Book Review

Book Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Published 7th September 2017 by Walker Books.

32601841Goodreads Synopsis: Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling 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 . . .

My Review: I’ve left it a while between finishing this book and writing a review, yet I still can’t put into words how mind-blowing it was. The Loneliest Girl was incredible.

James’s latest book tells the story of Romy, the first human born in space, travelling alone on a ship to a new planet. Any communication she has with Earth is on a two-year delay, so when she hears of a new ship travelling to join her, Romy is ecstatic – but is the news she’s receiving trustworthy?

I haven’t read a sci-fi book in a while, so I was so excited to read this! This concept is hugely different, but just as breathtaking as the world of James’s last books. The space setting was so eerie, and the idea of one girl travelling alone after some horrifying events, is so scary. I got chills reading parts of this. As unsettling as it could be, this book is so addictive. I ended up racing through it in a day because I had to know what would happen. It reminded me of Harstad’s gripping 172 Hours on the Moon – equal parts creepy and riveting.

I really liked Romy and could imagine her clearly, so alone and deep into a quest that has a dark past. I was completely engrossed in her story, empathising with her loneliness. Her backstory was both fascinating and terrifying – it’s a huge, crazy concept but strangely believeable. I found the dynamic between Romy and J so fascinating to read. They communicate through email with huge time delays; that gap slowly closing as his ship approaches hers. Also, kudos to James for writing a complex timey-wimey story and having all the emails dated. That must have been hard.

I became so engrossed in following their emails, and the delayed news Romy was receiving from Earth. I became completely swept up in their story, even though there are almost no physical dialogue.

The Loneliest Girl is being marketed as a romantic thriller, and I kind of like that! I was led into this story thinking it would be a spacey romance, and therefore not too sure if I’d enjoy it. Then… boom, so many plot twists and unexpected turns. It certainly is more of a thriller, and it’s awesome.

Overall, there’s no doubt: The Loneliest Girl should be at the top of everyone’s TBR piles when it’s released. The story has certainly stayed with me – it took me ages to write this review, and I still don’t think I’m able to do it justice! There’s something to appeal to everyone in here – a riveting sci-fi story, with classic-feeling elements of horror, and an romance with an unexpected twist. Mark your calendars for the release date!

My Rating:

I received a copy of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

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Are We There Yet?

By David Levithan, published by HarperCollins.

Are We There Yet?Goodreads Synopsis: Danny isn’t used to having something in common with Elijah, however slight. Their last name is the rope that ties them together.

Danny and Elijah’s lives could not be more different. But a journey together sweeps them up in the romance, wonder and breathtaking beauty of Italy. And falling in love opens their eyes to the distance that’s grown between them.

Can one girl remind them of want it means to be brothers?

My Review: Are We There Yet? is a very interesting read, that I really enjoyed. It was original and thought provoking, though some points let it down a bit, I think… though it’s probably not the same for everyone!

The story starts with two brothers- Danny and Elijah. They’re like Yin and Yang. They’re the opposite. And then they’re both flown off to Italy together by their mum, who claims she and her husband can’t go because of his bad leg. Though it’s obvious that she just wants them to bond! From realising that, I could just tell that this novel was going to be pretty tense- and I was right. Scenes between the two brothers were most often very awkward and tense, and while it was pretty funny at points, it dragged out and slowed down the pace by a little in others. I got the wrong idea of the book at first: The plane journey to Italy took up a good few chapters, and including the two boys getting to know this girl who sat with them. I thought that the whole book would be that one plane journey, and that girl as the love interest, but then Levithan shocked me by dropping her and introducing another, in Italy!

As the story progressed I honestly had no idea where the plot would go. Danny and Elijah were portrayed with such different personalities that I found it hard to decide who Julia, the said love interest, would end up with by the end of the book. The ending to the love story woven into the tale of friendship was really quite shocking!

The writing style was a bit too unfamiliar for me. I’ve read books in the present tense before, of course, but this carried some real simplicity to it. There were no vivid descriptions, no detailing- the story was just stripped down to the actions and the speech. Whilst that made for a really different reading experience, I also ended up reading a bit too fast, as I couldn’t really match the pace of the short (sometimes, line-long) chapters! I suppose it’s a great read though, for if you’re traveling like Danny and Elijah: The chapters are short and manageable- you could fit time to read them in any day!

Danny is a businessman. He’s always looking for potential work, and even on holiday, he’s desperately checking everything to make sure nothing has gone wrong without him, in America. Elijah, on the other hand, is such a different person. He’s a carefree guy, younger than Danny, who hangs out smoking with friends frequently. David Levithan has made it so hard for me to choose a favourite character! Both of the boys had such loveable things about them, but things you could hate them for too. I think Julia had to be my favourite character, in the end. She was unique, and reminded me a little of Alaska from John Green’s novel!

Overall, Are We There Yet? was a very unique read, that I enjoyed reading. Although I found the writing style a little unusual, it suited the book perfectly. The characters are all really unique, and I loved following their adventures and love story in the rather romantic setting of Italy. The plot was great- original, hugely entertaining, and carried heart-warming themes of being brothers and how one girl can bring two brothers together in unexpected ways. I’d really recommend it as a holiday read!

My Rating: I found it SO hard to rate this book. This rating seems low, though it’s actually a good rating, trust me! 🙂

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I received a copy of Are We There Yet? from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.