The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James — New Review

When I read Dread Nation, I hoped I’d be able to tick the checkbox next to ‘horror’ on my list of unread genres. (To see why that wasn’t the case, head over to that review!) When I started The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, I had absolutely no thought of horror on my mind. And yet, to me, The Loneliest Girl is far more frightening.

The last time I hugged someone, smelt their shampoo or even just spoke to them face to face, was 25 February 2062. Five years ago. I’m officially further from any other human being than anyone else has been since the evolution of the species.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, Lauren James

My notes while reading The Loneliest Girl are full of increasingly frantic comments from ‘suspicious of [X] – seems to have said the thing that’s most helpful’ to ‘don’t trust [Y]! don’t trust anything about this book!’ I even sent a message to Lindsey, who I bought the book from, to say I was side-eyeing every character. I remembered her saying the plot really picked up at the halfway point, but for me it was amazingly tense from far before that.

Romy, the main character, has nightmares about astronauts. But my main terror came from other people! For a long time, I was second-guessing myself. Was I meant to suspect literally every other person Romy interacted with? Or was I being overly cautious? The sense that she was being manipulated built and built until that climax Lindsey had prepared me for.

I want to make him happy more than anything else. As long as J is happy, everything will be OK.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, Lauren James

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was nothing like I expected. I didn’t know Romy was going to be a fanfic author – it’s always slightly weird to me to see fanfic represented in media. I didn’t know I was going to be utterly gripped and unable to put the book down. I didn’t know I was going to be reading the first book I’d qualify as horror!

But all those unknowns were brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed this. I wonder whether, after reading my review, someone else would go into it and find their own things to be surprised by. I haven’t given away any plot details, but I wonder if this would count as ‘spoilers’ of a different kind. What do you think?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.