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Book 1 in the New York Times bestselling trilogy, perfect for fans of Battlestar Gallactica and Prometheus!

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SURVIVE ABOARD A SPACESHIP FUELED BY LIES?

Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends--and planet--behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark 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 an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. And Elder, Eldest's rebellious teenage 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's cold metal walls? All Amy knows is that she and Elder must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.
Published: Penguin Group on
ISBN: 9781101486085
List price: $9.99
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I was so excited when I picked up Across the Universe from the library, but then I had to set it aside for a few days before I could read it. During those days I couldn’t get the song of the same name out of my head, I quickly realized that I had “Across the Universe” on the brain.* I had to chuckle when I opened the book and saw a quote from the lyrics of the song right before the first chapter. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who made the connection between the song and the book.

Across the Universe is the story of Amy, a girl who is frozen with her parents so that they can be shipped with other scientists through space, with the intent that they would all be woken up upon arriving at the planet some 300 years later. Of course there is a hitch in the plans, and Amy is woken up many years early.

What she discovers upon waking is that the shipboard workers have developed a culture so strange that it is unrecognizable to her. The power structure is very much what you would expect to find in dystopian fiction: a controlling government leader, thought control, criticism of anything “different,” etc. Almost all of the population seems content with their living environment, but not everyone is docile – some mystery person is sabotaging the units containing the frozen scientists and researchers.

The other main character is the “Elder,” who is actually around Amy’s age, but he is being trained to be the future leader (the “Eldest”) of the ship. Seeing things from his perspective lets the reader view both sides of the shipboard society. To him life on the ship is ordered and normal, everything working as it should (at least until the saboteur starts complicating things). Amy’s new perspective acts as a catalyst to help him to start questioning the status quo.

Across the Universe has a brisk pace and should please fans of dystopian fiction and science fiction alike. Some of the mysteries were easy for me to figure out (like who was the saboteur), but there was one major element that caught me by surprise at the end, and I’m curious to see how that will play out in a sequel.

There was a little bit of romantic chemistry between Amy and the “Elder,” but I thought it was realistic in that they were more focused on the problems aboard ship than they were on building a relationship. In fact, it was refreshing that things weren’t taken too far too quickly with their developing friendship. Sometimes it feels like writers of young adult books throw in make-out/sex scenes randomly because they are expected. I don’t mind them if they make sense within the plot, but much prefer a logical progression of relationships over gratuitous sex scenes.

I loved the story, especially the aspect of the passage of time while characters are frozen. I also enjoyed the characters, and I can’t wait to see how they address the problems that are sure to arise in the next book. This is exactly the type of science fiction I like.

For those interested in the sequel, there will be two more books in the series. The title of the second book is A Million Suns. To learn more about her books and to see updates about her writing, visit Beth Revis’s website.

Those who enjoy Across the Universe will probably also like Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder and its sequel Outside In.


*Coincidentally the movie “Across the Universe” was on TV while I was typing up this review (not that I watched it). I didn’t even know there was a movie with that title. I guess it’s just like when you learn a new word and then see it everywhere.more
I was hooked from the first page of this book. Science fiction, mystery, dystopia, space travel, and just a bit of romance told by alternating narrators at a good pace - it had almost everything I could want in a book. Just add some ghostly gothic Victorian stuff and some fantasy/magic elements, and there you go.

I need to discuss with someone if the physics in this book were correct in a certain situation (I know they're incorrect in terms of simple Newtonian physics, but I'm no expert on massive spaceship navigation), but I can't say anything about it here without spoiling something. If they are incorrect, then a pretty major part of the plot just doesn't make sense. Maybe I will ask my husband without relating it to the book. He wants to read this now after I gave him a synopsis of the first 50 pages, and he just cannot take anything whatsoever spoiled for him.

The solution to the mystery wasn't bad, but I didn't love it. I was hoping for something more sinister and involved. I still had to give this book five stars just because I was so absorbed into the book the whole time. There is still a somewhat interesting unveiling at the end, but part of it was kind of obvious from early on in the book. And there are plenty of interesting details revealed throughout the book as the reader discovers the "lies that Godspeed is fueled by." :P

I'm surprised this is going to be a series. The next books should be really interesting though because they could just be about anything. Where the second book might pick up is not obvious as there is not a cliffhanger ending, just an open but resolved ending.

I am happy to add this book to my favorites shelf. I love when I find a book that I can't stop reading. That's usually a 1 in 20 (or more, even) occurrence for me.more
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.Quick & Dirty: This was a great Sci-Fi filled with suspense, mystery, and a touch of romance. I found the story to be very intriguing and hard to put down.Opening Sentence: Daddy said, “Let Mom go first.”The Review:Amy has spent the last 300 years frozen on a space ship called Godspeed. She decided to leave earth with her parents and travel 350 years to inhabit a new planet. She’s not supposed to wake up until the journey has ended, but something goes terribly wrong and she is woken up 50 years to soon. Amy was 17 years old when her parents decided they wanted to leave earth. She loved her life on earth she had great friends, was in love with her boyfriend Jason, and just all-round loved her life. Her dad gave her the choice to stay behind and live out her life, but Amy couldn’t do that to her parents. She decided to give everything up and go with them, but now all her dreams have been shattered. She has been woken up, but her parents won’t be until they land on the new planet which isn’t for another 50 years. Amy is going to have to adjust to living on the strange ship. Everything is so different from what she has ever known. Most of the people are emotionless, they all look the same, and differences are frowned upon. As Amy struggles to adjust someone is starting to kill some of the other frozen on the ship. Amy has to figure out what is going on before her parents become the killer’s next victims.Elder has grown up on the ship Godspeed. He will someday soon become the next Eldest and lead the whole ship. Elder is 17 years old and still has a lot to learn about how things run. Eldest is supposed to be teaching him, but he is hesitant in doing so. There use to be another Elder, but he didn’t exactly agree with Eldest. He died a few years ago, and now Eldest has to start over with the new Elder. There was a plague on the ship that killed over three quarters of the people. After the chaos there needed to be a leader and that is how the Eldest system was started. There are breeding seasons that form generations. There is a single Elder that is born a few years before each generation that is designated to be the leader for that time. Elders generation is about to be breed and time is running out for him to learn. Eldest has kept so many secrets from everyone and one of the main secrets is the frozen people that are aboard the ship. As Elder starts to uncover Eldest’s secrets he realizes that everything is not as it seems. There are many mysteries that he uncovers and not all of them are good.The book is alters between Amy and Elders point of view. First we have Amy. She is a very loyal person. She left everything behind to be with her parents even though they gave her the option to stay on earth if she wanted. She searched for the truth even though it puts her in grave danger. There were times when she would let her past memories bring her down a little, but she usually recovered quickly and always tried to make the best of her situation. I thought she was a great heroine and I really connected well with her.Elder was an interesting character for me. At times I felt a little disconnected from him, but other times I really liked him. At first I think he was a little bit boring, but once he met Amy, he got more interesting. He is fascinated by Amy because she is so different than anyone he has ever met. She is beautiful, independent, smart, and just different. As he gets to know Amy better, he starts to figure out that things on Godspeed aren’t as normal as he thought. Once he has the motivation he starts to really dig and find out what is really going on. He always tries to be honest and do the right thing even when it’s hard. Overall, I liked Elder the more I got to know him and I am hoping that continues in the next book.This was really one of my first space books and I really enjoyed it. The plot had a lot of good twists and turns that kept me interested and surprised the whole way through. There was good action, blossoming romance, and an intriguing story line. While I didn’t love all the characters from the very beginning, by the end I really came to care about them. I felt that the writing was very well done and I would love to read the rest of the series. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes YA Sci-fi or space stories.Notable Scene: One of the doors is already open. A long metal tray extends from the mouth of the door like a tongue, and on that tray is a narrow clear box filled with frozen water speckled with blue glitter. Floating immobile in the ice, as still and silent as this empty room, is a girl.It’s her hair that pulls me forward. It is so red. I’ve never seen red hair before, not outside of pictures, and the pictures never caught the vivacity of these burnished strands tangled in the ice. Harley has a book of paintings he stole from the Recorder Hall, and one of the paintings is just a series of haystack, the covered in snow, the one at sunset. Harley went loons over it, saying how the artist was so brilliant to paint stuff with different light, and I said that was stupid, there’s light or there isn’t, and he said I was stupid, on Sol-Earth there were things like sunrise and sunset because the sun moves like a living thing and isn’t just an overrated heat lamp in the sky..This girl’s hair is more brilliant then the rays of the sun on Sol-Earth captured by an artist Harley said was the most genius man ever to live.I reach out to touch the glass that traps her inside, and only then do I realize how cold it is. My breath is rising in little clouds of white. My fingertips stick to the glass.I stare down at her. She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, but also the strangest. Her skin is pale, almost translucent white, and I don’t think it’s just from the ice. I lay my hand on top of her glass box, above her heart. My skin is a dark shadow over the luminescence of hers.FTC Advisory: Razorbill/Penguin provided me with a copy of Across the Universe. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.more
Fascinating world... A great intro to the Space Opera genre for girls w/ fab Dystopian & Mystery blending. Can't wait to read the next book!  more
This story was told through two different characters. Amy who has been cryogenically frozen, along with her parents, for the space trip to CentauriEarth which will take 300 years and Elder who was born on the ship and will be inheriting the governing position once Eldest passes. This story did not hold my attention much, I found the resident of the ship dull and boring, but I stuck with it to the end to find out who thawed out Amy 50 years before landing on CentauriEarth.more
I've seen the question asked a hundred times. If you could live in any book, which would it be? My choice? Across the Universe.

The reason is simple, this is one of those rare works in which you don't have to fill in the blanks. Beth Revis has imagined an entire universe for the reader to exist in, and she has woven it so tightly that there doesn't seem to be a single stitch through which the reader could slip.

To be completely honest, I did not choose to live in Across the Universe. It chose to live in me, to take me on a journey unfathomably far from home without ever leaving the warmth of my bed (though the chill of outer-space did find its way right into my bones).

Some of what I consider to be the best novels have inspired me to dream- to imagine something even greater than what is on the page. But with Across the Universe, Revis has done all of the dreaming for me. And even when I tried, I couldn't imagine anything greater than what she provided.

Yeah... Across the Universe is exactly the world I'd want to live in.more
(3 1/2 stars--beginning and middle were definitely stronger than the ending, but it did keep me reading throughout so I'll round up.)

I liked the back-and-forth: every other chapter was first person POV of either Amy or Elder; that was a nice plot device. (Without realizing it, I read two books like this at the same time--I listened to this one and read Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles--it worked in both cases. Sometimes it gets distracting and annoying, but these two were well done.) I liked the idea behind the book--Earth is becoming uninhabitable, key people are becoming cryogenically frozen and placed on a ship that is going to another planet to colonize--interesting. (Also more than a little conquistador-ish, but I tried not to dwell on that part.) That ship is set up like a mini world, with generations of humans born (the trip is supposed to take 300 years) to keep the ship going until they land (though we find out later that that's not necessarily the case). Amy, who was frozen back on Earth with her parents, is thawed out too early for reasons unknown, and someone on the ship seems to have it out for other "frozens" too. Who? Why? How can Amy adjust to a world she never expected or wanted? All good questions.

