Review: The Loneliest Girl of the Universe by Lauren James


The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Lauren James

Walker Books, September 2017

YA – Science Fiction

Romy Silvers is the commander of The Infinity, a spaceship travelling to a new planet on which Earth 2 will be established. She is also only 16 years old. A tragedy left her as the sole-surviving crew member, with full responsibility to steer the spaceship to its destination and secure the future of humanity. Romy is completely alone in space, she hasn’t had direct contact with another human in five years. Then, she learns that there is another ship, The Eternity, sent to help with the mission. It will catch up with her, she will have an ally. When she receives an email from the commander of the other ship, she finds an unexpected friend in J. They communicate by email, with lags of months as their messages travel through space, but even still Romy finds herself falling for J. Can you love someone you have never met, someone who is lightyears away? However, news of dramatic events on earth could affect their mission and the ghosts of the past that haunt Romy refuse to fade away…

Described as a ‘romantic thriller’ this is a gripping read that I struggled to put down. Romy is a well-developed character who readers will root for, and Lauren James shows the strain Romy’s mission puts on her in a very palpable way.  Her feelings – the trauma, the stress, the longing – come across strongly, and she is a believable and complex character. She is a very admirable heroine – she is strong and capable, because she has to be.

For someone like myself with little knowledge of physics, the aspects of how time works in space were a bit confusing but I soon got my head around it, and James did not include a lot of technical information, focusing instead of character and plot. This was a book I didn’t want to put down. It is a real page turner, and definitely one I will be recommending in the bookshop! Space travel really intrigues me, so if you have any recommendations of other books I should read please do leave them in the comments.

I received a proof copy of this book at the AmericYA panel event in Easons O’Connell Street.

Review: Twinmaker by Sean Williams

Publisher: Electric Monkey (Egmont)

Genre: Science-fiction/thriller

Age Group: YA/14+

Proof copy from the publisher for a review (thank you Electric Monkey!).


You can change anything,
Change everything,
If you want to.
In a futuristic world of heightened technology, Improvement is the newest trend. You can make yourself stronger, prettier, better- but does this come at a price? When Clair tries to discover what happened to her friend who used Improvement, she sets off a chain of events that take her on a dangerous journey and lead her to question the principles of the society she lives in. Her journey puts her in league with the Abstainers, who shun the technological advances that are the very basis of Clair’s everyday life, and opens her eyes to a different way of life. Her world, and the technology it is based on, may not be as perfect as it seems.
This is a gripping high-tech thriller, packed with surprises. The plot is complex and clever, and Clair is a powerful protagonist. Not only is she a likeable character, but she grows immensely throughout the novel, discovering a new strength within herself. The technology is very advanced – for example,with d-mat you can be transported to anywhere in the world within seconds – yet at the same time much of it is familiar. The Air, with its statuses, conversations and photos, is not unlike modern social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This level of familiarity gives the technology of Twinmaker credibility. There are some issues with the writing, particularly with over-description of the characters’ appearances, however the excitement and momentum that was built up as the novel progressed had me hooked. Twinmaker is the first in a trilogy, and it ends on an open note, leaving many questions unanswered. I haven’t read much sci-fi before this, but I loved this book, and am very excited to see where this series goes next.