Imagine living your entire life having never met anyone other than your parents.
Who would you be? What would you crave?
What would you fear?
Step into the life of Commander Romy Silvers, a 16-year-old girl who writes fanfiction from outer space, and you just might find out.
About The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
Commander Romy Silvers, born aboard the spaceship Infinity, has never met anyone besides her parents. At 11 years old, a tragic accident left her alone on the ship with the fate of the Infinity's mission—to preserve humanity—resting on her tiny shoulders.
This clever, lighthearted, thrilling young adult sci-fi book tackles themes like coming-of-age, isolation, and mental health in a fun, fast-paced space romp you won't want to put down. Romy is a sweet, naïve, softie you can't help but root for, even if she is your typical, slightly annoying 16-year-old girl.
However, what really cemented the book in my mind is the plot twists. Yes, plural. Every time you think you know where this book is going, it takes another sharp turn in the most delightful, deliciously suspenseful way.
The familiar first-person point-of-view meshes perfectly with the novel's mixed media of emails, IMs, interstellar transmissions, and audio files, giving the whole novel a sweet, yet creepy tone. The less you know about the plot, the better, so I'll let you figure the rest out on your own.
Tropes: clever, twisty plot; mental health; chosen one; reluctant hero; absent parents; space opera
The Worst Parts of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
At times, Romy can get on your nerves. She's a gullible teen with a heart of gold, so she makes a few poor decisions that will leave you screeching, "No! Don't go through that door!" However, her annoying little personality is also one of my favorite things about the book. She's so real. Lauren James and I both know what it's like to be a 16-year-old girl, and I've got to say, she nailed the experience.
The Best Parts of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
Here's the thing: I can't tell you the best parts of this book without completely spoiling the plot.
But I can tell you to brace yourself. Surprises abound in this twisty little story. As someone who reads across multiple diverse genres, I adore how the book started out as a coming-of-age science fiction book, turned into a sweet romance, took a U-turn into a dystopian nightmare, then transformed into a dark, but teen-friendly, thriller.
Other high points include the witty writing style, the mixed-media presentation, the villain(s?), and the breakneck pacing. Loneliest Girl also presents chronic anxiety realistically—as someone who dealt with daily anxiety for over a decade, I congratulate Lauren James on her amazing work in properly representing a strong heroine with an anxiety disorder. This representation is so important for young girls facing anxiety and may even help them realize they're more than their symptoms.
One of the secondary characters has a cat who plays in the snow at one point. I really appreciated the feline representation as well.
Oh! And Romy writes fanfiction, a hobby most passionate teen girls will readily relate to. 😂 I remember my fanfiction days, too!
Content Warnings and Age Rating for The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
There's one F-word and a few other assorted, infrequent swear words, plus occasional sexual undertones I could have done without. You'll find moderate violence in a few scenes, but no actual sex. I recommend this book for anyone over 14.
Who Should Read The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James?
If you're older than 14 and love fast-paced young adult novels full of suspense and plot twists, then I implore you to read this book. I give it five stars. Comment below when you've read it so we can discuss!
P.S. If the above description sounds like you, I bet you'd love my books, too. Check them out below!
This article was written by Nicole Adrianne.
Nicole Adrianne is an autistic author living in Stockholm, Sweden. She writes lush, compelling, and clean YA dystopian fiction. Check out more of her work by clicking any of the book covers below.