I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, but I do try to pick up ones that look interesting--I'm sure those that read a lot of that genre will probably be a lot more critical here than I am. I found the world-building to be interesting. Some of it is compelling, some of it is frightening, some of it, yes, has problems. Overall, though, I was going along with it--until the end. The wrap-up seemed like more of a let down. All along I was right on the edge, trying to figure out the plot twists and turns, and then--end. Over. The resolution made some sense, but on the whole left me a bit cold. I didn't actually realize that this was the first of a trilogy until I came on the site to write my review--knowing that, I guess it does explain it to a degree, but still I am left fairly unsatisfied. I am interested to see how Amy and Elder's story will continue, though, and will read book two when it comes out for sure. As for book three--well, I'll reserve judgement until I've finished two.more
Writing a space age sci-fi novel in a time when all the rage is supernaturals is a brave thing. It could be hit or miss. Thankfully, in the case of 'Across the Universe', it's a hit. Or nearly a hit, earning 3.5 stars from this little blogger.

I found things in the book I liked and other things I didn't. Though, to be honest, most of my grievances with 'Across the Universe' may come down more to taste than actual problems with the text. 'Across the Universe' is compelling. Helped along by short chapters and changing perspectives, I found it quite easy to immerse myself in this book. I devoured half the book in one sitting and finished it the next day.

What I liked about the novel changed a bit from opening the first page and closing on the last. I liked the idea Revis was going for because it's not commonly done in YA lit. The way the chapters weaved together was great, as well. Each little chapter from main character Amy's perspective gave us a nice idea of how 'new' the ship was and each little chapter from male lead Elder helped us understand the society. It made the idea behind the ship and the society itself a little easier to understand. (As a note, if you find yourself confused with what the ship looks like, turn your cover inside out-- there's a diagram. I wish I had known about it sooner because I was a bit confused about where things were located on the ship until I pulled out that darn map!)

Characters Amy and Elder were unique and engaging characters to read. My favorite character, however, was Harley, Elder's friend and Amy's companion during her days in the Ward. If ever she does write another book in this universe, Revis may want to consider a companion piece in Harley's point of view. I wish I could say that I was surprised when it came to who the bad guys were, but I had it figured out half way through. Even so, the main characters kept me interested.

If I had to compare this book to another popular series, it would be the 'Hunger Games' trilogy. This isn't exactly a 'happy' book. It's very low key in terms of joy and humor-filled banter. It's not something you'll finish with a sappy grin on your face. Towards the end, some really hardcore secrets are revealed that leave you (or at least me) thinking 'what?!'. That, honestly, is my only problem with the book. I wish we were given a happier ending. I'm actually a bit concerned about the characters futures... And I don't like being concerned about characters well being, especially when it seems like the book is a stand-alone.

'Across the Universe' is on store shelves now! While I don't think it is a book that will please those who don't usually enjoy Sci-fi, it is a good read. In my opinion, it gets 3.5 stars.

EDIT: Forgot to mention the romance. As pointed out by readers of the blog, the series has been put down when it comes to the romantic entanglements. I read this book with the idea of it being more sci-fi than romance, so it didn't even occur to me to mention it in my review, but be warned that this is more based in sci-fi than teenage romance, angst, etc. Again, it's very similar to 'Hunger Games' in that respect. Actually, the romantic storyline is one of the reasons why I am concerned about the characters post the final chapter!more
I ended up reading Across the Universe in two phases. I initially got the book from the library, as I was one of the first holds. Unfortunately, that meant my time with it was limited and I did not have time to finish it, since my library pile had gotten rather out of control. So I got about halfway through and had to return it and wait until I could re-procure the book to finish it. The point of all of this is that my opinion of the book had changed a bit when I came back to it.

The first half of the book did not really succeed in engaging me. I had heard so much hype and was so looking forward to it, and it did not live up to that. (Isn't that always the way with me?) Upon return, as I skimmed through the book to make sure I remembered everything and tried to locate my stopping point (because genius that I am I forgot to make note of that location), I found myself thinking how cool it was. Reading through the rest of the story was then a breeze.

The story still was not quite perfect (like many other teen dystopias, there's a section pretty much straight from The Giver), but I am super hopeful about the second book in the series. I really liked how shades of gray it was (not in the Jasper Fforde sense). Elder is the perfect example. He's a good a guy and I related more to him than to Amy (how much can I really relate to someone who runs for fun?), but he definitely has a dark side (and not in the oh no, I'm a vampire who might hurt you sense).

Dystopia fans should definitely not miss this one, as it is one of the awesome ones that is really a dystopia on several different levels (although more than the dictator would be spoilers). As a final enticement, here's a quote that encapsulates the book: "This ship is built on secrets; it runs on secrets."more
I am baffled that this book has received such high ratings and rave reviews.

The writing is vague. The characters are stunted. The story has some just plain... weird elements to it. And the plot was so transparent I predicted damn near everything that was going to happen.

I will write a more coherent review later. Right now I am just... glad it is over.

*****

OK, it is later, so let's give this another go. I am resisting the urge to write "ugh" and "bad book" over and over. I make no promises that this review will be in any way sensical. I will probably jump around a lot.

There are two characters we follow, Amy and Elder. I very much dislike when first person narrative swaps between two people. It lessens the personal connection. It makes me dizzy. And doing it every other chapter is a little... amateur. Especially when you insert chapters in that are under 100 words long, just so they can be called chapters, so you have a break in all the narrative coming from one side. OK. That was a little harsh. But so was reading it.

Amy, our fearless author tells us, is around 16 years old. But there are some huge discrepancies with how her age is portrayed. At 16, I wouldn't be calling my dad "daddy" every chance I got, even if we had been separated for a large amount of time. Maybe at first, but she talks about things someone much younger than her would enjoy (raspberries and the like). That was the too-young end of the spectrum. Then we find out she is no longer a virgin. Call me a prude, but she is 16! What kind of message does that send to the girls who read this?

The story and the characters have the depth of a kiddie pool. And I am not talking the normal YA shallowness. It is worse. Much worse. It is like the lights are on and no one is home. It isn't that they are acting like teenagers, it is that we don't see ANY motivation.

On the bad guy: Can you be anymore obvious?!

I... I just... I need to stop.

