What a read! The Loneliest Girl In The Universe by Lauren James is a 290 paged YA (Young Adult) fiction novel which was published in 2017. This stand alone novel tells the story of Romy Silvers who is on-board ‘The Infinity’ spacecraft which has been sent from Earth to locate Earth 2.0. The only communication Romy has is with Molly and a mysterious boy named J who is on-board ‘The Eternity’ spacecraft which is set to combine with her own. When contact with Molly fails, the only person Romy has to talk to is J and as she slowly falls for the mysterious stranger all that’s left to do is wait until he catches up with her.
The novel itself is split into 4 sections as far as the chapters are concerned and they are as follows:-
- Days Since The Infinity left Earth
- Days Until The Eternity Arrives
- Days Until The Eternity Catches Up
- Hours Since The Eternity Caught Up
The four sections separate the series of events which play throughout the book in a way that really does highlight the sense of waiting, creating an air of both anticipation and desperation. The story itself begins slowly but eventually picks up towards the final two sections, allowing you to gain a realistic sense of what it is like for Romy’s character alone in the spacecraft in the middle of space with very little to do and only herself and the voice mails and emails she receives and sends as a means of communication with other human beings. Furthermore, the writing techniques used by Lauren James such as the 1st person narrative by which she presents Romy’s story allows you to experience them as through from your own perspective. This therefore greater establishes the sense of isolation which Romy feels (especially if you are a reader like myself who becomes greatly captivated by a story and forgets that reality exists whilst reading). The formats used throughout the novel also make it easy to decipher when you are experiencing moments from Romy’s point of view, witnessing a flashback, reading an email or having a nightmare. The layout of which the words are placed helps to build up tension and excitement alike also!
I am unable to discuss this book without mentioning the plot and more importantly the twist which occurs within the plot. Without spoiling the ending, I must congratulate the author in creating a story as creative and as mind meddling as this one… Whilst the space setting creates a sense of isolation, the plot itself builds up in such a way that you become – as Romy does – reliant on the characters she communicates with. Before reading this novel, I was skeptical of enjoying it as romance novels aren’t my first choice of genre. However, the type of novel which The Loneliest Girl In The Universe is quickly changed and became on of the most intriguing and gripping psychological thrillers which I have ever read.
Going into this book with a sceptical attitude towards it’s seemingly romantic plot and its setting placing all the events within space really taught me that you should never judge a book by its cover… or it’s blurb… or really make judgements of a book at all. Having read this novel in the privacy of my bedroom over the course of two days with very little interruption, I really sympathised with Romy’s character and both the story’s plot and the external factors such as the setting which I read it in really heightened the sense of isolation. The build up of desperation and dependence which the novel creates was shattered by the twist ending and really did feel like a personal betrayal thus making this book one of the best thrillers I have ever read!
Here’s a few of my favourite parts:
Favourite Chapter: (As I read this on the Kindle, I’m not too sure which chapter but really… anything following the section: Days Until The Eternity Catches Up, I really enjoy!)
Favourite Character: J
Favourite Quote: “I found the intercom.” (This quote may not seem like much but within the context of events which occur in the story at this time, it sends a shiver down my spine and is absolutely chilling to imagine hearing).