with her through a therapist Molly, but Romy only ever feels crushingly alone. When she finds out another ship, the Eternity, is en route to join her on her intergalactic trek to the new planet, Romy is thrilled she will have company again. J, the captain of the Eternity, is everything Romy could have asked for, and she finds herself quickly falling for him over email.

"THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE UNIVERSE is best described as creative, unique and excellent entertainment....James is bound to catch a variety of readers."

THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE UNIVERSE is best described as creative, unique and excellent entertainment. Incorporating elements of the sci-fi, romance, mystery/thriller and contemporary genres, James is bound to catch a variety of readers. As a futuristic science fiction novel, I was concerned that it might have unnecessarily scientific writing, but the story is set not so far in the future. It was great to see that even in the future, humans are just as good and, of course, just as evil. Space elements are truly hit or miss for me, but I found myself loving the space aspect and the life-or-death quality of Romy’s mission. Full of shocking twists and terrifying nightmares for Romy, James packs a whole lot of character development in this short, fast-paced book. By the time I read halfway through, I knew I was not going to be able to stop reading until I finished it.

Romy was able to communicate with NASA, Molly, and J, but I have so much respect for her because it took her years between messages to get responses. Additionally, she has been on the Infinity for years without anyone else and has kept a relatively cool head about it. Romy has a love for a TV show that she writes fanfiction for, and at first, I was skeptical about its relevance to the story, but ultimately it surprised me considerably. An exciting aspect of this story is that it features very few characters but somehow is not dull for even a moment. Every chapter begins with a countdown or up from whatever event Romy is waiting for, and it succeeded in making the story more real and project feelings of excitement and impending danger.

I highly recommend THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE UNIVERSE to science fiction gurus as well as readers who enjoy character-driven stories with a backdrop of sci-fi or a riveting setting in general. Her story reminds me of a lighter version of YA sci-fi books like ILLUMINAE and THESE BROKEN STARS. Readers looking for an introduction to the genre will find it with Romy.

Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member on July 10, 2018

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
by Lauren James