The loneliest girl in the universe, by Lauren James

I picked this based on the sci-fi tag, and oh boy. It was scary. I’m easily frightened, and I know it, so I don’t usually read thrillers, watch horror, or anything like that – so I was legitimately scared when I read this book.

This is going to be a very short review, because I think this is a book that you need to read without having been spoiled any of the plot twists or surprises in the story, but I’ll do my best to tell you a little about it nonetheless.

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 . . . 

What I liked

The suspense ! The mystery ! Space ! Sending messages between two ships and actually respecting the time delays ! I adore science-fiction, and I’m pretty suspicious when books don’t seem to take into account the time it would take to send a message to a ship lightyears away from yours. 

With the first part of the book being mostly told through messages from Romy to J, the exposition scenes and the science are explained well, and you’re thrust into the story right from the beginning. The tone changes completely after 200 or so pages, and switches from cute space romance to scary space thriller – which I liked, but I see why some people wouldn’t, if they expected this to be a full romance book all along.

The main character was a realistic young adult, and her behavior was coherent with that of someone who had been isolated for a very long time – it made the rest of the story much more believable, and, after the 200 pages mark, added to the scary elements of the book.

What I didn’t like

The main character, to pass the time, reads and writes fanfiction of her favorite show, and sends them back down to earth to her NASA handler. As an avid fanfiction reader, the fanfiction parts of the book felt a bit strange, but I’m not exactly sure why.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a short, fun and scary novel about a girl in space to fill your quarantine time, this is the book for you. It’s well-written, and you’ll have a good time reading it.

Until the day I die

As a rule, I don’t read thrillers. The ones I’ve read so far were not enjoyable, either absolutely terrifying or completely boring, and some even gave me actual nightmares. But Until the day I die, written by Emily Carpenter and published today (March 12) is the exception to this rule. With half the book set in a beautiful spa resort in the middle of the Caribbean, and two women protagonists who deal with loss and grief in the only ways they can, I just had to give this story a chance.

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It did not disappoint me.

The story begins pretty simply : Erin, her husband, and their two friends designed and created a revolutionary app that helps millions of people around the world budget their expanses, send money, check their savings accounts and plan for the future – and the future is bright. Until the day Perry, Erin’s husband, dies tragically in a car crash. Four months later, Erin is barely holding on, and her friends and family convince her that some time away from work would be the best for her.

Through the points of view of both Erin and her daughter Shorie, the author takes us on a thrilling adventure filled with suspense and unpredictable twists. Some parts are, as other reviewers have noted, a little more difficult to believe than others, but by this point, the reader is already immersed into the story, and it doesn’t ruin the final surprise at all. The way the mother-daughter relationship is depicted feels real, intimate and personal, and it’s what really pushes this book from a 3 stars rating to a 4/5 for me.

If you like colorful thrillers, family dynamics and stressful races against time (and through the jungle), don’t hesitate to give this book a chance !

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.