The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Author: Luaren James
Length: 7.5 hours
Narrator: Lauren Ezzo
Original Publication Date: 2018
Genre(s): Young adult, Science fiction
Being born in space, Romy has never known anyone other than her parents. They are on a spacecraft called Infinity, hurtling towards a planet in another star system referred to by NASA as “Earth 2,” a seemingly habitable planet where Romy and her parents will begin a new civilization. But when Romy’s parents suddenly die, she is completely, terribly alone. That is, until she gets amazing news from NASA 5 years later: a new spacecraft called Eternity is on its way to connect with Romy’s ship. But as Romy begins corresponding with the captain of Eternity, she begins to suspect something is very wrong, and maybe being alone wasn’t so bad at all…
Sigh. See, the trouble with countdown books is that, although the countdown itself creates a sort of urgency and thrill, the rest of the book still has to be interesting. And though I enjoyed reading about Romy and her lifestyle, I wish her day-to-day leading up to the Eternity’s arrival would have been a little more exciting. Still, I liked the novel, and am happy I read it,
The Loneliest Girl in the Universe is told in first-person POV from Romy’s perspective. The year is 2067, and 16-year-old Romy is oh so lonely. I don’t blame her, having never experienced humanity before. I’m sure I’d be curious, too—especially with all the books, films, and TV shows she consumes, showing her all the things she’s missing out on. Romy is a likable character: she is sympathetic despite being super whiny, she writes fanfiction about her favorite TV show characters, and she dreams of romantic Earth things like coffee shop dates and thunderstorms. She’s a hopeless romantic, and I feel that. Even though she does a lot (and I mean a lot lot) of things that frustrate me, I can never really blame her, because she’s never known anyone other than her parents and she’s never lived on Earth and all she knows about life is from books and TV. She just doesn’t know any better, and that makes her the ultimate sympathetic character.
Each chapter of the book is a countdown for the Eternity arriving at the Infinity. So up until that moment, the book is fairly slow—Romy’s dull day-to-day life, her memories and flashbacks, her correspondence with J… It’s interesting, but more in a slow, subtle way. Once the Eternity arrives, though, the rest of the book is non-stop action, suspense, and thrill. It’s a fun end to read, and full of twists. I actually called most of the twists, but it was still enjoyable.
So, even though this novel didn’t live up to the hype (because I literally hype up every sci-fi book I ever read like crazy), I still liked it and had fun reading it. I think it’s a really cool premise that could have benefited from better storytelling, but it’s fine. If you’re looking for Sci-Fi Lite, this is a fun and easy one to choose.