Sunday, January 23, 2011

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe
By: Beth Revis
Published by: Razorbill
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
416 pages
I bought this book
5 stars!!!!

From Goodreads...

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

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

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

"Great people talk about ideas.
Average people talk about things.
Small people talk about other people."
Author: Unknown

Beth Revis is obviously a great person because Across the Universe isn't just a book about people and things, it's a book about ideas and it goes deep. Can I gush a little here?? I freakin' loved this book. Devoured it in two days and didn't want it to end. The world of Godspeed was fully realized, I could picture everything in my mind vividly while I was reading. And it was a fascinating world. Described as being the size of the island of Iwo Jima, the ship was divided into levels, each with a specific function and was capable of carrying 3000 people, again, each with a specific function. Leading them all was Eldest, a title passed on to each generation's leader.

Amy was accompanying her parents on Godspeed. They were part of mission headed to a planet 300 years from our Earth to establish a new civilization. Cryogenically frozen prior to departure, they were supposed to be awakened when the ship finally landed, however SOMETHING happened to wake Amy up 50 years ahead of time. What she awakens to is unlike life on earth. No, life on Godspeed for the over 2000 people aboard ship is very different and Amy starts to wonder just what is going on and who exactly is responsible.

The book raises a lot of questions that I found very interesting to think about. Eldest is training his successor, Elder, and teaches him things such as the three causes of discord. The first thing he mentions is differences among people. There ARE no physical differences among the people on Godspeed. They all have the same color skin, the same color hair, the same color eyes. Eldest brings up the problems on earth related to how people treat others who are different. This is just one example of the ideas that fuel life aboard the ship. Is Eldest power hungry? Or is he doing what he truly thinks is best for the survival of "his" people? Is ignorance bliss? Or is it better to face the truth, no matter how difficult that truth may be to live with? Lots of questions are asked, and while the mysteries do finally get solved, I don't think there are really any easy answers for the moral questions pertaining to life on the ship.

The cover of the book looks all romantic and dreamy, but this isn't a love story (that's a good thing by the way.) The story and the characters are strong enough to not have to rely on romance to be compelling. I could have done without the romantic aspects all together to be completely honest. And I do have to add there were a couple of scenes near the end that felt a bit forced, but it really wasn't enough to make me love this book any less. Across the Universe stands head and shoulders above a lot of what is out there. Beth Revis has stepped outside of the box, left formulaic YA in the dust and has boldly gone where...well, you get the picture=)

Visit Beth's website here


Aylee said...

Wow, high praise! I love reading gushing reviews because it makes me all the more excited to read the book myself!

Amber at The Musings of ALMYBNENR said...

Wow, what a wonderful review! I haven't read this yet, but it's on my list. I'm even more excited to read this now after your discussion about the various questions the novel raises. I've been waiting for the Kindle price to go down on this one but between all of the stellar reviews and everyone's excitement over the reversible cover, I'm wondering if I should just take a chance and buy the hardcover.

Leanna Elle said...

Love your review! I've heard so many great things about this one. I'm looking forward to reading it!

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

Whoa! Everyone looks the same?! Wasn't expecting that.

I love good world-building and if you were able to vividly picture the scenes as you were reading that is good indication to me that the author pulled it off!

I just read an interesting post regarding the whitewashing of the cover on The Book Smugglers website. I don't know if you have had a chance to check it out.

Still, can't wait to read this one.

Midnyte Reader said...

Cool, this book has intrigued me. I'll have to check it out.

Mrs. DeRaps said...


I loved it, too, and for the IDEAS, like you say. Reading it reminded me of my first reading of the Hunger Games...I was completely swept away and it made me THINK. It was gorgeous...From the floor plan to the world plan! I cannot wait for more.

You should read Divergent when it comes out...I loved it and would love to know what you think of it.

Jenny said...

Okay, I skimmed your review and just read your final thoughts because I'm in the middle of this one right now. I'll come back and read more thoroughly once I'm done, but I'm glad to know you enjoyed it so much!

Beverly said...

Thanks for stopping by the Wormhole and commenting on my Unearthly review - glad to know I'm not alone in it!

Misty said...

Ooh, glad to hear this is a good one - I just bought it!

Tales of Whimsy said...

Awesome point!
I loved how it made me think.
Like about history and how precious it is and easy to manipulate.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to join you and read about Amy and Godspeed. It sounds totally engrossing. I have it on pre-order and and so glad the UK release day is soon!

Thanks for a great review :)

Books for Company said...

Everyone seems to love this!

Lola said...

I really loved this one as well! Great review! I like you captured some great highlights of the book! I am sooooo looking forward to the sequel! :D