Science Fiction (Teen), YA Fiction

Review: The Loneliest Girl In The Universe by Lauren James

A YA fiction novel about a girl in space who finds herself in love with a stranger.

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I will be the first to admit that I don’t read many science fiction novels that take place in space. I think I’ve always been very worried about there being too much space jargon that would leave me befuddled. However, I’ve been actively trying to change that and when I read the premise of this novel, I thought it was interesting enough to give it a go!

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe book cover book cover

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

by Lauren James

Published June 3, 2018 by
ISBN: 1406375470

Data from Goodreads

Summary (Goodreads): 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 . . .

My Review

While the story sounded interesting, this novel ended up being a flop for me – but not for the reasons I was anticipating.

The Pros: What worked for me

  • I actually did not feel overwhelmed at all by any of the science. In fact, dare I say, there wasn’t enough science in this story? But that’s me being a little nitpicky so I won’t get into it.

The Cons: What I didn’t like

  • I found it bizarre that the main character was so … normal. I mean, let’s consider the situation here: you are the first child to have been born in space and you have lived your life pretty much in complete isolation. The last thing I expect is for this child to not have any peculiarities. It was slightly disappointing to find her so average, especially when the author had such a fantastic opportunity to create a unique character.
  • I also thought it was a bit too weird that the author focused so much on Romy’s love of fan fiction; it just served to make the story sound more juvenile.
  • My entire problem with this story was how juvenile it was. There was just a lack of seriousness and maturity to the story. Just because a novel is YA fiction doesn’t mean it needs to be so childish! It made it difficult for me to connect with the motives of characters in the story and made it hard to believe in the gravity of the situation.

Maybe this was just a one-off thing for me and I’m being harsh. There are plenty of reviewers on Goodreads who have enjoyed this novel. But for me, the story just wasn’t very interesting because the depth and development were not able to counter the juvenile writing; it just ruined my experience. For those reasons, I’m giving this a 1/5 stars.

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