Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill (January 11, 2011)
Source:  My Choice

From GoodReads:
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.
Take one dystopian story. Set it in space. Throw in a murder-mystery.  Add a dash of destined-to-be-epic romance, and viola, you have the bones of Across the Universe by Beth Revis. But, this book is so much more than just the bones! Unlike anything else I have read, Across the Universe took the conventions of dystopian stories and turned them on their head, making this book unique in a field saturated with similar stories. Everything that happens is contained within the walls of Godspeed, a ship on a seemingly endless journey to a “new” earth. There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide and nowhere to start over. Instead, Amy and Elder (the next leader of the ship), must confront the truth and uncover the lies equally. Across the Universe could have been just another good story about a world that is controlled by those that think they know best, but it’s not. Instead, it’s a story that leaves you wanting more.
Across the Universe begins with a choice that will haunt 17-year-old Amy for the rest of her life. She chooses to follow her parents into space and assumes that her life will be different when she wakes up 300 years in the future. But just how different her life turns out to be surprises even her! When she wakes up too early, she starts a chain of events that change the course of the ship and the inhabitants for the rest of their lives. 
I loved this book. I love sci-fi. I love dystopian. I love a good romance. Any time you can mix them all together, good things should happen. And, with this book, they do.  I think it works because there is something unique about Across the Universe. Multiple narrators keep the story flowing with unique voices and reactions to what is happening in the story. Multiple narrators can be tricky, but Revis manages to give her characters such unique voices that you never get confused about who is talking.
There is a longing in Across the Universe that is so well articulated and woven into the story that I don’t think I realized it was there until I closed the book and sighed a contented sigh at the end. On Godspeed, you have a role, a place, and a job to do. Every decision is basically made for you, including when you will have the desire to have sex. In a world of carbon-copy imitations, Elder, Amy and Orion know there is something inside of them that cries out to be different – and to be celebrated because they choose to be different. It is the same longing I have – to know others and truly be known – and accepted – for who I am. Isn’t that what we all really long for in the end?


  1. Oh man, I love this book (this SERIES) so much! I love your review for it too, you explained yourself very well! I think Beth Revis must be a genius because she brings up so many themes and questions that are so applicable to people right now, and expresses them through her characters.

    I hope you enjoy the next one just as much, I thought it was really good (maybe even better than AtU)!

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

  2. Brenna, I am literally BITING THE BIT waiting to read the next one. I entered about a million contests, but haven't one an ARC yet. I NEED one. I was surprised how much I enjoyed I loved this book, because I didn't expect to, if you know what I mean. There was just something about it that pulled me in and captivated me. I can't wait to read more of Amy and Elder's story. The fact that Beth keeps teasing from book 3 on twitter isn't helping things, either :)

  3. I've been wanting to read this for a while, but haven't gotten the chance yet. Even though I've seen it at least five times just sitting there on the shelf in the Teen section of the library.... Why haven't I picked it up yet?

    I'm really glad you loved this book! I hope I can get a chance to read it soon! I just checked out 15 books from the library a couple of weeks ago, and I'm on my 8th one of them so far. So I have a lot of reading to do! Ha!