Will I read book 2? Maybe. But only because I am a completionist and a glutton for punishment.more
An excellent read! I was quite surprised by this book, since I heard a lot of positive reception but I still wasn't sure until I sat down and read it. While the alternating pov gets confusing and the climax is a little rushed, I did not want to put this down. Amy and Elder's stories are very personal, and you really see the strain they have underneath the circumstances. A wonderful science fiction read, too, as the society on the ship was completely different from what I had been expecting. Read now!more
This book left me wanting... Yes this book was good! I was interested to know how it ended, but I ended up guessing a lot of the twists long before they happened, and felt dissapointed by some of the outcomes. As of this moment I'm confused about most of my feelings for this book. I'm not sure if I'm sad ,angry, or just dissapointed that it isn't the book I thought it would be. I'm not saying it was bad a lot of people will love it, but as I said before it left me wanting. The bittersweet ending didn't give me that feeling of completion that I need to feel satisfied with a book.more
This book was very nice, and easy to read. I had some trouble putting the book away at times. The story is good, and so is the development of the main characters.more
When young adults leave their hometown and go off to college it can feel like they have left the planet. All of a sudden they are in a whole new town with all new people, there are new rules of engagement and you are suddenly expected to act and think very differently. Worst of all many if not all their friends and family, most importantly the ever-present parents, are now gone and they are on their own. In Beth Revis’ science fiction debut Across the Universe she manages to capture all of this perfectly as we follow Amy and her journey aboard the spaceship Godspeed. Unfortunately it is captured too well and that along with a few other hiccups resulted in this book not turning out as well as I hoped it would.Let me start this off on a positive note, Revis can write really, really detailed and realistic scenes. The book opens with Amy watching her parents be cryogenically frozen and then experience it herself. I have extreme needle phobia, it took forever to get through those pages. Even people who don’t have needle phobia squirm through that first chapter, it is intense and present and real and that kind of talent in a writer is extremely promising. She captures the small ship, the feeling of being trapped, the abandonment all very well and you experience it along with Amy and that is very powerful.Things go very wrong when Amy is woken up several decades too early. She discovers that the people awake on the ship have formed a dystopian society with more questions than answers. More frozen passengers are mysteriously being woken up and left to die in their melting ice. Amy is left with a mystery on her hands that she must solve before any more passengers are killed or before whoever tried to kill her comes back to finish the job. This is a mystery and a science fiction novel first and Revis gets the science right, she thinks through the ramifications of generations of humans living on the same small ship for 250 years and she even lays out the ship in a logical and smart way in respect to both the mystery and the science fiction.That being said there were some problems though. The description is there, the unique plot ideas and premise is there, meanwhile the characterization, the plot pacing, the romance advertised heavily on the front cover was not. The mystery can be solved by the reader very early in the book. Many of the characters felt too true to trope and two-dimensional, like they weren’t even real people. The plot pacing was very, very slow. It took forever to get through the book and oftentimes the story seemed to be spinning its wheels. The romance between Amy and Elder seemed contrived and unrealistic, it lacked any sort of chemistry. Really the relationship took a back seat to the mystery that was front and center and that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you ignore the cover.Focusing back on Amy, I have spoken before in reviews about YA authors that try so hard for the average teenage girl voice that they overcompensate. That happened here. Amy spent most of her time, on a space ship that she voluntarily signed up for, whining about being there. Yes, she was woken up early but most of the whine seemed to be about missing earth and sky and a boyfriend that had been dead for over 200 years by that point. She whined about missing her daddy and wanted to selfishly wake him up early even though the ship needed him at planet fall, whined about the people on the ship, and even got whiny and bratty with Eldest who had already told her he was willing to kick her off this ship since she threatened to disrupt things. It was annoying and I think more of teenagers than that. She was trapped, that I will admit. She was scared, that is fine. Her life was in danger, very much so. But address those concerns first, miss rain drops second.I don’t really want to touch on the attempted rape scene except that it was horrible, unexpected, served next to no purpose and Amy was perfectly fine way too fast to be believable. Worst of all there was no ramifications for anyone, it was like it never happened. If you aren’t going to do the very thorny issue of attempted rape justice don’t include it in your book at all.I’m really glad that a science fiction book for teens, and particularly teen girls, was not only written but then marketed so well. I do wish it lived up to that marketing a little better though. Dystopian fans will love the thought that went into the construction of the society in this book, science fiction fans will love the world building as far as the actual ship and the science behind many of the things that go on on-board are concerned. This is not really a romance though, there is only a dash of it and be ready for some very in-depth descriptions of some very horrifying scenes.I received this book for free to review.more
The story is about Amy getting frozen for 300 years to land on another planet with her family. But something occurs and Amy is unfrozen before everyone else, dodging death. She develops a friendship with Elder and a romance blooms between them. I did not enjoy this book at all. I thought Amy and Elder were not very well developed. The feelings were not very prefound and consistent. I felt like i could not relate to it at all.more
Since starting my blog, this is the first book I’ve read that I absolutely adored but feel like I have no idea how to review! It just left me in awe and I feel like no words can describe my love for this book. So I guess I’ll start off simple: with the cover.This cover is one of my absolute favourites. Seriously, that is drop dead gorgeous. I have a puddle of drool forming right now. I wish I could just melt into that universe and be one of those silhouetted figures! I wish my dreams looked like that. I loved this cover so much, that I just had to run out and make a new sci-fi outer space blog theme. So I did. Hehe.So, moving on, past my puddle of drool…This book starts out super strong! There is no long introduction, no waiting time. Page #1, Amy is getting ready to be frozen; frozen for a 300 year long journey to another planet. Cue fan girl scream. Seriously, this book is a perfect example of why I adore sci-fi!After Amy gets frozen, we start learning about Elder, a 16 year old boy living on the ship centuries after Amy gets frozen. At first I was like, “Nooo, take me back to Amy!” But I quickly got settled in with Elder. The chapters in this book alternate between Amy and Elder’s points of view, and Elder’s chapters are the ones that start off focusing on the conspiracies and mysteries in the space ship. Things get super interesting super fast! Plus, Elder is such a great character. I love how he’s independent and he thinks for himself. He doesn’t swallow the brainwash nonsense that some people try to feed him. He’s young so he still has a lot to learn, but he doesn’t accept everything his elders (haha) tell him as fact. He’s not afraid to question and doubt.This book is interesting because we’re not just learning about a future version of our world; we’re reading about a girl who’s also learning about a future version of our world! She’s in our position. She’s suddenly thrown centuries into the future, into a culture with different traditions, different appearances, and different ways of living. It’s just as strange to her as it is to us readers! Things are so different that suddenly she’s the freak on the ship; she’s the one who’s different and talks funny and looks funny and isn’t their kind of ‘normal.’ That makes her very easy to relate to and sympathize with.Across the Universe will keep you completely on edge! Each chapter is filled with some kind of beauty, excitement, mind blowing information, or entrancing love. From the moment Amy wakes up, she’s faced with new challenges, conspiracies to unravel, truths to face, hard facts to accept, and feelings she’s never felt before. I could completely place myself in her shoes and I felt every emotion she was feeling.Maybe the end was a little rushed, and there wasn’t a super awesome twist. The gist of it is that there’s a central conflict throughout the story: someone is unplugging the people who are cryogenically frozen and killing them. The answer to that does become pretty obvious, so it’s not a huge z0mg moment when it gets revealed. But there are other things you don’t even think about that are a complete shocker! So that makes up for it!This is definitely a must-read for any sci-fi/dystopian fans. Now excuse me while I go buy the second book!more
I REALLY thought I was going to love this book. The premise sounded interesting and the opening scenes had me on the edge of my seat. The book lost some of its mojo for me by the middle and I found myself losing interest. I think it came from not being overly fond of Elder. The chapters from Amy’s POV were much more enjoyable. I would have to give it three out of five stars and I’ll probably check out the sequel down the roadmore
Okay, so I'm a closet Trekkie and while I wasn't the huge Star Trek fan my dad and sister were, I grew to love it after the long hours they forced me to watch it. The rebooted movie with Chris Pine and Simon Pegg definitely had me loving it and it doesn't hurt that William Shatner is just an awesome Canadian. But what does Star Trek have to do with Across the Universe? Not much, well except the whole part about it being on a ship traveling through space, going where no man has gone before. Okay, so the similarities pretty much stop there, but it was enough to get me interested and considering I hate reading science fiction that really impressed me.Across the Universe looks at what happens to a society of people trapped together on a ship, unable to see even the stars, generation after generation, and what happens when an individual is added to their environment unexpectedly. Revis does an amazing job of slowly building up the mystery of what happened on the ship to change the people and an even better job of showing how Amy must come to terms with what is going to become her life.I have to say that even though I figured out certain plot points fairly early on, Revis did manage to surprise me with one aspect of the story, which of course I can't even hint at, or you'd figure it out much quicker then I did. I also loved how Amy doesn't sacrifice her feelings about what happened to her, but she retains her smarts enough to know that a certain amount of acceptance is the only thing that will keep her going.Definitely a book I would reread, and I can't wait to read the sequel!more
Summary: Amy is not sure about this whole freezing thing - her parents have been selected to travel to a new planet, and she has the option of going with them... but it will mean leaving behind everyone and everything she's ever known, not to mention being cryogenically frozen for three hundred years while their ship crosses the vastnesses of space. But something's gone wrong... Two hundred and fifty years into the voyage, Elder - the future leader of the entire ship - discovers that Amy's been woken up ahead of schedule. Amy has a hard time adjusting to life aboard the Godspeed - her red hair and pale skin make her stand out, and the ship's inhabitants are technologically advanced in some ways but woefully ignorant and odd in others. As Amy and Elder spend more time together, they both begin to realize that there's something going on aboard ship that Eldest isn't telling them... and when more frozen passengers begin to be unplugged, the race is on for the two of them to figure out the truth of what's going on, and just how deep the lies go.Review: I absolutely devoured this book. It's written in the exact format - short, action packed chapters from alternating points of view - that is the most dangerous for my bedtime, and I absolutely stayed up late more than one night because I just couldn't find a satisfactory stopping point; I always wanted to know what was going to happen next.Wait, scratch that. I pretty much always did know what was coming next; I figured out what was going on with the ship, and with the murders, pretty early on in the book. Revis is not particularly subtle about dropping clues, and the general outline of the plot was pretty predictable. However, the fact that I knew where the story was going and *still* stayed glued to the pages should give you a pretty good idea about how absorbing this book is.There were a lot of smaller elements that I enjoyed as well. While I got the general outline of the mystery right, I didn't always get the details, and there were some nicely creative touches throughout. I also appreciated that the romance between Elder and Amy was underplayed, not easy, and not focus of the story, which made it seem more realistic than it otherwise might have been. The pacing is also well done, and I like the fact that the ending wraps up the story, provides a natural stopping point, but still leaves you curious about what's going to happen next without feeling like you're committed to reading the rest of the series. However, there were also a few things that bugged me - the lack of subtlety in the building of the mystery was also apparent in some of the characterizations; for example, it's perfectly clear that Eldest is Not a Nice Guy without coming out and saying that he thinks Hitler was a wise leader. But overall, I devoured this book, really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to reading the next one. 4 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: The "waking up on a cryo ship that's gone badly wrong in the meantime" reminded me of Rob Grant's Colony, although the tones of the two books are pretty different. I'd definitely recommend Across the Universe pretty broadly for fans of YA dystopias or YA sci-fi more generally.more
Across the Universe is one of the first sci-fi books I've read in a long time. But the thing is, it's also kind of dystopia-ish as well. I don't know really how to describe the genre of this book, other than saying that it's a murder mystery on a space ship and it's kind of really strange.Don't get me wrong, I really did like this book. The plot was interesting enough, the two main characters, Amy and Elder were loveable and there was enough going on that I never truly got bored, even though it moved slowly. But I also found the writing to be vague and lacking that sense of being able to visualize what was going on. There were some scenes where I had no clue what was happening, but I just kept reading to get on to the next part. There was also the fact that I immediately knew who it was that was unplugging the frozen people. I don't know, maybe it was obvious and everyone is able to figure it out or maybe I have a really good chance in becoming a spy or private investigator in the future. It felt as if the author was trying to convince us that the murderer was one person, when really, there was no solid proof that it was that person. (Sorry for being so vague, but I don't want to give it away to the people who haven't read it!) The chapters alternate between Amy and Elder's point of view well. In some sections I wasn't clear on who was where and what was happening and why this person was doing this, but other than that the chapters transitioned nicely. One thing that I found to be really great about the alternating chapters was that they were short. Ten to twelve pages in Elder's POV at the most, and then you're put into Amy's head without having to go back to and reread the last page of her previous chapter. Does that make sense? I hope so! The last thing I'll mention is the relationship between these two. I never truly got it. It felt like they only liked each other because they were the only teens on the ship. Which makes sense, but it still felt a little forced. Hopefully Amy and Elder's relationship will evolve into something greater in the next books!I can't say much else about this book, other than it was good. I really didn't find anything amazing about it, but then again, it takes a special book for me to say "OMG YOU NEED TO GET THIS RIGHT NOW, READ IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" But, for my first sci-fi type book I've read since, I don't know, 5th grade, it was acceptable. I am excited to read A Million Suns, since I've heard that it's so much better than this one!more
My initial thought after closing the book last night was "Woooow.... That was really a debut?" After reading this, one thing is for certain, Revis is an amazing writer. The story left me breathless. At certain parts I found myself yelling and other times I found myself gasping at the book. What I liked most were the characters. From Amy to Harley to Eldest. Yes I liked Eldest, but not because of what he did, but because of how he was written. For Revis to be able to write and develop such a sick, sadistic, lying characters like Eldest and one who will not be named (for spoilers), and make me feel all the hatred that all the other characters did, she deserves applause lol Although I did like the book, the beginning starts out a little slow. It took a minute to get into it, but when I did, I had a day off and ended up devouring the end of the book. The end is where all the jaw dropping twists and turns occur as each secret is unlocked. With every one secret that you discover, it will become harder and harder for you to put the book down.more
