Book Review: Across the Universe

Across the Universe
Published By: Razorbill
Release Date: January 2011
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Library
Challenge: 2011 Debuts (Story Siren)
Challenge: 2011 Audiobook Challenge

Wow. I am in awe of Beth Revis' creativity. Perhaps this is because I am not a Science Fiction reader, but I just loved the society she created - not in the sense I would want to live there because life on Godspeed would suck, but I love how she explained the structure of society. Beth Revis lures readers into her futuristic world and keeps you actively reading and puzzling throughout the novel.

What would you do if you were given the choice to finish our your days on Earth in a normal fashion OR be frozen and placed on a spaceship headed for another planet? Would you be able to leave behind everything you'd ever known for the chance to start a life somewhere no human has ever been? I am not sure what I would have done if faced with this decision, but Amy barely hesitates as she decides to go under the ice and sleep for 301 years in a glass box filled with ice along side her parents. 

It is the future and life on Earth is reaching its capacity. New worlds need to be discovered and societies need to be forged. Life must be able to exist for humans outside of our current world. Amy's parents, a genetic splicer and a military man, are needed to create this new world. Amy, however, is an unessential. She's only allowed to go along for the ride because her parents are important enough to insist she be included in the passenger list. Amy's father gives her the choice to walk away and finish her life on Earth, but she doesn't take it. I found myself baffled by this decision. Her love for her parents is so strong she couldn't bear to see them leave without her. It takes a strong teenager to give up her boyfriend, school, dreams, and modern life to be frozen for centuries. I realize if Amy had made any other decision there wouldn't have been much of a story, but I was still shocked.

The freezing process made me actually shiver and I could only begin to imagine how painful that must have been. It is not something I would have been able to do. I was instantly hooked by Beth Revis' writing style and her description. She does a nice job of creating strong story telling voices for Amy and Elder. However, I tended to enjoy Amy's sections more. Perhaps this is because as a female I related to her more. Perhaps it is because my preference leaned toward the character who lived more of a life that I had as a teen.

Beth Revis constantly kept me on my toes throughout this read. As soon as I would think I had things figured out - another wrench would be thrown into the mix and throw my theories totally off track. I was shocked when I got to the final chapters to see some twists I didn't consider. This is another book that I found difficult to review because I didn't want to give away  anything crucial. I also intentionally did not read a lot of the hype or other reviews before tackling this read. As a result, I think I enjoyed it more than I would have otherwise. I learned my lesson with Matched which was totally ruined for me after having such high expectations.

Finally, I didn't give this book a 5 for three main reasons. One, there were too many loose ends for me. I know this is a series and they will get wrapped up at some point, but I just didn't feel like the ending totally rang true. Second, I was a little disgusted by The Season. While I understood the purpose of The Season, I just found it to be vulgar and disturbing. Third, even though I enjoyed Amy's sections more, I did get frustrated by her whining at times. I just wanted to reach through the pages and smack her around. Yes, she had some traumatic experiences, but snap out of it. It was the same issue I had with Bella Swan when reading the Twilight Saga.

Comments on Audiobook: I enjoyed the narrators and thought they did a great job of bringing these characters and their experiences to life.

One Last Gripe: I didn't like how the elderly were treated. It made sense to the novel, but it bothered me.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I enjoyed that it was something totally different from what I have been reading and seeing on the shelves lately.

First Sentence: Daddy said, "LET MOM GO FIRST."

Favorite Character: Harley

Least Favorite Character: Doc

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

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

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

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


  1. Great Review, Andrea!! I have a review of this coming up this week! I loved this book. Elder fascinated me. And I too loved Harley! What a cool book!

  2. @Megan - Thank you! I am excited to see your review.

  3. Great review! i will add this book to my TBR list :)

  4. Great Review! I'll be getting this in the mail the next month. Can't wait to read it!


Post a Comment

We love your comments!