The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication date: September 7, 2017
Genre: science fiction
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 . . .
Romy Silvers has been tasked with safely delivering her spacecraft: The Infinity to Earth II. All alone, Romy is the loneliest girl in the universe, that is, until NASA announces that they are sending a second spacecraft: The Eternity to join hers. Communicating through emails, Romy develops a kindred relationship with The Eternity’s commander. Commander J is funny and charming – similar to Jayden, a protagonist in Romy’s fanfiction – until, that is, J arrives on Romy’s ship.
A terrible accident years ago has left Romy the only surviving passenger on The Infinity. At only sixteen she suffers with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder but her admirable strength keeps her afloat, that, and her fanfiction of Jayden Lock & Lyra Ness. When uncanny messages arrive from Earth and Romy is cut off from her usual contact with NASA, her spacecraft begins enduring cut backs and shortages. Something isn’t right and the countdown is on until The Eternity joins up with The Infinity.
Even though The Loneliest Girl in the Universe starts off slowly, the reader is introduced to Romy, her life on a spacecraft, her perception of a world she has never seen through the fanfiction she writes, and her daily struggles with a past she would rather forget. She is a relatable and well-developed character: intelligent, creative and isolated. Without too much description James develops Romy’s amiable character and builds the spacecraft she lives in.
Although the ending was thrilling, it felt at times a bit rushed. The twisting plots were page turning, however, I wasn’t fully convinced of J’s sinister motive. Nevertheless, I think most readers will enjoy the exhilarating turn this book takes.
The Loneliest Girl in the Universe entices readers into a world of science, space and fanfiction. James’ science education is evident in her writing making this book a fantastic choice for science-fiction readers.