STARRED REVIEW
July 2018

A haunting sci-fi thriller

By Lauren James

The year is 2067, and 16-year-old Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew member aboard the Infinity, a NASA spaceship sent to colonize an Earth-like planet.

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The year is 2067, and 16-year-old Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew member aboard the Infinity, a NASA spaceship sent to colonize an Earth-like planet.

For the past five years, Romy has been commanding and piloting the Infinity alone after her parents and all of the other astronauts on board died from a mechanical malfunction. Romy’s only human contact is via the audio messages she receives from Molly, a NASA psychiatrist, but those stop when war erupts back home.

Another spaceship, the Eternity, has been dispatched to aid the Infinity. The commander on board the Eternity is a young man simply known as J. As J and Romy begin to exchange emails, a romance slowly blooms between them. For a girl who has never even had a friend, Romy clings to this budding relationship with the fervent hope that she won’t always be as lonely as she is now. But a shady system update on her ship and J’s too-good-to-be-true persona make Romy wonder if she’s being saved or sabotaged.

Despite Romy being singularly tasked with saving humanity, she is an incredibly relatable heroine. She obsesses over her favorite television show and writes fan fiction. She understands complicated physics problems but is overwhelmed by the expectations placed on her. She crushes hard on J but is insecure about his feelings for her. Romy is an Everygirl alone in deep space, but it’s her zesty narration that drives the momentum in British author Lauren James’ The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. The plot reaches warp speed once Romy and J make face-to-face contact—prepare for some rapid page-turning.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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