In her debut book, Beth Revis provides an entertaining, science fiction adventure. Sci-Fi novels, in the Young Adult universe, are few and far between, but Across the Universe stands on its own and will surely find a place in the hearts of many fans.Amy, in present day, is frozen - along with her parents - and loaded on a ship launched for a new planet. Her parents are part of a crew that was deemed vital to securing and inhabiting the new planet. Amy is along for the journey. Three hundred years later, aboard Godspeed, Elder is the next in line to lead the ship’s people. After centuries onboard, there is no diversity, no difference, and no uniqueness among the people on the ship. The story is told from both Amy and Elder’s perspective. Amy’s story starts the day she is frozen and continues when she is awoken - fifty years before schedule. Elder’s story starts on Godspeed as he fights with Eldest (the current leader) to learn more about the ship for his future rule. Across the Universe is definitely futuristic. We have a self-contained space ship, cryogenics and some advanced medical and scientific sub-plots that I will not get into least I spoil it for you. The characters are well rounded and endearing - Harley being my instant favourite. I wasn’t a fan of Elder in the beginning, but I loved the way Beth handled his characterization. He grew on me in the end, becoming more complex than initially presented. The one thing I found lacking was that I failed to be wowed by the mystery. As soon as the villain was introduced I saw right through him - it was a little too obvious. A lot of time was spent trying to throw the scent off, but the actions of the villain were pretty transparent. However, the way the story progressed and the way questions raised were answered, helped in creating a good tension for the story and kept me quite engaged until the end. I find that I am curious to know what happens next in Amy and Elders life and am looking forward to the sequels.more
First, all I have to say is, WOW. This was such an excellent book that I had to read this without interruptions or I’d get angry. I LOVED this book!I do admit, I was skeptical at first. I was concerned because there might be scientific jargon, and that it would be difficult to understand but it wasn’t! and there was no hard to read science lingo here either! everything was well described and in clear detail. I absolutely loved the concept of living on a ship, and the dynamics on how people related to one another, and how they survive and live together. The history of the ship and its’ people is also interesting to read up on. The actual description of the ship itself was fun to read, it made me think of Star Trek immediately. Since this is mostly coming from Amy’s point of view some of the things she encounters are strange and rather disturbing. There is a dark ugly side to how this ship is run and once everything is laid out in the open (you’ll be blindsided a couple of times), there’s a great amount of uncertainty but leaves the book with such a great ending and you’ll be left wanting more!The mystery behind who wanted to kill her was also well thought out. There is a bit of a guessing game involved - but not much and although the mystery is the main theme of the book, there’s other things to focus on such as how Amy’s character develops throughout the novel as she tries to adjust to this kind of living. The characters in the book are also really well written. I did take a liking to Harley. Amy and Elder on the other hand, are interesting enough to read - especially Amy as she has lots to worry about.I am definitely looking forward to the sequel! It’s a perfect science fiction read for the younger adult age bracket. Not too much scientific lingo to confuse the reader, just enough to make it a good wholesome setting that can be easily pictured. The plot is fantastic and well worth the read, and the surprises go off like bombs when they’re revealed. I definitely think this is worth the time to go through.more
Beth Revis had me totally and completely transfixed by her debut, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. I've always had a soft spot for science fiction, and YA is sorely lacking in this department, so, understandably, I was pumped when I first heard about this novel... Still, nothing could've prepared me for just how epic it was going to be!I feel the need to mention that this is one of those hyped novels that actually lives up to the hype. This was so, so rewarding for me. There's nothing worse than looking forward to and daydreaming about a book, then finally having it in your hands and realizing that it isn't at all what you thought it was going to be. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE ended up being all I expected and more. This debut is a bit of everything, without being overwhelming. Fans of romance, mystery, dystopia, and sci-fi will all find familiar elements within ACROSS THE UNIVERSE's pages. That said, these elements are all seamlessly interwoven, so if you're usually not a fan of sci-fi or romance or whichever genre, you'll still enjoy this book. As the story unfolded and history and secrets were revealed, I found myself entranced by life upon the Godspeed. The population upon the ship live such caricatures of real life and they're totally unaware... it's actually quite disturbing in a can't-look-away-because-it's-so-sad-and-horrible-and-what's-going-to-happen-next? kind of way.I really liked that there's a map of the spaceship included on the book's first pages. I didn't try to figure out what everything was when I first started reading, but, as the story progressed, it was helpful to be able to flip to diagram and keep track of where things were the action was happening on the ship. I'll definitely be reading Revis' next installment! She dishes out the perfect mix of drama, romance, mystery, and creepy science to keep my eyes glued to the page. And, semi-secretly, I'm hoping that ACROSS THE UNIVERSE starts a sci-fi YA trend... I'd definitely be a supporter!more
First, a few comments about the audiobook version, which was how I "read" this book: It felt rushed and cheaply put together, and I won't be picking up any more audiobooks from this producer. At the end of each disc, there was no indication that the disc was over (like the typical "end of disc one" voice that tells you it's time to change the CD) and instead the disc would simply start over again, without any break of any kind. More than once, I listened to a few minutes of the beginning of the disc again before realizing I'd already heard it (and that might tell you something about the story, too...). I also thought that the chosen readers, while I'm sure they're good at what they do in their own right, were wrong for an audiobook. The reader for Amy, the female main character, kept her voice soft and low for the majority of her chapters, which doesn't work well when you're listening to an audiobook, simply due to the ambient noise in a house or car. She also trailed her voice at the end of sentences with alarming frequency, which made it nearly impossible to understand what she was saying at the end of a sentence without blasting the volume to uncomfortable levels. The reader for Elder was okay, but the way he said certain words really grated my nerves (emphasizing certain syllables). Doesn't anyone listen to these things before releasing them?!?! Ugh.But on to the story itself. And I'll give this warning:Yes, there will be minor ***spoilers*** ahead, so you may want to skip this review and come back if you're hoping to read it sometime in the future.I'd heard so much hype about this book -- and I read the author's blog, and I think she's a fun, intelligent woman -- that I had big expectations for it. Unfortunately, I don't think it lived up to the hype, and I was more disappointed than satisfied. But, I'm hoping that it's a reflection of "first novel" syndrome, and I'm sure the author will come into her own with each following novel. Plus, it's hard to say how much of a hand the publisher had in changing certain aspects of the novel in the editing phase... I always wonder that with first novels... The premise is more or less solid, if not thoroughly explained. A ship is sent across the universe on a 300-year journey to a new planet, where a new Earth will be colonized. Various military personnel and people with vital skill sets are cryogenically frozen on the ship, to be revived upon landing. Exactly why this is happening isn't as thoroughly explained as I'd liked (there was some kind of war, or financial crisis, or something, but if the situation is as dire as it sounds, sending one ship on a 300-year journey seems a little lacking in terms of viable solutions to a worldwide problem), but I can overlook that for the sake of setting up a sci-fi atmosphere. Amy, the main character, comes along with her parents on the journey, but someone wakes her up 50 years too soon. I found it a little annoying that we make it nearly a third of the way through the book before Amy is woken up, because we already know it's going to happen -- it's on the back cover blurb -- so I found that ruined the anticipation and made me impatient to get to the point of the story. I blame the publisher for that one. Once she awakes on the ship, she meets Elder (stupid, stupid name) who is "next in line" to be in charge of the ship. He's the pupil of Eldest, the current leader, and Elder and the rest of the ship blindly follow Eldest's leadership. It's immediately obvious that Eldest is going to be made out as the primary villain of the story, even though we don't get much information about his motivations or reasons for doing what he's doing -- beyond the very clear indication that all of his actions and "changes" to the lifestyle of the ship's people (not the frozen people, but colonists who keep the ship running and moving to reach their destination) are for the good of the people aboard. He honestly believes that everything he's doing is for them. For their sake, and to keep them alive.Amy, who convinces Elder that the way things are done is "not natural" (of course not, you've been asleep for 250 years on a spaceship, obviously things are going to run differently because of confined nature of a spaceship), begins doing whatever she can to subvert Eldest's power and, in the meantime, try to solve the mystery of who is unplugging the "frozens" (and the murderer is obvious from the very beginning, FYI). Now, I have piles and piles more to say about how this plays out -- about the gratuitous "almost rape" scene that serves no purpose, about the unbelievable way Amy still calls her father "Daddy" when she's 17-years-old and never ever mentions her also-frozen mother, about the frustrating end to the most interesting character in the story who actually ISN'T a main character, the forced / lack of romance, and so forth -- but I'm going to move to what bothered me the most.Eldest, who is made out to be a horrible human being by the main characters, does everything he does for the sake of the people he leads. He does everything he can to keep them alive, and we're told that each Eldest passes on how to do this to the Elder below him. That means Eldest is simply doing what he was taught to do, which has been done for generations now, and that it's all he knows HOW to do. He believes it's right. That's the ship's morality. That's the way it's always been done, and he honestly believes he's doing the right thing. So how does that make him a villain??? In fact, when I heard how the ship and the people sustained themselves and why things are done that way, you know what? I agreed with it. It made sense. So when Amy and Elder started messing with the way things are done, I wanted to grab them by the shoulders and shake some sense into them, and demand "How are YOU going to keep the ship running without people going crazy and killing themselves, or starving, or becoming weak due to inbreeding, or running out of other resources???" Yep, that's right. That's why the ship ran the way it did: Because prior to the establishment of the Eldest/Elder system, people started going crazy and committing suicide (for another reason that I won't mention here, but damned if it doesn't make perfect sense the way the first Eldest dealt with the problem), and resources were starting to become a problem, and there were serious issues arising because of the limited gene pool for reproduction. I'm sorry, but I can't see Eldest as a villain. Yes, things worked differently and seemingly "unnaturally" to a person from present-day Earth, but on a spaceship, on a centuries-long journey, things HAVE to be different. It's a whole different situation, with limited resources and nowhere to get more. So when the main characters started screwing around with what worked, I couldn't cheer them on. It just made me angry. And you know what? I realize there's a second book so presumably some of these issues get addressed, but all I can think is that, realistically, they've just provided the catalyst for the slow death of everyone aboard. And I almost hope it happens, but of course, it won't. It's weird cheering for the "bad guy"... but when the teenagers are so self-involved and illogical (changing things just because they're "different" from the way one 17-year-old from generations past thinks the way life should be... hmm, wonder what she'd think if she time traveled back to Victorian England? Or Ancient Rome?) and can't think through anything like cause / reaction or determine viable solutions to the problems beyond stopping what they think is wrong, I can't help but feel very, very sorry for the one person who spent his entire life devoted to the people aboard the ship, only to have it ended by the closed mind of a selfish little girl.more
Can I just start off by saying OH MY GOODNESS, this cover is gorgeous. I'm a sucker for all things space and universe-related. I probably would have bought this book judging solely from its cover! Which, incidentally, I've heard you're really not supposed to do. (Whoops.) Even though my first instinct was to cringe away at yet another Beatles reference in popular culture (The Beatles were great and all, but there are other bands, you know), I am infinitely happy that I gave this book a chance. Across the Universe is a stunning debut from newcomer Beth Revis. From the very first page, this book had a hold on me. I couldn't read it fast enough. It gave me goosebumps at times, heartache at others. I don't have very much experience with sci-fi thriller books (It's never really been my cup of tea), but this book makes me want to run out and grab handfuls of them. The story is told through the alternating POVs of Amy and Elder. Usually, I try to steer clear of books with multiple POVs (I find them to be extremely annoying, on the whole), but Revis makes it work very, very well in this one. The reader experiences the story from the eyes of girl who is observing the ship for the first time, and also through a boy who has grown up onboard, providing a nice juxtaposition between the two. I loved to have the POV of a female in a genre that has mostly been dominated by male protagonists. One of the most refreshing things about this book, something that I loved about the Hunger Games trilogy as well, is that Revis doesn't shy away from uncomfortable scenes. She describes the freezing process in vivid, excruciating detail, pulling the reader into her story at full-throttle. I found Amy to be a relatable and likable protagonist. I could practically feel the emotions seeping from the pages, as she watches her parents endure the pain of being cryogenically frozen, as she tries to compromise her love of her parents and the need to be with them with her desire to stay on Earth where everything is familiar and safe.CONCLUSION Overall, Revis offers a promising, enjoyable, beautifully-written story that should help to rekindle the interest in the YA sci-fi genre. I know I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!more
The Good Stuff Kept thinking of Serenity (Hmm Phydus = Pax) Starlost and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy while reading (that is a good thing) Amy was # 42 teee hee hee (For you non geeks according to Hitchhikers, 42 is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything) Became hooked right away with what was going on on the ship very suspenseful at times - nice mystery where you are not sure who is good or bad -- and some gasp moments Some hilarious dialogue (Especially some of the inner dialogues) Fabulous cover (hardcover edition) Liked the fact that it is told in both Elder and Amy's POV Revis is a good storyteller - this would probably be fantastic as an audio book Tons of sci fi nerd referencesThe Not So Good Stuff Both Amy and Elder come across as younger than they actually are, almost immature which threw me off a couple of times considering the plot Some of the plot points aren't really logical or make sense if this situation was real Hated the make up slang (personal preference here) same thing happened when I read The Maze Runner series - its irritating and in this case very much overusedFavorite Quotes/Passages"But the long and short of it is that you have to be naked, and neither of them wanted me to see iehter of them naked )not like I wanted to see them in all their nude glory, gross), but given the choice, it'd be best for Mom to go first, since we have the same parts and all.""I moved to the Keeper Level was about Sol-Earth's religions. They were magic stories, fairy tales, and I remember laughing myself silly when Eldest told me how people on Sol-Earth were willing to die or kill for these fictional characters.""Everything is wrong here. Shattered. Broken.Like the light.Like me.I never thought about how important the sky was until I didn't have one."Who Should/Shouldn't Read Would recommend this for the more reluctant YA reader The more mature YA reader will find it a tad juvenile3.75 Dewey'sI borrowed this from Jennmore
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Reviews

