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The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

BOTTOM LINE: Ah-mazing!

Genre: Suspense; Thriller; Young Adult; Science Fiction; Action and Adventure
Publication Date: 3 July 2018
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Synopsis from the Publisher:

“The daughter of two astronauts, Romy Silvers is no stranger to life in space. But she never knew how isolating the universe could be until her parents’ tragic deaths left her alone on the Infinity, a spaceship speeding away from Earth.

Romy tries to make the best of her lonely situation, but with only brief messages from her therapist on Earth to keep her company, she can’t help but feel like something is missing. It seems like a dream come true when NASA alerts her that another ship, the Eternity, will be joining the Infinity.

Romy begins exchanging messages with J, the captain of the Eternity, and their friendship breathes new life into her world. But as the Eternity gets closer, Romy learns there’s more to J’s mission than she could have imagined. And suddenly, there are worse things than being alone….”

My Thoughts: To say that Romy is no stranger to life in space is a bit misleading. After all, her past is a key aspect of the novel. The truth is that Romy has only ever known life in space – because she was conceived and born to her astronaut parents while they were a few years into their 50-year journey. When they died, she was eleven. This is important for understanding Romy’s frame of mind throughout The Loneliest Girl in the Universe because everything that happens occurs because she has never seen another human being in the flesh in several years. It also explains her naïveté in certain areas and as well as her mental health.

Everything else about The Loneliest Girl in the Universe must remain a mystery because it is too good to spoil. It is the epitome of an unputdownable book. Your concern for Romy builds from the first page as she is so open and honest about her experiences and her emotions. The lack of guile on her part makes her completely sympathetic, and the situation in which she finds herself is terrifying enough without the addition of the second ship. You are completely committed to finding out what happens to Romy before anything serious does happen!

In addition, the story has a wide appeal. The story has elements of science fiction, horror, and psychological thrillers within its pages. More importantly, each element is well-established and seamlessly interwoven into the rest of the story. Ms. James flawlessly executes the complexities of each genre and does so in a way that enhances the appeal of the story.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe is the first book in a long time where I literally stopped everything to read it. Forced to make dinner when I was almost finished, I was even reading while cooking – something I have forever scolded my own children for doing. I could not stop, and I have no regrets. There was nothing about the story that disappointed. It remained intense from beginning to end, and I had no clue what was going to happen. It is the very best type of reading experience, and I want others to enjoy it just as much as I did.

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