The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
Funny side note to begin this review. I apparently had no clue how to spell “loneliest” before I began typing this title and spell check kept sneaking an extra “e” in there! Now I know! The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was such an entertaining, different, and surprisingly good book! I have heard so much about it lately and when it kept popping up I finally broke down and decided I needed to see what the hype was all about. I didn’t really know what to expect, and I’ll be honest, I was a little hesitant at first. But then I got swept away in the mind of the MC Romy and all of the emotions she was going through being the sole occupant of a spaceship called The Infinity that is heading to another planet, Earth 2. I can’t begin to imagine how I would feel knowing that all communication with anyone on Earth had a two year delay in response, and being millions upon millions of miles away from all other life. My palms start sweating just thinking about it!
Being a book about a single character, alone, far away in outer space, there really isn’t a large cast of characters that you meet. There’s Romy the MC, her therapist from NASA named Molly (assigned to her after she sent word that her parents had died in an awful accident), and J who’s on another spaceship sent to help Romy get to Earth 2. Yep, you read that right, NASA decided that after Romy having spent years completely alone captaining a spaceship all by herself since the age of 11, they are finally sending her help!!! And in the form of a man named J on a spaceship called The Eternity.
Romy was actually born on the ship after her parents accidentally got pregnant in the early years of their space travel to Earth 2. So she has never known Earth or anything really besides The Infinity and all its nooks and crannies. She was raised there by her parents until a horrible accident kills them while she’s only 11 years old, and she is then forced to run the spaceship all on her own. I found myself really connecting with Romy, the thoughts that ran through her head and the way she handles all the problems or questions she comes across are pretty realistic to how I would feel if ever stuck in the same circumstance. She craves touch, and love, and even just a conversation from anyone other than the halfway conversations in the emails she receives from Molly on a daily basis. The emails from Molly really aren’t conversations at all because as Romy gets further and further away from Earth, the longer it takes for her messages to reach Earth. And at the time we enter her story, it currently takes one year to make it to Earth and then another year for the response to arrive in Romy’s inbox. Two years just to get a response to any question she might have. I would go insane.
The format the book is written consists of the emails Romy receives, her fanfic of Loch & Ness (which was some of my favorite to read) and then the rest from Romy’s POV and all the thoughts running through her head. It hit me about halfway through that it was weird to read a book with little to no dialogue. I didn’t really notice it until Romy herself mentions at one point that she didn’t know if her voice still even worked, that she hadn’t actually spoken out loud in years. Can you even imagine that? I constantly talk to myself, so I know that wouldn’t be the same in my case, but who actually knows what it would be like to be so alone for so long. Maybe I would just cease to talk out loud, what’s the point when you are literally the only person around to hear it?!
This book had one crazy twist of an ending that brought me to almost tears at one point. It goes from being a mellow adventure of a 17 year old girl to something of a thriller. I was biting my nails hoping that she would survive. It was interesting the way that things were revealed over time instead of all at once. And you learn just exactly what happened on the ship that Romy doesn’t want to remember, or speak of. The whirlwind of an end had me consuming this book faster than my brain could keep up. I read this in less than 24 hours and finished it feeling like I had just gone on a deep space adventure myself! This was a great read, and it will stick with me for a while to come. I’ll be putting this pretty book up on the favorites shelf along with all my other beauties!
If You Liked this Book:
If you liked this book, then you should read Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. As I was reading The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, I kept thinking it reminded me somewhat of the Illuminae Files so I wanted to recommend this one to anyone who might have liked The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. They both have a different reading format, as well as deep space exploration. Both are filled with crazy twists and turns and will leave you on the edge of your seat ready to find out what happens next!
What would you feel like being stuck completely alone in outer space? Would you survive? Mentally, do you think you could handle it? I’m curious to know if these kinds of books bring about the same thoughts that they did for me. I was constantly trying to put myself in Romy’s position, and asking myself if I could handle everything she went through. It really is such a hard concept to grasp my mind around where here I am constantly in contact with so many people on a regular basis. Can you imagine how you would feel left to your own thoughts for so long?! How would you deal?