I was so excited when I picked up Across the Universe from the library, but then I had to set it aside for a few days before I could read it. During those days I couldn’t get the song of the same name out of my head, I quickly realized that I had “Across the Universe” on the brain.* I had to chuckle when I opened the book and saw a quote from the lyrics of the song right before the first chapter. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who made the connection between the song and the book.

Across the Universe is the story of Amy, a girl who is frozen with her parents so that they can be shipped with other scientists through space, with the intent that they would all be woken up upon arriving at the planet some 300 years later. Of course there is a hitch in the plans, and Amy is woken up many years early.

What she discovers upon waking is that the shipboard workers have developed a culture so strange that it is unrecognizable to her. The power structure is very much what you would expect to find in dystopian fiction: a controlling government leader, thought control, criticism of anything “different,” etc. Almost all of the population seems content with their living environment, but not everyone is docile – some mystery person is sabotaging the units containing the frozen scientists and researchers.

The other main character is the “Elder,” who is actually around Amy’s age, but he is being trained to be the future leader (the “Eldest”) of the ship. Seeing things from his perspective lets the reader view both sides of the shipboard society. To him life on the ship is ordered and normal, everything working as it should (at least until the saboteur starts complicating things). Amy’s new perspective acts as a catalyst to help him to start questioning the status quo.

Across the Universe has a brisk pace and should please fans of dystopian fiction and science fiction alike. Some of the mysteries were easy for me to figure out (like who was the saboteur), but there was one major element that caught me by surprise at the end, and I’m curious to see how that will play out in a sequel.

There was a little bit of romantic chemistry between Amy and the “Elder,” but I thought it was realistic in that they were more focused on the problems aboard ship than they were on building a relationship. In fact, it was refreshing that things weren’t taken too far too quickly with their developing friendship. Sometimes it feels like writers of young adult books throw in make-out/sex scenes randomly because they are expected. I don’t mind them if they make sense within the plot, but much prefer a logical progression of relationships over gratuitous sex scenes.

I loved the story, especially the aspect of the passage of time while characters are frozen. I also enjoyed the characters, and I can’t wait to see how they address the problems that are sure to arise in the next book. This is exactly the type of science fiction I like.

For those interested in the sequel, there will be two more books in the series. The title of the second book is A Million Suns. To learn more about her books and to see updates about her writing, visit Beth Revis’s website.

Those who enjoy Across the Universe will probably also like Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder and its sequel Outside In.


*Coincidentally the movie “Across the Universe” was on TV while I was typing up this review (not that I watched it). I didn’t even know there was a movie with that title. I guess it’s just like when you learn a new word and then see it everywhere.more
I was hooked from the first page of this book. Science fiction, mystery, dystopia, space travel, and just a bit of romance told by alternating narrators at a good pace - it had almost everything I could want in a book. Just add some ghostly gothic Victorian stuff and some fantasy/magic elements, and there you go.

I need to discuss with someone if the physics in this book were correct in a certain situation (I know they're incorrect in terms of simple Newtonian physics, but I'm no expert on massive spaceship navigation), but I can't say anything about it here without spoiling something. If they are incorrect, then a pretty major part of the plot just doesn't make sense. Maybe I will ask my husband without relating it to the book. He wants to read this now after I gave him a synopsis of the first 50 pages, and he just cannot take anything whatsoever spoiled for him.

The solution to the mystery wasn't bad, but I didn't love it. I was hoping for something more sinister and involved. I still had to give this book five stars just because I was so absorbed into the book the whole time. There is still a somewhat interesting unveiling at the end, but part of it was kind of obvious from early on in the book. And there are plenty of interesting details revealed throughout the book as the reader discovers the "lies that Godspeed is fueled by." :P

I'm surprised this is going to be a series. The next books should be really interesting though because they could just be about anything. Where the second book might pick up is not obvious as there is not a cliffhanger ending, just an open but resolved ending.

I am happy to add this book to my favorites shelf. I love when I find a book that I can't stop reading. That's usually a 1 in 20 (or more, even) occurrence for me.more
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.Quick & Dirty: This was a great Sci-Fi filled with suspense, mystery, and a touch of romance. I found the story to be very intriguing and hard to put down.Opening Sentence: Daddy said, “Let Mom go first.”The Review:Amy has spent the last 300 years frozen on a space ship called Godspeed. She decided to leave earth with her parents and travel 350 years to inhabit a new planet. She’s not supposed to wake up until the journey has ended, but something goes terribly wrong and she is woken up 50 years to soon. Amy was 17 years old when her parents decided they wanted to leave earth. She loved her life on earth she had great friends, was in love with her boyfriend Jason, and just all-round loved her life. Her dad gave her the choice to stay behind and live out her life, but Amy couldn’t do that to her parents. She decided to give everything up and go with them, but now all her dreams have been shattered. She has been woken up, but her parents won’t be until they land on the new planet which isn’t for another 50 years. Amy is going to have to adjust to living on the strange ship. Everything is so different from what she has ever known. Most of the people are emotionless, they all look the same, and differences are frowned upon. As Amy struggles to adjust someone is starting to kill some of the other frozen on the ship. Amy has to figure out what is going on before her parents become the killer’s next victims.Elder has grown up on the ship Godspeed. He will someday soon become the next Eldest and lead the whole ship. Elder is 17 years old and still has a lot to learn about how things run. Eldest is supposed to be teaching him, but he is hesitant in doing so. There use to be another Elder, but he didn’t exactly agree with Eldest. He died a few years ago, and now Eldest has to start over with the new Elder. There was a plague on the ship that killed over three quarters of the people. After the chaos there needed to be a leader and that is how the Eldest system was started. There are breeding seasons that form generations. There is a single Elder that is born a few years before each generation that is designated to be the leader for that time. Elders generation is about to be breed and time is running out for him to learn. Eldest has kept so many secrets from everyone and one of the main secrets is the frozen people that are aboard the ship. As Elder starts to uncover Eldest’s secrets he realizes that everything is not as it seems. There are many mysteries that he uncovers and not all of them are good.The book is alters between Amy and Elders point of view. First we have Amy. She is a very loyal person. She left everything behind to be with her parents even though they gave her the option to stay on earth if she wanted. She searched for the truth even though it puts her in grave danger. There were times when she would let her past memories bring her down a little, but she usually recovered quickly and always tried to make the best of her situation. I thought she was a great heroine and I really connected well with her.Elder was an interesting character for me. At times I felt a little disconnected from him, but other times I really liked him. At first I think he was a little bit boring, but once he met Amy, he got more interesting. He is fascinated by Amy because she is so different than anyone he has ever met. She is beautiful, independent, smart, and just different. As he gets to know Amy better, he starts to figure out that things on Godspeed aren’t as normal as he thought. Once he has the motivation he starts to really dig and find out what is really going on. He always tries to be honest and do the right thing even when it’s hard. Overall, I liked Elder the more I got to know him and I am hoping that continues in the next book.This was really one of my first space books and I really enjoyed it. The plot had a lot of good twists and turns that kept me interested and surprised the whole way through. There was good action, blossoming romance, and an intriguing story line. While I didn’t love all the characters from the very beginning, by the end I really came to care about them. I felt that the writing was very well done and I would love to read the rest of the series. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes YA Sci-fi or space stories.Notable Scene: One of the doors is already open. A long metal tray extends from the mouth of the door like a tongue, and on that tray is a narrow clear box filled with frozen water speckled with blue glitter. Floating immobile in the ice, as still and silent as this empty room, is a girl.It’s her hair that pulls me forward. It is so red. I’ve never seen red hair before, not outside of pictures, and the pictures never caught the vivacity of these burnished strands tangled in the ice. Harley has a book of paintings he stole from the Recorder Hall, and one of the paintings is just a series of haystack, the covered in snow, the one at sunset. Harley went loons over it, saying how the artist was so brilliant to paint stuff with different light, and I said that was stupid, there’s light or there isn’t, and he said I was stupid, on Sol-Earth there were things like sunrise and sunset because the sun moves like a living thing and isn’t just an overrated heat lamp in the sky..This girl’s hair is more brilliant then the rays of the sun on Sol-Earth captured by an artist Harley said was the most genius man ever to live.I reach out to touch the glass that traps her inside, and only then do I realize how cold it is. My breath is rising in little clouds of white. My fingertips stick to the glass.I stare down at her. She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, but also the strangest. Her skin is pale, almost translucent white, and I don’t think it’s just from the ice. I lay my hand on top of her glass box, above her heart. My skin is a dark shadow over the luminescence of hers.FTC Advisory: Razorbill/Penguin provided me with a copy of Across the Universe. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.more
Fascinating world... A great intro to the Space Opera genre for girls w/ fab Dystopian & Mystery blending. Can't wait to read the next book!  more
This story was told through two different characters. Amy who has been cryogenically frozen, along with her parents, for the space trip to CentauriEarth which will take 300 years and Elder who was born on the ship and will be inheriting the governing position once Eldest passes. This story did not hold my attention much, I found the resident of the ship dull and boring, but I stuck with it to the end to find out who thawed out Amy 50 years before landing on CentauriEarth.more
I've seen the question asked a hundred times. If you could live in any book, which would it be? My choice? Across the Universe.

The reason is simple, this is one of those rare works in which you don't have to fill in the blanks. Beth Revis has imagined an entire universe for the reader to exist in, and she has woven it so tightly that there doesn't seem to be a single stitch through which the reader could slip.

To be completely honest, I did not choose to live in Across the Universe. It chose to live in me, to take me on a journey unfathomably far from home without ever leaving the warmth of my bed (though the chill of outer-space did find its way right into my bones).

Some of what I consider to be the best novels have inspired me to dream- to imagine something even greater than what is on the page. But with Across the Universe, Revis has done all of the dreaming for me. And even when I tried, I couldn't imagine anything greater than what she provided.

Yeah... Across the Universe is exactly the world I'd want to live in.more
(3 1/2 stars--beginning and middle were definitely stronger than the ending, but it did keep me reading throughout so I'll round up.)

I liked the back-and-forth: every other chapter was first person POV of either Amy or Elder; that was a nice plot device. (Without realizing it, I read two books like this at the same time--I listened to this one and read Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles--it worked in both cases. Sometimes it gets distracting and annoying, but these two were well done.) I liked the idea behind the book--Earth is becoming uninhabitable, key people are becoming cryogenically frozen and placed on a ship that is going to another planet to colonize--interesting. (Also more than a little conquistador-ish, but I tried not to dwell on that part.) That ship is set up like a mini world, with generations of humans born (the trip is supposed to take 300 years) to keep the ship going until they land (though we find out later that that's not necessarily the case). Amy, who was frozen back on Earth with her parents, is thawed out too early for reasons unknown, and someone on the ship seems to have it out for other "frozens" too. Who? Why? How can Amy adjust to a world she never expected or wanted? All good questions.

