Sunday, February 20, 2011

Book Review: Across the Universe

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 a tiny 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.

When I started Across the Universe I didn't really know what to expect from it. In fact I don't think I even bothered to read the complete summary before I dived right in. All I knew was that it was a sci-fi/dystopian with some mystery, romance, and a huge twist at the end. I had read mixed reviews so I tried not to get my hopes up about it. I guess I didn't have to worry because this book ended up blowing me away! It was just FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC! Literally the first word out of my mouth after I finished was "WOW!" Yep. It was that good. I read the last 250 pages in one night (staying up till nearly 2 AM while I was at it) because I was just so engrossed. I haven't been that glued to the pages of a book since reading The Hunger Games Trilogy. No joke.

The cover of this book is gorgeous. It drew me in immediately. But it also made me a little wary because it makes the book look like more of a romance. In fact I distinctly remember almost deciding not to put this on my book list just because I thought it was only about romance. Well never judge a book by its cover because Across the Universe is most certainly not a romance! Yes, there was a small amount of romantic subtext but the mystery/thriller storyline definitely took center stage. And boy did I LOVE the mystery of Across the Universe! And the twists. Oh my gosh the twists to this story WERE CRAZY. I saw some things coming but then there were others that were totally out of left field. I was pretty much sitting in my bed with my jaw dropped during the whole second half because stuff was so insane. All I can say is that Beth Revis definitely knows how to keep a reader on the edge of their seat. 

The world building in Across the Universe is pure genius. Everytime I picked up the book I would immediately be transported aboard the ship because the writing perfectly expressed the sterile and inhuman quality of Godspeed. Everything about the ship was just so claustrophobic and fake. Air that had been breathed and recycled for hundreds of years, open areas with "grass" and "sky." Amy and Elder's world is terrifying in its reality.

I'm a big fan of dual narrative in books and I especially liked it in this one. I loved being able to switch back and forth between Elder's mind and Amy's mind. They were both so different, her from earth, and him never setting foot outside of the ship, and yet they both had the same humanity to them. Elder wasn't cold and calculated like some of the others on the ship. He was thoughtful and he wanted to seek out the truth just as much as Amy did. Both Elder and Amy had good character development throughout the story. Elder had a bit more than Amy but overall they both realized the same things and had grown into brave new leaders.

Across the Universe is definitely my favorite read so far this year. It was just SO GOOD. If you haven't read it yet you need to. RIGHT NOW. I do have one warning though. There is this totally creeptastic part in the book involving the "mating season." It was BEYOND CREEPY. However it was a necessary aspect to the plot so I can't fault it too much. Just thought I'd warn you guys. Across the Universe earns 5 out of 5 ice cream cones!

5 Words to Describe this Book
Discover truth, surprising twists, AMAZING.

Fortunately for me Across the Universe is going to end up being a trilogy! YESH! The book doesn't end at a cliffhanger which I liked. Cliffhangers always kill me. I definitely can't wait to see what Beth Revis does with the sequels.

Check out Beth Revis' awesome website here and the official Across the Universe website here.

Julia :)


  1. Great review, Julia! I loved the world building in AtU, but I was pretty disappointed in the lack of romance and the ending. Definitely still a good book though! :)

  2. I've read many positive reviews about this book--it's definitely on my TBR list!


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