The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
Summary from 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 traveling 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 . . .
Remember that old saying from the movie Aliens? “In space no one can hear you scream.” Well this book made me want to scream, and lots of people would have heard me. Don’t get me wrong the book wasn’t bad, it was actually quite good. But I was expecting something a bit different. I had known from the reviews I read that there was an huge unexpected twist close to the end of the book, so I went into it trying to guess what the twist was. I had several scenarios running around in my head and a couple of them came close to the actual, but I was disappointed in that it wasn’t a really good twist. It was predictable although it was well executed and if I hadn’t known it was going to be there then I might have been caught off guard. But don’t let that stop you from reading this really well done story.
Romy is an interesting character. She is at times quite mature and can take care of herself, but then she lapses into these phases of immaturity, which I had a hard time with. I could understand it though. She didn’t have an easy childhood, and she has been totally alone with out other humans for 6 years. She gets all of her understanding of human nature through old TV shows. Not a great way to learn how to be human or an adult. So of course she is naive and is easily mislead by J. She does have a huge survival instinct which serves her well in the end.
J. was the more interesting character here, but we only get to see him through emails and a short phone call. I could tell that something wasn’t quite right about him from the start, but I was still pretty surprised when we learn the truth about him. I also thought his motivation was a little weak.
So it is hard to talk more about the book without giving away the plot. The author does a great job of realistically depicting Romy’s loneliness and surviving in space. There is one huge criticism that I need to make though, the author sets this whole story up as happening only 30 years in the future. I know technology moves fast, but I really don’t think we will achieve this type of space travel in 30 years. I could be wrong, but I would have liked to see it set further in the future. Most people would probably miss this, but it kind of irked me.
It sounds a little bit like I am not recommending this story, but I really am. It is a good solid science fiction story with a strong female lead and a solid element of surprise in it. I also liked the author’s writing style and I will keep an eye out for future books from her.