I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, but I do try to pick up ones that look interesting--I'm sure those that read a lot of that genre will probably be a lot more critical here than I am. I found the world-building to be interesting. Some of it is compelling, some of it is frightening, some of it, yes, has problems. Overall, though, I was going along with it--until the end. The wrap-up seemed like more of a let down. All along I was right on the edge, trying to figure out the plot twists and turns, and then--end. Over. The resolution made some sense, but on the whole left me a bit cold. I didn't actually realize that this was the first of a trilogy until I came on the site to write my review--knowing that, I guess it does explain it to a degree, but still I am left fairly unsatisfied. I am interested to see how Amy and Elder's story will continue, though, and will read book two when it comes out for sure. As for book three--well, I'll reserve judgement until I've finished two.more
Writing a space age sci-fi novel in a time when all the rage is supernaturals is a brave thing. It could be hit or miss. Thankfully, in the case of 'Across the Universe', it's a hit. Or nearly a hit, earning 3.5 stars from this little blogger.

I found things in the book I liked and other things I didn't. Though, to be honest, most of my grievances with 'Across the Universe' may come down more to taste than actual problems with the text. 'Across the Universe' is compelling. Helped along by short chapters and changing perspectives, I found it quite easy to immerse myself in this book. I devoured half the book in one sitting and finished it the next day.

What I liked about the novel changed a bit from opening the first page and closing on the last. I liked the idea Revis was going for because it's not commonly done in YA lit. The way the chapters weaved together was great, as well. Each little chapter from main character Amy's perspective gave us a nice idea of how 'new' the ship was and each little chapter from male lead Elder helped us understand the society. It made the idea behind the ship and the society itself a little easier to understand. (As a note, if you find yourself confused with what the ship looks like, turn your cover inside out-- there's a diagram. I wish I had known about it sooner because I was a bit confused about where things were located on the ship until I pulled out that darn map!)

Characters Amy and Elder were unique and engaging characters to read. My favorite character, however, was Harley, Elder's friend and Amy's companion during her days in the Ward. If ever she does write another book in this universe, Revis may want to consider a companion piece in Harley's point of view. I wish I could say that I was surprised when it came to who the bad guys were, but I had it figured out half way through. Even so, the main characters kept me interested.

If I had to compare this book to another popular series, it would be the 'Hunger Games' trilogy. This isn't exactly a 'happy' book. It's very low key in terms of joy and humor-filled banter. It's not something you'll finish with a sappy grin on your face. Towards the end, some really hardcore secrets are revealed that leave you (or at least me) thinking 'what?!'. That, honestly, is my only problem with the book. I wish we were given a happier ending. I'm actually a bit concerned about the characters futures... And I don't like being concerned about characters well being, especially when it seems like the book is a stand-alone.

'Across the Universe' is on store shelves now! While I don't think it is a book that will please those who don't usually enjoy Sci-fi, it is a good read. In my opinion, it gets 3.5 stars.

EDIT: Forgot to mention the romance. As pointed out by readers of the blog, the series has been put down when it comes to the romantic entanglements. I read this book with the idea of it being more sci-fi than romance, so it didn't even occur to me to mention it in my review, but be warned that this is more based in sci-fi than teenage romance, angst, etc. Again, it's very similar to 'Hunger Games' in that respect. Actually, the romantic storyline is one of the reasons why I am concerned about the characters post the final chapter!more
I ended up reading Across the Universe in two phases. I initially got the book from the library, as I was one of the first holds. Unfortunately, that meant my time with it was limited and I did not have time to finish it, since my library pile had gotten rather out of control. So I got about halfway through and had to return it and wait until I could re-procure the book to finish it. The point of all of this is that my opinion of the book had changed a bit when I came back to it.

The first half of the book did not really succeed in engaging me. I had heard so much hype and was so looking forward to it, and it did not live up to that. (Isn't that always the way with me?) Upon return, as I skimmed through the book to make sure I remembered everything and tried to locate my stopping point (because genius that I am I forgot to make note of that location), I found myself thinking how cool it was. Reading through the rest of the story was then a breeze.

The story still was not quite perfect (like many other teen dystopias, there's a section pretty much straight from The Giver), but I am super hopeful about the second book in the series. I really liked how shades of gray it was (not in the Jasper Fforde sense). Elder is the perfect example. He's a good a guy and I related more to him than to Amy (how much can I really relate to someone who runs for fun?), but he definitely has a dark side (and not in the oh no, I'm a vampire who might hurt you sense).

Dystopia fans should definitely not miss this one, as it is one of the awesome ones that is really a dystopia on several different levels (although more than the dictator would be spoilers). As a final enticement, here's a quote that encapsulates the book: "This ship is built on secrets; it runs on secrets."more
I am baffled that this book has received such high ratings and rave reviews.

The writing is vague. The characters are stunted. The story has some just plain... weird elements to it. And the plot was so transparent I predicted damn near everything that was going to happen.

I will write a more coherent review later. Right now I am just... glad it is over.

*****

OK, it is later, so let's give this another go. I am resisting the urge to write "ugh" and "bad book" over and over. I make no promises that this review will be in any way sensical. I will probably jump around a lot.

There are two characters we follow, Amy and Elder. I very much dislike when first person narrative swaps between two people. It lessens the personal connection. It makes me dizzy. And doing it every other chapter is a little... amateur. Especially when you insert chapters in that are under 100 words long, just so they can be called chapters, so you have a break in all the narrative coming from one side. OK. That was a little harsh. But so was reading it.

Amy, our fearless author tells us, is around 16 years old. But there are some huge discrepancies with how her age is portrayed. At 16, I wouldn't be calling my dad "daddy" every chance I got, even if we had been separated for a large amount of time. Maybe at first, but she talks about things someone much younger than her would enjoy (raspberries and the like). That was the too-young end of the spectrum. Then we find out she is no longer a virgin. Call me a prude, but she is 16! What kind of message does that send to the girls who read this?

The story and the characters have the depth of a kiddie pool. And I am not talking the normal YA shallowness. It is worse. Much worse. It is like the lights are on and no one is home. It isn't that they are acting like teenagers, it is that we don't see ANY motivation.

On the bad guy: Can you be anymore obvious?!

I... I just... I need to stop.

