Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

9 January, 2012 Reviews 8 comments

Review: Across the Universe by Beth RevisAcross the Universe by Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #1
Published by Razorbill Books on January 11th 2011
Pages: 398
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

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.

I have read a few YA dystopian society books and I have to say, I really enjoyed this one. It would have gotten 4 stars, but I found the ending to be a bit predictable. There were also a few things I didn’t like.

There will probably be spoilers in this review, but I’ll indicate where I’m about to reveal something.

Across the Universe is a really cool story about a girl named Amy who is frozen in time for 250 years aboard the space ship Godspeed. However, she is violently awaken 50 years before the ship reaches it’s destination. She struggles to adapt with the strange life on the space ship, while she attempts to solve the mystery and unravel the lies surrounding it.

One thing I really liked about the book was the changes in POV from Amy to Elder. Often times when I’m reading YA novels, I’m constantly wondering, “What the hell is he *really* thinking?” I also really liked Amy. She was a strong female character. That is a breath of fresh air considering so many female characters to are not strong and are damsels in distress. That irks me.

I really enjoyed the premise behind the plot. Frozen people aboard a huge ship in space, traveling to a new planet to colonize. There were no supernatural creatures, just a mystery that Amy and Elder are determined to solve. I really enjoy sci-fi, so naturally I thought this book was perfect for me.

Now on to the flaws:

*This part of the review will probably have spoilers*

Let’s take a look a the characters in-depth, shall we?

As I said before I really did like her. However, every time she referred to her father as “Daddy” drove me up a wall. Do 17 year-olds really do that? I tried to choke it up at first to the fact that she missed her parents. But then she kept calling him “Daddy” to the other characters and each time I felt mildly embarrassed for her. It was just odd. And what about her mother? She didn’t give a rats ass about her. She was mostly concerned for “Daddy” not “mom.”  But the biggest problem I have with her was her willingness to just go against what Eldest said. Yes, I know you want to protect your family. I get it. But this dude just told you he will eject you into space if you become a disturbance, and you have the balls, excuse me, “chutz” to back talk him to his face? Really? Do you want to die? Can we at least be sneaky? Do you have no sense of self-preservation?

Where do I begin? He was a little wimp most of the book. One minute he is a toddler whining to Eldest about not be taught everything and the next he is a dog with his tail between his legs. He can’t decide if he wants to still trust Eldest or not even though he constantly verbally abused Elder. The whole time I was just waiting to Eldest to bitch slap him. I kinda understand why he unplugged Amy. He was pretty much obsessed with her. A stalker. Dude was staring at her naked, fantasizing about “what they could do together.” How creepy does he sound?! What wasn’t clear was when he actually unplugged her. He seemed really shocked when he saw her drowning in her ice box. In fact, he was in the garden when the alarm sounded. So by the end of the book, I’m wondering, “When did he actually do it and why did he just leave her out and leave?”  That doesn’t make sense to me.

I really liked him. He was my favorite character. I was sad he was killed off. I also think he would have developed a stronger relationship with Amy. He just seemed better for her.

He kinda reminded me of a mad scientist in a way. I think he was just as responsible for the crap that was happening on that ship as much as Eldest. I hope he gets some just desserts in the next book.

He believed Hitler was a great leader. I was glad when he died. ‘Nuf said.

A true crazy amongst them. But I found it terribly obvious who he was from the beginning. When Revis told us about his scar in the beginning, I knew exactly what that meant. And that made me angry, because it made Elder look like a total idiot that he didn’t know.

The people, the plot, the ship: Wow, the people in this book through me for a loop. When the Season hit they just ran around naked having sex wherever they pleased. This made me extremely uncomfortable. I guess this was the intent. Mission complete Revis. The ship and the science was totally believable. I could follow it and see it a possibility. The biggest con in this book would have to be it being a bit predictable. But, it did keep me very interested in the story once Amy awakens. I read it in one sitting from that point on. So it’s defiantly not boring by any means.

So all in all, it’s a decent read and I look forward the other sequels.

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

8 Responses to “Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis”

  1. Mindful Musings

    I'm not so excited about the predictable ending, but I can't NOT read this book after hearing so many great things about it. Though I have to admit, I have a hard time believing it will live up to all the hype. Not that I'm not expecting good things, because I am. Either way, I have a copy on my shelf, so I'll be trying Across the Universe…eventually! Lol.

    • cuddlebuggery

      Despite its flaws, I did really enjoy reading it. I can\’t really say that about a lot of books. I hope you enjoy it whenever you get a chance to read it!

  2. Patricia

    Following my blog-resolution (leaving comments etc.) I had to leave a comment here. *grin* I felt very similiar about AtU. I’m curious about AMS, but also a little wary.. *sigh*

    • cuddlebuggery

      (That\’s one of the things I have to work on too. I need to go around subscribing via email because I rarely check Google Reader. *hangs head in shame*)

      I ordered AMS late last night and I can\’t wait to get started. I heard there was a plot hole in ATU, but I read it way back in April of \’11, so I don\’t really remember specific details (I was posting do older reviews from GoodReads). However, I was told the plot hole is fixed in the beginning of AMS.

  3. Kate C.

    I just couldn't get over the ending of this one. Revis is a pretty good writer and like you I liked the MC, but I could NOT believe she would just instantaneously forgive Elder for something so unforgivable. Maybe that makes me a bad person, I don't know. I think that Revis would have made by far a much better decision to have Amy NOT forgive him, so he has something to work toward in the second book. An ending like that would have kept me reading till the next book.
    BTW- I found the Daddy thing really creepy, too. 🙂

    • cuddlebuggery

      I completely agree. It was just too easy for him to win her favor back with a simple "I'm so sorry." It was still a fun read, but I would have liked a different ending.

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