Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Review: Across the Universe

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Stars: 4
Less-Than-500-Word Review in Short: In an imaginative and original story, “Across the Universe” calls to the reader’s attention the very real issues of morality and choice we threaten to face today.
Back-of-the-Book: “Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She’s left her boyfriend, friends—and planet—to join her parents as a member of Project Arc Ship.
Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber.
Someone tried to murder her.
Now, Amy is caught inside a tiny world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed’s 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. Elder, Eldest’s rebellious teenaged heir, is both fascinated with Amy and eager to discover whether he has what it takes to lead.
Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she put her faith in a boy who has never seen life outside the ship? All Amy knows is that she and Elder must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill her again.”

I Say: Despite the many futuristic books out there, much of “Across the Universe” is fresh. (Although it still reminds me of a less-catchy “Giver”-“Uglies series” hybrid.) There are several shocking twists, but Revis keeps a neat plotline.

I loved the beginning. Chapter one silenced my fears that the characters might be shallow. I loved Amy and I thought Revis was doing a great job conveying her personality and situation.

Then the book shifted to Elder’s point of view and into the present tense. The story is told from first person, alternating between Amy and Elder. After the first chapter it’s all in present tense. There’s nothing wrong with present tense; a lot of people find it easier to connect with. Personally I just don’t like it. I also didn’t “feel” Elder the way I had Amy, and the futuristic slang was silly and too frequent. However, the plot remained interesting and I was eager for the mystery the cover sleeve promised.

As the story continued, I liked it more, although Revis’s futuristic lingo never caught on. The story was charged with issues like the power of choice, what true leadership is, and whether we SHOULD do something just because we CAN. In a world where technology is rapidly rising, these are concerns we need to address.

The thing that bothered me was a small piece of the ending. It’s subtle but disturbing, and almost feels like Revis undoes everything she’s been pushing for the entire book.

I Liked:
- Moral issues
- Surprising twists
- Well-planned

I Didn’t Like:
- Forced slang
- Disconcerting ending

Audience: This book has distinctly PG-13 moments (sexuality). Reader discretion advised ;)

“Across the Universe” is definitely a book for all teenagers to read. It’s fascinating and really pushes the hard questions, ones we may have to face not too far into the Future.

BY THE WAY GUYS: For the Gender Specific Questions thing, you're actually going to have to ask questions :P I know it'll be great reading the answers, but gotta give us something to go on.

GIRLS: Questions you've always had about guys.
GUYS: Questions you've always had about girls.

This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, people.



  1. I mostly agree. I found this book hard to put down but at times very predictable. I also found the ending a bit...meh.

    By the way, I've heard about the Uglies series. Could you review the first one if you've read it? I don't know if I'd be interested enough to get them.

  2. Jay: Yeah, it was a'ight.

    Absolutely. Love to. It may be a while though, between NaNo and finals I'm just living off of the scheduled Pandora posts XD