Will I read book 2? Maybe. But only because I am a completionist and a glutton for punishment.more
An excellent read! I was quite surprised by this book, since I heard a lot of positive reception but I still wasn't sure until I sat down and read it. While the alternating pov gets confusing and the climax is a little rushed, I did not want to put this down. Amy and Elder's stories are very personal, and you really see the strain they have underneath the circumstances. A wonderful science fiction read, too, as the society on the ship was completely different from what I had been expecting. Read now!more
This book left me wanting... Yes this book was good! I was interested to know how it ended, but I ended up guessing a lot of the twists long before they happened, and felt dissapointed by some of the outcomes. As of this moment I'm confused about most of my feelings for this book. I'm not sure if I'm sad ,angry, or just dissapointed that it isn't the book I thought it would be. I'm not saying it was bad a lot of people will love it, but as I said before it left me wanting. The bittersweet ending didn't give me that feeling of completion that I need to feel satisfied with a book.more
This book was very nice, and easy to read. I had some trouble putting the book away at times. The story is good, and so is the development of the main characters.more
When young adults leave their hometown and go off to college it can feel like they have left the planet. All of a sudden they are in a whole new town with all new people, there are new rules of engagement and you are suddenly expected to act and think very differently. Worst of all many if not all their friends and family, most importantly the ever-present parents, are now gone and they are on their own. In Beth Revis’ science fiction debut Across the Universe she manages to capture all of this perfectly as we follow Amy and her journey aboard the spaceship Godspeed. Unfortunately it is captured too well and that along with a few other hiccups resulted in this book not turning out as well as I hoped it would.Let me start this off on a positive note, Revis can write really, really detailed and realistic scenes. The book opens with Amy watching her parents be cryogenically frozen and then experience it herself. I have extreme needle phobia, it took forever to get through those pages. Even people who don’t have needle phobia squirm through that first chapter, it is intense and present and real and that kind of talent in a writer is extremely promising. She captures the small ship, the feeling of being trapped, the abandonment all very well and you experience it along with Amy and that is very powerful.Things go very wrong when Amy is woken up several decades too early. She discovers that the people awake on the ship have formed a dystopian society with more questions than answers. More frozen passengers are mysteriously being woken up and left to die in their melting ice. Amy is left with a mystery on her hands that she must solve before any more passengers are killed or before whoever tried to kill her comes back to finish the job. This is a mystery and a science fiction novel first and Revis gets the science right, she thinks through the ramifications of generations of humans living on the same small ship for 250 years and she even lays out the ship in a logical and smart way in respect to both the mystery and the science fiction.That being said there were some problems though. The description is there, the unique plot ideas and premise is there, meanwhile the characterization, the plot pacing, the romance advertised heavily on the front cover was not. The mystery can be solved by the reader very early in the book. Many of the characters felt too true to trope and two-dimensional, like they weren’t even real people. The plot pacing was very, very slow. It took forever to get through the book and oftentimes the story seemed to be spinning its wheels. The romance between Amy and Elder seemed contrived and unrealistic, it lacked any sort of chemistry. Really the relationship took a back seat to the mystery that was front and center and that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you ignore the cover.Focusing back on Amy, I have spoken before in reviews about YA authors that try so hard for the average teenage girl voice that they overcompensate. That happened here. Amy spent most of her time, on a space ship that she voluntarily signed up for, whining about being there. Yes, she was woken up early but most of the whine seemed to be about missing earth and sky and a boyfriend that had been dead for over 200 years by that point. She whined about missing her daddy and wanted to selfishly wake him up early even though the ship needed him at planet fall, whined about the people on the ship, and even got whiny and bratty with Eldest who had already told her he was willing to kick her off this ship since she threatened to disrupt things. It was annoying and I think more of teenagers than that. She was trapped, that I will admit. She was scared, that is fine. Her life was in danger, very much so. But address those concerns first, miss rain drops second.I don’t really want to touch on the attempted rape scene except that it was horrible, unexpected, served next to no purpose and Amy was perfectly fine way too fast to be believable. Worst of all there was no ramifications for anyone, it was like it never happened. If you aren’t going to do the very thorny issue of attempted rape justice don’t include it in your book at all.I’m really glad that a science fiction book for teens, and particularly teen girls, was not only written but then marketed so well. I do wish it lived up to that marketing a little better though. Dystopian fans will love the thought that went into the construction of the society in this book, science fiction fans will love the world building as far as the actual ship and the science behind many of the things that go on on-board are concerned. This is not really a romance though, there is only a dash of it and be ready for some very in-depth descriptions of some very horrifying scenes.I received this book for free to review.more
The story is about Amy getting frozen for 300 years to land on another planet with her family. But something occurs and Amy is unfrozen before everyone else, dodging death. She develops a friendship with Elder and a romance blooms between them. I did not enjoy this book at all. I thought Amy and Elder were not very well developed. The feelings were not very prefound and consistent. I felt like i could not relate to it at all.more
Since starting my blog, this is the first book I’ve read that I absolutely adored but feel like I have no idea how to review! It just left me in awe and I feel like no words can describe my love for this book. So I guess I’ll start off simple: with the cover.This cover is one of my absolute favourites. Seriously, that is drop dead gorgeous. I have a puddle of drool forming right now. I wish I could just melt into that universe and be one of those silhouetted figures! I wish my dreams looked like that. I loved this cover so much, that I just had to run out and make a new sci-fi outer space blog theme. So I did. Hehe.So, moving on, past my puddle of drool…This book starts out super strong! There is no long introduction, no waiting time. Page #1, Amy is getting ready to be frozen; frozen for a 300 year long journey to another planet. Cue fan girl scream. Seriously, this book is a perfect example of why I adore sci-fi!After Amy gets frozen, we start learning about Elder, a 16 year old boy living on the ship centuries after Amy gets frozen. At first I was like, “Nooo, take me back to Amy!” But I quickly got settled in with Elder. The chapters in this book alternate between Amy and Elder’s points of view, and Elder’s chapters are the ones that start off focusing on the conspiracies and mysteries in the space ship. Things get super interesting super fast! Plus, Elder is such a great character. I love how he’s independent and he thinks for himself. He doesn’t swallow the brainwash nonsense that some people try to feed him. He’s young so he still has a lot to learn, but he doesn’t accept everything his elders (haha) tell him as fact. He’s not afraid to question and doubt.This book is interesting because we’re not just learning about a future version of our world; we’re reading about a girl who’s also learning about a future version of our world! She’s in our position. She’s suddenly thrown centuries into the future, into a culture with different traditions, different appearances, and different ways of living. It’s just as strange to her as it is to us readers! Things are so different that suddenly she’s the freak on the ship; she’s the one who’s different and talks funny and looks funny and isn’t their kind of ‘normal.’ That makes her very easy to relate to and sympathize with.Across the Universe will keep you completely on edge! Each chapter is filled with some kind of beauty, excitement, mind blowing information, or entrancing love. From the moment Amy wakes up, she’s faced with new challenges, conspiracies to unravel, truths to face, hard facts to accept, and feelings she’s never felt before. I could completely place myself in her shoes and I felt every emotion she was feeling.Maybe the end was a little rushed, and there wasn’t a super awesome twist. The gist of it is that there’s a central conflict throughout the story: someone is unplugging the people who are cryogenically frozen and killing them. The answer to that does become pretty obvious, so it’s not a huge z0mg moment when it gets revealed. But there are other things you don’t even think about that are a complete shocker! So that makes up for it!This is definitely a must-read for any sci-fi/dystopian fans. Now excuse me while I go buy the second book!more
I REALLY thought I was going to love this book. The premise sounded interesting and the opening scenes had me on the edge of my seat. The book lost some of its mojo for me by the middle and I found myself losing interest. I think it came from not being overly fond of Elder. The chapters from Amy’s POV were much more enjoyable. I would have to give it three out of five stars and I’ll probably check out the sequel down the roadmore
Okay, so I'm a closet Trekkie and while I wasn't the huge Star Trek fan my dad and sister were, I grew to love it after the long hours they forced me to watch it. The rebooted movie with Chris Pine and Simon Pegg definitely had me loving it and it doesn't hurt that William Shatner is just an awesome Canadian. But what does Star Trek have to do with Across the Universe? Not much, well except the whole part about it being on a ship traveling through space, going where no man has gone before. Okay, so the similarities pretty much stop there, but it was enough to get me interested and considering I hate reading science fiction that really impressed me.Across the Universe looks at what happens to a society of people trapped together on a ship, unable to see even the stars, generation after generation, and what happens when an individual is added to their environment unexpectedly. Revis does an amazing job of slowly building up the mystery of what happened on the ship to change the people and an even better job of showing how Amy must come to terms with what is going to become her life.I have to say that even though I figured out certain plot points fairly early on, Revis did manage to surprise me with one aspect of the story, which of course I can't even hint at, or you'd figure it out much quicker then I did. I also loved how Amy doesn't sacrifice her feelings about what happened to her, but she retains her smarts enough to know that a certain amount of acceptance is the only thing that will keep her going.Definitely a book I would reread, and I can't wait to read the sequel!more
Summary: Amy is not sure about this whole freezing thing - her parents have been selected to travel to a new planet, and she has the option of going with them... but it will mean leaving behind everyone and everything she's ever known, not to mention being cryogenically frozen for three hundred years while their ship crosses the vastnesses of space. But something's gone wrong... Two hundred and fifty years into the voyage, Elder - the future leader of the entire ship - discovers that Amy's been woken up ahead of schedule. Amy has a hard time adjusting to life aboard the Godspeed - her red hair and pale skin make her stand out, and the ship's inhabitants are technologically advanced in some ways but woefully ignorant and odd in others. As Amy and Elder spend more time together, they both begin to realize that there's something going on aboard ship that Eldest isn't telling them... and when more frozen passengers begin to be unplugged, the race is on for the two of them to figure out the truth of what's going on, and just how deep the lies go.Review: I absolutely devoured this book. It's written in the exact format - short, action packed chapters from alternating points of view - that is the most dangerous for my bedtime, and I absolutely stayed up late more than one night because I just couldn't find a satisfactory stopping point; I always wanted to know what was going to happen next.Wait, scratch that. I pretty much always did know what was coming next; I figured out what was going on with the ship, and with the murders, pretty early on in the book. Revis is not particularly subtle about dropping clues, and the general outline of the plot was pretty predictable. However, the fact that I knew where the story was going and *still* stayed glued to the pages should give you a pretty good idea about how absorbing this book is.There were a lot of smaller elements that I enjoyed as well. While I got the general outline of the mystery right, I didn't always get the details, and there were some nicely creative touches throughout. I also appreciated that the romance between Elder and Amy was underplayed, not easy, and not focus of the story, which made it seem more realistic than it otherwise might have been. The pacing is also well done, and I like the fact that the ending wraps up the story, provides a natural stopping point, but still leaves you curious about what's going to happen next without feeling like you're committed to reading the rest of the series. However, there were also a few things that bugged me - the lack of subtlety in the building of the mystery was also apparent in some of the characterizations; for example, it's perfectly clear that Eldest is Not a Nice Guy without coming out and saying that he thinks Hitler was a wise leader. But overall, I devoured this book, really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to reading the next one. 4 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: The "waking up on a cryo ship that's gone badly wrong in the meantime" reminded me of Rob Grant's Colony, although the tones of the two books are pretty different. I'd definitely recommend Across the Universe pretty broadly for fans of YA dystopias or YA sci-fi more generally.more
Across the Universe is one of the first sci-fi books I've read in a long time. But the thing is, it's also kind of dystopia-ish as well. I don't know really how to describe the genre of this book, other than saying that it's a murder mystery on a space ship and it's kind of really strange.Don't get me wrong, I really did like this book. The plot was interesting enough, the two main characters, Amy and Elder were loveable and there was enough going on that I never truly got bored, even though it moved slowly. But I also found the writing to be vague and lacking that sense of being able to visualize what was going on. There were some scenes where I had no clue what was happening, but I just kept reading to get on to the next part. There was also the fact that I immediately knew who it was that was unplugging the frozen people. I don't know, maybe it was obvious and everyone is able to figure it out or maybe I have a really good chance in becoming a spy or private investigator in the future. It felt as if the author was trying to convince us that the murderer was one person, when really, there was no solid proof that it was that person. (Sorry for being so vague, but I don't want to give it away to the people who haven't read it!) The chapters alternate between Amy and Elder's point of view well. In some sections I wasn't clear on who was where and what was happening and why this person was doing this, but other than that the chapters transitioned nicely. One thing that I found to be really great about the alternating chapters was that they were short. Ten to twelve pages in Elder's POV at the most, and then you're put into Amy's head without having to go back to and reread the last page of her previous chapter. Does that make sense? I hope so! The last thing I'll mention is the relationship between these two. I never truly got it. It felt like they only liked each other because they were the only teens on the ship. Which makes sense, but it still felt a little forced. Hopefully Amy and Elder's relationship will evolve into something greater in the next books!I can't say much else about this book, other than it was good. I really didn't find anything amazing about it, but then again, it takes a special book for me to say "OMG YOU NEED TO GET THIS RIGHT NOW, READ IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" But, for my first sci-fi type book I've read since, I don't know, 5th grade, it was acceptable. I am excited to read A Million Suns, since I've heard that it's so much better than this one!more
My initial thought after closing the book last night was "Woooow.... That was really a debut?" After reading this, one thing is for certain, Revis is an amazing writer. The story left me breathless. At certain parts I found myself yelling and other times I found myself gasping at the book. What I liked most were the characters. From Amy to Harley to Eldest. Yes I liked Eldest, but not because of what he did, but because of how he was written. For Revis to be able to write and develop such a sick, sadistic, lying characters like Eldest and one who will not be named (for spoilers), and make me feel all the hatred that all the other characters did, she deserves applause lol Although I did like the book, the beginning starts out a little slow. It took a minute to get into it, but when I did, I had a day off and ended up devouring the end of the book. The end is where all the jaw dropping twists and turns occur as each secret is unlocked. With every one secret that you discover, it will become harder and harder for you to put the book down.more
