Reader Review: The Loneliest Girl In The Universe – Lauren James

The Loneliest Girl In The Universe:  ★★★★★

Despite seeing this book throughout numerous bookstore trips and knowing that it had good reviews, I was still hesitant to purchase it due to the fact that the premise didn’t necessarily stand out to me. I thought the idea was good, but I thought that it could – potentially – get boring because how can you make a riveting story out of it? Though I grabbed a copy for the hell of it after seeing it recommended yet again and, now, that I’ve finished the book, let me tell you that boy, I was wrong as hell in my hesitation.

Meet Romy Silvers – a girl who has only ever known life on a space station and is now known to be the only surviving member of the crew. However, she is then informed by her therapist and tutor at NASA that another spaceship has been launched and is making quick progress to meet up with her so she will no longer be on her own. The two spaceships can only communicate through emails and, even then, the messages take months to go through due to the distance between them. However, this doesn’t deter Romy from befriending and creating a bond with the mysterious character aboard the other ship. She finds herself experiencing things she never thought possible in her situation. Though, what does she really know about the stranger on the other side of the universe and is it more than she was bargaining for?

The book introduces the character and the story straight away – which means the readers are able to get a good idea of what’s happening and who they’re meant to be focused on. Because it doesn’t lack pace and it doesn’t make the audience feel like they’re waiting to be introduced to something, the premise of the book is interesting and intrigued from the very beginning, I was captivated after the first page. It’s also a premise that makes you want to explore it further because it’s unconventional – it’s not the type of story that you would usually expect and that becomes ever more obvious. The reader wants to continue reading to figure out what the situation is and who the character happens to be. As well as this, there’s a specific tone that’s created by the narration and the insight into the character – Romy’s – mind, which makes the audience feel a lot closer to her as we’re able to get a better feel for her personality as we have a window into her internal monologue. Because of this depth, you personally want to get to know the character better and, in addition to this, the audience is able to resonate with the emotions that the main character is feeling as the writing style conveys them so effectively. It’s descriptive in such a specific sense that the reader is able to visualise and experience the situation along with the protagonist.

Leading on from this, as the plot continues and the situation progresses, the audience gets more and more wrapped up in the story and in the character herself. Because the emotions are written so well and so evidently, the audience is able to feel and resonate with Romy’s loneliness, even though the situation isn’t one that we can exactly relate to (unless you’ve been stranded on a spaceship all your life). From the start, I found myself putting myself in Romy’s place – I started thinking about how annoying it must be to have 2-year gaps between communications, and how I felt as if information was being withheld from me in one way or another. I wanted to experience the story with Romy and so, of course, that made me continue reading.

When the relationship with J is constructed and progressed, the reader finds themselves liking his character and his personality. The scenario and the bond that forms between the two of them becomes cute and the story merges into one that’s sweet, even if the circumstances are out of the ordinary. The book makes you like J – it’s nice to follow the formation of the relationship – and then – boom, everything gets flipped upside down and it goes apeshit. That’s the only way I can describe how I was feeling as the progression and the sudden change of the plot and overall nature of the book.

The plot twist was very unexpected, at least it was for me personally, and, in turn, I kept reading faster and faster as it was continuously so riveting. As I had put myself in Romy’s shoes, I felt like I was being betrayed directly, so that consolidates just how well written the book is to be able to cause that kind of reader immersion and involvement. The plot becomes somewhat of a rollercoaster – one minute I was trusting him, then I wasn’t, then I was, then I wasn’t again. In my notes whilst reading the book, I described it as ‘mental whiplash’ which I stand by still. As the story continues as well, more background information is revealed which answers a lot of questions and adds even further depth to the overall story besides having the plot twists also draw the attention of the audience.

When it comes to the end of the book, that was another thing that I was expecting because – at this point – the audience has kind of given up hope for Romy and has come to the conclusion of her fate. Though, in the last few pages, we’re thrown another curveball which closes the story in such a nice and refreshing way when looking back at what the character just had to go through. It relieves the audience just as much as it does her, and the reader can put down the book feeling good again.

I honestly can’t think of any flaws to the point at the current moment. Some of the fanfiction writing was odd – some of it sounded very juvenile – but that’s to be expected in the character’s situation. It was a very quick read – I finished it in only a few hours – though I don’t think I would want the story to be drawn out for longer.

To put it simply; this book blew my mind and hurt my neck, in a metaphorical sense. I definitely did not expect such an immersive, intense, and surprising read, and I’m so glad that I got it. Not only was I able to experience the story and bond with the main character, I went through an array of different feelings when reading through this book and I don’t regret a second of it. It’s interesting, it’s different, and it offers a new tone, which I think is fun to experience. The book isn’t long at all – it’s a quick read, and some aspects of the book lack more than others (could’ve expanded on the fan fiction, etc.) but, overall, I’m immensely happy with the read.

Thank you for reading this short review, this book is a hell of a read.

I’ll write you later.

If you’re a fan of young adult romance novels, then give this book a try – it’s something you wouldn’t expect, but something you might come to love. 

If you want books that change your way of thinking, take you off guard, and make you feel as if you need to run to try and keep up, then stop eyeing this book on the shelf and just grab a copy like I should’ve sooner.

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