The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
– Lauren James –
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship traveling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity. 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 is via email and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit. 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…
I’m starting this review by confessing that I read this book in one day and in one sitting, so prepare yourself for only positivity. When I saw this on the library bookshelf I only had to read the words “daughter of astronauts”, “isolation”, and “lonely” to know that this was the book for me.
The themes of loneliness and isolation make this book and the character, Romy, so relatable. As someone who has her head stuck in the stars and in space, I felt strangely connected to Romy. She’s all alone, light years away from Earth, and just wants a friend. CAN RELATE.
I also loved how much math and physics were subtly included throughout the book. Romy has been a pro at astrophysics since she was a kid, and throughout the book she talks about solving different math and physics problems. At first she struggles to do any academic work because it reminds her too much of her childhood and the times before she lost her parents, but as she becomes more independent and confident, she finds comfort in solving hypothetical problems using calculus and knowledge of physics. It’s just a lot of fun to read.
SOMETIMES I HAVE DREAMS ABOUT DOING MATH, JUST BECAUSE THAT FEELING IS SO WONDERFUL. BUT THEN, AS ALWAYS, I START CRITICIZING MYSELF. A VOICE IN MY HEAD TELLS ME THAT I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING, THAT NOTHING I’VE WRITTEN IS RIGHT.
It is clear that a lot of thought and work went into the calculations of message arrivals and ship distances. I was happily surprised when I looked up the author and found out that she has a masters degree in physics and chemstry! Her love of science definitely shows throughout the book. #authorgoals
Now let’s discuss the twists and turns of the The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. This starts out just like any teen YA; with a girl and her quirk: she is obsessed with a tv show and spends her free time writing fanfiction. Also, she just so happens to live in space. The first twist is that this isn’t really a teenage romance book. Any romance in this book is, in my opinion, a subplot to the real storyline. Romy is independent in a literal and figural sense. She is learning to be strong and confident all on her own. This book would stand alone just fine without the romance and I love that.
Another twist is that there’s so much depth. There are small details woven into the story that build up throughout and then serve a purpose in the plot progression. Some are very obvious, and others are not. That is what makes this book so great. You read it and see the build up to one thing, but are caught completely by surprise at other things to which you hadn’t really been paying attention. I’ve seen a lot of people describe this book as a thriller, and I would agree. There are so many tense and exciting moments that makes the book hard to put down.
I very much enjoyed this book by Lauren James, and would definitely recommend it to everyone. Now I just wish it was part of a series!
This review is cross-posted here.