In her debut book, Beth Revis provides an entertaining, science fiction adventure. Sci-Fi novels, in the Young Adult universe, are few and far between, but Across the Universe stands on its own and will surely find a place in the hearts of many fans.Amy, in present day, is frozen - along with her parents - and loaded on a ship launched for a new planet. Her parents are part of a crew that was deemed vital to securing and inhabiting the new planet. Amy is along for the journey. Three hundred years later, aboard Godspeed, Elder is the next in line to lead the ship’s people. After centuries onboard, there is no diversity, no difference, and no uniqueness among the people on the ship. The story is told from both Amy and Elder’s perspective. Amy’s story starts the day she is frozen and continues when she is awoken - fifty years before schedule. Elder’s story starts on Godspeed as he fights with Eldest (the current leader) to learn more about the ship for his future rule. Across the Universe is definitely futuristic. We have a self-contained space ship, cryogenics and some advanced medical and scientific sub-plots that I will not get into least I spoil it for you. The characters are well rounded and endearing - Harley being my instant favourite. I wasn’t a fan of Elder in the beginning, but I loved the way Beth handled his characterization. He grew on me in the end, becoming more complex than initially presented. The one thing I found lacking was that I failed to be wowed by the mystery. As soon as the villain was introduced I saw right through him - it was a little too obvious. A lot of time was spent trying to throw the scent off, but the actions of the villain were pretty transparent. However, the way the story progressed and the way questions raised were answered, helped in creating a good tension for the story and kept me quite engaged until the end. I find that I am curious to know what happens next in Amy and Elders life and am looking forward to the sequels.more
First, all I have to say is, WOW. This was such an excellent book that I had to read this without interruptions or I’d get angry. I LOVED this book!I do admit, I was skeptical at first. I was concerned because there might be scientific jargon, and that it would be difficult to understand but it wasn’t! and there was no hard to read science lingo here either! everything was well described and in clear detail. I absolutely loved the concept of living on a ship, and the dynamics on how people related to one another, and how they survive and live together. The history of the ship and its’ people is also interesting to read up on. The actual description of the ship itself was fun to read, it made me think of Star Trek immediately. Since this is mostly coming from Amy’s point of view some of the things she encounters are strange and rather disturbing. There is a dark ugly side to how this ship is run and once everything is laid out in the open (you’ll be blindsided a couple of times), there’s a great amount of uncertainty but leaves the book with such a great ending and you’ll be left wanting more!The mystery behind who wanted to kill her was also well thought out. There is a bit of a guessing game involved - but not much and although the mystery is the main theme of the book, there’s other things to focus on such as how Amy’s character develops throughout the novel as she tries to adjust to this kind of living. The characters in the book are also really well written. I did take a liking to Harley. Amy and Elder on the other hand, are interesting enough to read - especially Amy as she has lots to worry about.I am definitely looking forward to the sequel! It’s a perfect science fiction read for the younger adult age bracket. Not too much scientific lingo to confuse the reader, just enough to make it a good wholesome setting that can be easily pictured. The plot is fantastic and well worth the read, and the surprises go off like bombs when they’re revealed. I definitely think this is worth the time to go through.more
Beth Revis had me totally and completely transfixed by her debut, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. I've always had a soft spot for science fiction, and YA is sorely lacking in this department, so, understandably, I was pumped when I first heard about this novel... Still, nothing could've prepared me for just how epic it was going to be!I feel the need to mention that this is one of those hyped novels that actually lives up to the hype. This was so, so rewarding for me. There's nothing worse than looking forward to and daydreaming about a book, then finally having it in your hands and realizing that it isn't at all what you thought it was going to be. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE ended up being all I expected and more. This debut is a bit of everything, without being overwhelming. Fans of romance, mystery, dystopia, and sci-fi will all find familiar elements within ACROSS THE UNIVERSE's pages. That said, these elements are all seamlessly interwoven, so if you're usually not a fan of sci-fi or romance or whichever genre, you'll still enjoy this book. As the story unfolded and history and secrets were revealed, I found myself entranced by life upon the Godspeed. The population upon the ship live such caricatures of real life and they're totally unaware... it's actually quite disturbing in a can't-look-away-because-it's-so-sad-and-horrible-and-what's-going-to-happen-next? kind of way.I really liked that there's a map of the spaceship included on the book's first pages. I didn't try to figure out what everything was when I first started reading, but, as the story progressed, it was helpful to be able to flip to diagram and keep track of where things were the action was happening on the ship. I'll definitely be reading Revis' next installment! She dishes out the perfect mix of drama, romance, mystery, and creepy science to keep my eyes glued to the page. And, semi-secretly, I'm hoping that ACROSS THE UNIVERSE starts a sci-fi YA trend... I'd definitely be a supporter!more
First, a few comments about the audiobook version, which was how I "read" this book: It felt rushed and cheaply put together, and I won't be picking up any more audiobooks from this producer. At the end of each disc, there was no indication that the disc was over (like the typical "end of disc one" voice that tells you it's time to change the CD) and instead the disc would simply start over again, without any break of any kind. More than once, I listened to a few minutes of the beginning of the disc again before realizing I'd already heard it (and that might tell you something about the story, too...). I also thought that the chosen readers, while I'm sure they're good at what they do in their own right, were wrong for an audiobook. The reader for Amy, the female main character, kept her voice soft and low for the majority of her chapters, which doesn't work well when you're listening to an audiobook, simply due to the ambient noise in a house or car. She also trailed her voice at the end of sentences with alarming frequency, which made it nearly impossible to understand what she was saying at the end of a sentence without blasting the volume to uncomfortable levels. The reader for Elder was okay, but the way he said certain words really grated my nerves (emphasizing certain syllables). Doesn't anyone listen to these things before releasing them?!?! Ugh.But on to the story itself. And I'll give this warning:Yes, there will be minor ***spoilers*** ahead, so you may want to skip this review and come back if you're hoping to read it sometime in the future.I'd heard so much hype about this book -- and I read the author's blog, and I think she's a fun, intelligent woman -- that I had big expectations for it. Unfortunately, I don't think it lived up to the hype, and I was more disappointed than satisfied. But, I'm hoping that it's a reflection of "first novel" syndrome, and I'm sure the author will come into her own with each following novel. Plus, it's hard to say how much of a hand the publisher had in changing certain aspects of the novel in the editing phase... I always wonder that with first novels... The premise is more or less solid, if not thoroughly explained. A ship is sent across the universe on a 300-year journey to a new planet, where a new Earth will be colonized. Various military personnel and people with vital skill sets are cryogenically frozen on the ship, to be revived upon landing. Exactly why this is happening isn't as thoroughly explained as I'd liked (there was some kind of war, or financial crisis, or something, but if the situation is as dire as it sounds, sending one ship on a 300-year journey seems a little lacking in terms of viable solutions to a worldwide problem), but I can overlook that for the sake of setting up a sci-fi atmosphere. Amy, the main character, comes along with her parents on the journey, but someone wakes her up 50 years too soon. I found it a little annoying that we make it nearly a third of the way through the book before Amy is woken up, because we already know it's going to happen -- it's on the back cover blurb -- so I found that ruined the anticipation and made me impatient to get to the point of the story. I blame the publisher for that one. Once she awakes on the ship, she meets Elder (stupid, stupid name) who is "next in line" to be in charge of the ship. He's the pupil of Eldest, the current leader, and Elder and the rest of the ship blindly follow Eldest's leadership. It's immediately obvious that Eldest is going to be made out as the primary villain of the story, even though we don't get much information about his motivations or reasons for doing what he's doing -- beyond the very clear indication that all of his actions and "changes" to the lifestyle of the ship's people (not the frozen people, but colonists who keep the ship running and moving to reach their destination) are for the good of the people aboard. He honestly believes that everything he's doing is for them. For their sake, and to keep them alive.Amy, who convinces Elder that the way things are done is "not natural" (of course not, you've been asleep for 250 years on a spaceship, obviously things are going to run differently because of confined nature of a spaceship), begins doing whatever she can to subvert Eldest's power and, in the meantime, try to solve the mystery of who is unplugging the "frozens" (and the murderer is obvious from the very beginning, FYI). Now, I have piles and piles more to say about how this plays out -- about the gratuitous "almost rape" scene that serves no purpose, about the unbelievable way Amy still calls her father "Daddy" when she's 17-years-old and never ever mentions her also-frozen mother, about the frustrating end to the most interesting character in the story who actually ISN'T a main character, the forced / lack of romance, and so forth -- but I'm going to move to what bothered me the most.Eldest, who is made out to be a horrible human being by the main characters, does everything he does for the sake of the people he leads. He does everything he can to keep them alive, and we're told that each Eldest passes on how to do this to the Elder below him. That means Eldest is simply doing what he was taught to do, which has been done for generations now, and that it's all he knows HOW to do. He believes it's right. That's the ship's morality. That's the way it's always been done, and he honestly believes he's doing the right thing. So how does that make him a villain??? In fact, when I heard how the ship and the people sustained themselves and why things are done that way, you know what? I agreed with it. It made sense. So when Amy and Elder started messing with the way things are done, I wanted to grab them by the shoulders and shake some sense into them, and demand "How are YOU going to keep the ship running without people going crazy and killing themselves, or starving, or becoming weak due to inbreeding, or running out of other resources???" Yep, that's right. That's why the ship ran the way it did: Because prior to the establishment of the Eldest/Elder system, people started going crazy and committing suicide (for another reason that I won't mention here, but damned if it doesn't make perfect sense the way the first Eldest dealt with the problem), and resources were starting to become a problem, and there were serious issues arising because of the limited gene pool for reproduction. I'm sorry, but I can't see Eldest as a villain. Yes, things worked differently and seemingly "unnaturally" to a person from present-day Earth, but on a spaceship, on a centuries-long journey, things HAVE to be different. It's a whole different situation, with limited resources and nowhere to get more. So when the main characters started screwing around with what worked, I couldn't cheer them on. It just made me angry. And you know what? I realize there's a second book so presumably some of these issues get addressed, but all I can think is that, realistically, they've just provided the catalyst for the slow death of everyone aboard. And I almost hope it happens, but of course, it won't. It's weird cheering for the "bad guy"... but when the teenagers are so self-involved and illogical (changing things just because they're "different" from the way one 17-year-old from generations past thinks the way life should be... hmm, wonder what she'd think if she time traveled back to Victorian England? Or Ancient Rome?) and can't think through anything like cause / reaction or determine viable solutions to the problems beyond stopping what they think is wrong, I can't help but feel very, very sorry for the one person who spent his entire life devoted to the people aboard the ship, only to have it ended by the closed mind of a selfish little girl.more
Can I just start off by saying OH MY GOODNESS, this cover is gorgeous. I'm a sucker for all things space and universe-related. I probably would have bought this book judging solely from its cover! Which, incidentally, I've heard you're really not supposed to do. (Whoops.) Even though my first instinct was to cringe away at yet another Beatles reference in popular culture (The Beatles were great and all, but there are other bands, you know), I am infinitely happy that I gave this book a chance. Across the Universe is a stunning debut from newcomer Beth Revis. From the very first page, this book had a hold on me. I couldn't read it fast enough. It gave me goosebumps at times, heartache at others. I don't have very much experience with sci-fi thriller books (It's never really been my cup of tea), but this book makes me want to run out and grab handfuls of them. The story is told through the alternating POVs of Amy and Elder. Usually, I try to steer clear of books with multiple POVs (I find them to be extremely annoying, on the whole), but Revis makes it work very, very well in this one. The reader experiences the story from the eyes of girl who is observing the ship for the first time, and also through a boy who has grown up onboard, providing a nice juxtaposition between the two. I loved to have the POV of a female in a genre that has mostly been dominated by male protagonists. One of the most refreshing things about this book, something that I loved about the Hunger Games trilogy as well, is that Revis doesn't shy away from uncomfortable scenes. She describes the freezing process in vivid, excruciating detail, pulling the reader into her story at full-throttle. I found Amy to be a relatable and likable protagonist. I could practically feel the emotions seeping from the pages, as she watches her parents endure the pain of being cryogenically frozen, as she tries to compromise her love of her parents and the need to be with them with her desire to stay on Earth where everything is familiar and safe.CONCLUSION Overall, Revis offers a promising, enjoyable, beautifully-written story that should help to rekindle the interest in the YA sci-fi genre. I know I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!more
The Good Stuff Kept thinking of Serenity (Hmm Phydus = Pax) Starlost and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy while reading (that is a good thing) Amy was # 42 teee hee hee (For you non geeks according to Hitchhikers, 42 is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything) Became hooked right away with what was going on on the ship very suspenseful at times - nice mystery where you are not sure who is good or bad -- and some gasp moments Some hilarious dialogue (Especially some of the inner dialogues) Fabulous cover (hardcover edition) Liked the fact that it is told in both Elder and Amy's POV Revis is a good storyteller - this would probably be fantastic as an audio book Tons of sci fi nerd referencesThe Not So Good Stuff Both Amy and Elder come across as younger than they actually are, almost immature which threw me off a couple of times considering the plot Some of the plot points aren't really logical or make sense if this situation was real Hated the make up slang (personal preference here) same thing happened when I read The Maze Runner series - its irritating and in this case very much overusedFavorite Quotes/Passages"But the long and short of it is that you have to be naked, and neither of them wanted me to see iehter of them naked )not like I wanted to see them in all their nude glory, gross), but given the choice, it'd be best for Mom to go first, since we have the same parts and all.""I moved to the Keeper Level was about Sol-Earth's religions. They were magic stories, fairy tales, and I remember laughing myself silly when Eldest told me how people on Sol-Earth were willing to die or kill for these fictional characters.""Everything is wrong here. Shattered. Broken.Like the light.Like me.I never thought about how important the sky was until I didn't have one."Who Should/Shouldn't Read Would recommend this for the more reluctant YA reader The more mature YA reader will find it a tad juvenile3.75 Dewey'sI borrowed this from Jennmore
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