MINI(ish) REVIEWS: I Wanna Be Where You Are & The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

What is life. Mandy is doing mini reviews, and they are all super good???? THE WORLD IS OFFICIALLY BROKE. I did the goods. Also, like, I like how I say mini, but they keep getting less and less mini. I apparently click bait you in and fail you every time.


Title: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Author: Lauren James
Pages: 305
Release Date: July 3 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Goodreads Rating:  3.84 (of 7880 ratings)
Trigger warning: death, panic attacks, intense sequences, violence / Rep: n/a

I have not devoured an audiobook so fast in my life. Even when I was reading The Diviners – which I absolutely loved – I didn’t devour a book so fast. I was literally finding any way that I could to read more of this book. It was just so captivating, and you could feel something big coming up that you just had to know what it was.

SLIGHT SPOILER BUT DOES NOT GET INTO SPECIFICS: There is a big plot twist a little over halfway through the book. I mean, it’s a huge plot twist. I knew there was a big plot twist coming, so I kept looking for signs, guessing what it could be, and eagerly listening minute after minute until we got there. I’m not sure if this helped or hurt my read knowing this ahead of time? Like, the entire time I was super focused on what the plot twist was going to be, but maybe it would have been nice to been shocked by it? While I didn’t pinpoint the twist for certain, I guess some aspects of it – but it was still a really good twist. I really appreciated it, and it’s one of the best that I’ve seen done in a book.

This book does have a slower pacing to it, but it’s still very intriguing. It’s definitely more focused on characters in the first 2/3 of the book and Romy’s journey especially. James did a great job with really focusing on her and developing her as a character. I loved being her mind, and she was wonderfully complex. James did a great job of showcasing what the isolation had done to her, but also showing she’s still just a teen girl at heart even though she was forced to take on so much. The other characters are intriguing as well, and their backstories are well defined.

The plot varies from thing to thing, and each of the different twists and turns were great. I was really enraptured by the plot. I will admit that there was a little bit of a drag toward the end that I got less invested in, but it was still super intriguing. The pacing just kind of slowed for me a bit. I’m not quite sure what it was, but I just kind of dwindled out. And I felt when the big thing happened, there was a bit of a huge logic leap that I didn’t fully get? Like, I understood the one part, but I felt like Romy leaped a little too far past what I would have thought with the information given? Other than that, the writing was excellent, and this was a wonderful sci-fi thriller – which omg, I need to find more books in this genre because while it makes space even scarier for me than it already is, IT SO GOOD.

annaOverall, this was a really really good read. I devoured it much like space would devour me whole. It had an amazing pace, amazing twists and turns, and amazing characterization. The pacing got a little off at the end (perhaps because of a little cliche?) with a few minor logic leaps, but it didn’t drag my reading time down too far. An Anna rating!

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Title: I Wanna Be Where You Are
Author: Kristina Forest
Pages: 320
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Goodreads Rating:  4.01 (of 284 ratings)
Trigger warning: death (of parent)  / Rep: Black main characters, gay side character

This book was exactly what I needed. It was like a dose of fluff, feels, and just genuine joy being poured over me instead of cold water. I loved being in this book and book world. It If you are looking for a contemporary that brings you a charming romance along with realistic fiction tackling journeys – both emotional and physically.

Chloe was a fantastic MC. I loved being in her voice, and her passion, fears, and personality were so easy to relate to and enjoy. She was such a likeable main character along with most of the cast of characters including Eli, Geezer, the family, Trey, and more. Her struggle to get back to her former dancing abilities and her freedom to pursue her passion were inspiring and infectious.

The romance was a slow burn, but the chemistry was easily felt from the start between Chloe and Eli. It combined two great tropes – former best friends and enemies to lovers – and it worked so well. I shipped so hard.

The writing felt like a breeze. I just devoured this book, and I couldn’t stop reading it. It just was so fast paced that I felt like I sprinted through it without ever being winded.

rapunzelUgh, I feel like I should say more but here’s the truth: this book was adorable and amazing and I super super recommend. A total Rapunzel rating, because not only was the romance everything – Rapunzel and Chloe shared so many traits, Eli had some Flynn feels, and it was a super fun storyline.


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What do you think? Have you read any of these? What did you think? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


12 thoughts on “MINI(ish) REVIEWS: I Wanna Be Where You Are & The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

  1. IWBWYA had all those elements I love to see in a YA book, and it just made me happy. Forest has stated that this is representative of the types of stories she wants to write, and if that’s the case, I will be reading everything she puts out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve not heard much about these two, but they do sound ever so intriguing! The Loneliest Girl in the Universe really perked my interest it sounds like such a cool read, I’m glad you enjoyed it! And if I Wanna Be Where You Are is fluffy then it is certainly for me! Great reviews, Mandy!

    Liked by 1 person

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