There are no spoilers in this review.
I discovered Lauren James a little while ago with her debut, The Next Together and somehow I knew this, this was an author with tons of potential. My instinct seemed to have been right. I really, really had a fantastic time reading The Loneliest Girl Of The Universe and was expecting her newest release to be just as good and, I’m thrilled to say that it delivered.
AN IMAGINATION WITHOUT LIMITS
If there is something I always deeply admire about Lauren James’, it is her imagination. From her debut to her latest release, she always surprises me with her original, unique ideas and always manages to take me right here with her in these worlds she creates and I love this so much. In The Quiet At The End of The World, she takes us in a near-future where a virus caused global infertility and we follow Lowrie and Shen, the last two youngest people on earth. Lauren James manages to create a believable, chilling world and future with this premise.
Just like in her previous release, The Loneliest Girl At The End of The World, I found the book a little slow to kick off, but it was oh, so worth it. As we discover this new world, its rules and Lowrie and Shen’s lives, we can feel a slow tension building on the background, as if we’re on the edge of something big happening, yet we can’t really see what, as clues are slowly, but certainly inserting themselves into the story. And yes indeed, big things are happening, as Lauren James always manages to deliver a twist that makes my jaw drop as I read and make me consume the last half of the book in the blink of an eye because it’s just that good and I just need to know what happens next.
The Quiet At The End of The World tells the story of Lowrie and Shen, but also includes some articles, snippets from social media accounts of people from our century as they realize the virus spreads, as the world all of a sudden changes. These parallels between these two timelines, as Lowrie reads about the past to understand her present and future, were so well inserted and so developed, too, I felt like I got to understand this future world and how it came to be, too and I really enjoyed it.
FLAWED, GREAT CHARACTERS TO FOLLOW
Told frow Lowrie’s point of view, The Quiet At The End of The World managed to make me care for her, her friend Shen and their entire family and small, tight community, too. Lowrie was not the perfect main protagonist, nor the perfect person, either. She was flawed, she made mistakes, yet she felt so human and was so endearing, I couldn’t help but root for her and want her to be okay, in the end. I loved how determined and fierce she was, yet also how her anxieties and stress took over and made her a great, believable hero to follow.
Her friend Shen was also endearing and sweet, I appreciated him and his close friendship with Lowrie a whole lot, how their relationship developed and everything else. The family and community was also a big part of the story and it was good to see how close they all were and how each and every one of them had their own thing, too.
Then, there was Mitch, this small robot I can’t not mention in my review, because I ended up having such a soft spot for him and just wish to have a small Mitch as a friend, too.
Lauren James does it again. With The Quiet At The End of The World, she manages to deliver an original, unique story with twists and turns that surprised me, yet she also managed to make me think about our world, about what it means to be human, too. This book was such a great ride to take and, if you’re a fan of science-fiction, unique stories and want to give Lauren James’ books a try, I’d definitely recommend that one.
Final rating: 4 drops!
The biggest thanks to Walker Books YA for sending me a review copy of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Trigger warnings: blood, seizures.
Diversity: Chinese main character, deaf in one ear (Shen). Bisexual main character (Lowrie) and side-character (Maya).
Lauren James, The Quiet At The End of The World, Published by Walker Books, March 7th.
How far would you go to save those you love?
Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.
Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .
Did you read The Quiet At The End of The World? Do you want to?
What was the last book that surprised you with its twists and turns? Let me know in comments!