12.02.2018

'The Loneliest Girl in the Universe' Book Review (Blogmas Day 2)

"It's hard to focus on the future when the past is so distracting."

As an avid bookworm, it's always a trying time when you fall into the dreaded reading slump; where nothing on your shelf is calling to you, yet anything new you try struggles to ignite that spark as you end up giving up the story around chapter two.

But when you find that one book that brings your love back to life, that holds you tight from beginning to end and beyond... then boy howdy do you know it's special!

For me, this time, it was thanks to a girl called Romy and a spaceship called 'The Infinity'.

**POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD**

'The Loneliest Girl in the Universe' by Lauren James (2017) was a bit of an unexpected pick for me; as a fan of Fantasy and Young Women's fiction, the Sci-Fi genre has not always appealed in the past. But when this YA novel started popping up on Twitters book bloggers radar, something about it fascinated me - why is this sixteen year old girl out in space? Why is she alone? And who the hell is this 'J' person that's suddenly coming to 'join' her? Plus I can never resist a female-led novel, and to see one where the young lady in question has a background in advanced physics?

No surprises that it hit my Amazon basket quicker than you can say 'Loch & Ness'.

The book is a source of intrigue from start to finish - the way in which Ms James reveals events in Romy's past is beautifully done, giving the reader just enough when you need it, but holding back that little nugget more to keep you wanting to read on, faster and faster. One of my favourite devices throughout the story is the way in which the author uses the countdown; at first, it gives you a sense of stomach-flipping excitement in nervous hope for the protagonist, but the wonderful way in which that's then upended sends dread right up your spine before being sideswiped by the unexpected climax and all the peril it brings. The story twisted and turned in ways in which I at first expected, and then very much didn't expect - something that I haven't experienced in a long time, and I loved every minute of it.

The only thing stopping me from giving this a perfect score is the ending - without giving too much away, I felt that the story could have gone on another chapter or two, so that we could live out the final stages of Romy's journey. However, this could just be me being greedy and wanting more, as the open ended-ness in which the story finishes gives the reader leave to conceive their own future for our protagonist, paralleling Romy's own use of fan fiction for her favourite tv show in the most brilliant way. And hey, if the ending had been designed so that the author could create a sequel, then I'm all for it - gimme gimme gimme!

A great read if you're looking for an introduction into the Sci-Fi genre, Psychological Thrillers, or for something different in your YA novels. It's one of those books that you can read as a 16 year old, then again at 26, and still relate to at different levels.

Just don't try starting it at 11pm, because guaranteed you won't put it down until the sun comes up!

1 comment:

  1. I don't usually read sci-fi, but I've heard good things about this one and I wouldn't mind to read it myself. I am glad to hear you liked it, but I feel bad that you weren't satisfied with the end.

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