The Last Girl on Earth is a thrilling novel that follows the carefully constructed life of lies that Li’s father and sister have helped her maintain; Li is the last human on Earth. The Abdoloreans, creatures that look like humans but have exceptional intelligence, strength, and other abilities, took over the planet sixteen years ago. A human-sympathizer, Li’s father took her in and raised her as his own, training her in the woods behind their house so that Li could keep up with the effortless agility of her peers. The devotion of Li’s father and younger sister Zo, paired with her own determination and brilliance, has allowed for Li to become top of her class among the Abdoloreans. Li soon meets Ryn, a mesmerizingly mysterious Abdolorean from another planet. As Li’s relationship with Ryn deepens, she begins to feel the burden of living such a massive lie. She has to figure out how to balance Ryn, getting through Assessments so that she may earn the title of officer, protecting her sister from Braxon, and helping her best friend Mirabae, all while under the guise of being an Abdolorean. This is no small feat.
I really enjoyed the relationship between Li and Zo because the two girls are extremely close. They definitely have some disagreements, but this only makes their bond more authentic. The writing style is very concise, which fits the overall implication that things could go awry at any moment; it intensifies the plot. Additionally, I found it extremely interesting how Li’s father pays special attention to seemingly trivial details of crafting Li’s dissemblance. With that said, I would have liked to know more about the years leading up to Li’s current dilemma, as well as more about her father’s interactions with other members of their community.
Li and Ryn’s first time meeting is definitely memorable. That initial encounter foreshadows the inexplicable energy between the pair that draws them together again. Also, the situation in which they are introduced is awfully dangerous for Li, which just goes to prove how she’s willing to risk nearly everything for Ryn from the get-go.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Celentano, 10th Grade, Varina Area Library