Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review–Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595143971


I have never liked Science Fiction. I start off by saying this because I think that the fact that I was able to lose myself in this book so completely that I finished it in a day and a half shows how wonderfully written Across the Universe is. A brilliant story that is unfolded layer after layer, allowing the reader to understand more and more about the world and the people with each chapter. 

With the first chapter, I was a little freaked out as the MC, Amy watches her mother getting cryogenically frozen. Needles and tubes and what not, ewww, definitely not my cup of tea and I skipped most of that. Once the book really gets started, as Godspeed is on its 300 year trek to a new planet, I was enthralled with the society that has been created on board. There were so many questions about how and why Eldest, the one chosen to lead the people on the ship, makes the decisions that he does, what it must take to lead a group of a couple thousand people who are confined in that place for their entire lives, and the ways the society has changed from generation to generation. Some of those questions were answered, many were not.

Elder’s relationship with Amy is very unique from many of the more recent YA books I’ve read. And in a good way. While there was an immediate attraction, there wasn’t that obsessive love that is so common in many novels. This was more of a budding friendship that you can see slowly changing to the possibility of love. The background characters were intriguing as well. I loved the artistic and moody Harley and the quirky odd Doc, and wanted to learn more about them.

The plot pacing was steady, keeping me involved and interested in what was going to happen next. Some of what I did not enjoy about the book was that the confrontation at the end felt rushed and tied up too neatly as far as the characters involved and the story ended rather abruptly. I’m curious as to whether there is going to be a sequel to Across the Universe to answer all of those unknown elements that I was left wondering about.

One of the things that initially grabbed my attention about the book was the Authors note at the beginning where she explains her inspiration for Across the Universe. Her upbringing in rural North Carolina and the small town nature of some such places. As I live in NC myself in a town with a population of 400, I can completely understand what she means. Then she goes on to say that what she did was “wrapped the county in steel and threw it into the stars” Brilliant. I look forward to reading more from Beth Revis.

Rating – 4


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