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Monday, May 28, 2012

YA Review: Across the Universe

Before I type this, I want to tell you all something about the review. I'm going to be using the back blurb because I like it better than goodreads. But it has more details and if you want to avoid them, I'll understand and you can skip that part. So, goodreads link here. There will be more details in the one below, but I'll put a bunch of space after it before I start the review part so you can scroll. Everyone good with that?

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Published: January 11th, 2011
Genre: YA Science Fiction. (Not dystopian, in my opinion.)
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 398
Part of a series: Yes and that is killing me inside because I don't have book 2 yet and I can't get the third one any time soon because I do not have that kind of power and 20FREAKING13 PEOPLE! *cough* I mean, yes.
Amazon link. (The paperback is only 10 bucks when I'm typing this. And, hello, 400 page book. Not a bad deal.)

Summary (from the back of the book): Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger abord 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 uplugged, 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 2312 passengars 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.

(See, I told you I was putting spaces between the summary and the review.)

Review: You guys. YOU GUYS. I have so MANY FEELINGS about this book and I'm SO glad I have a blog where I can talk about this kind of thing because if I didn't, I would explode because my bestie who just read Across the Universe and A Million Suns, too, went to be and I still have all these FEELINGS.

First of all, the darn thing sucked me in like quicksand. Honestly, I was just going to read for a little bit. For a few minutes, maybe, until my mom got home and I had to help make dinner and stuff. I didn't even have that much time. I thought. Then the next thing I knew, it was six hours later and I had read a 400 page book with barely a break for air. You know, besides tweeting and that one time where I got lost on Youtube for ten minutes. That happens to other people, right?

Beth Revis' writing is at time blunt, completely without sugar-coating in moments that I can't imagine writing about. The scene where Amy and her parents are being frozen was heartbreaking, crystal clear with details and emotions and... it was amazing. And it was the opening scene. No pulling punches in this book. Not that anything was done for shock value, mind you. It was more like, "Here are the facts. What are you going to do about them?"

Plot: I don't want to spoil anything for you guys that skipped reading the longer blurb. (Handy how that works out for me who hates writing this part of the review, huh?) So let's just say that the plot was incredible. I was shocked at almost everything in the book and I'd like to think I'm hard to surprise.

Characters: Something that is really neat about Across the Universe was that it was told from both Amy and Elder's POV, alternating every other chapter. Both are first person present tense if you're wondering. If you're like me and you forget to read the chapter headers that SAY who's narrating which chapter, it's confusing for a minute, but just realize that they do alternate and you'll be fine.

Amy was... oh, she was awesome. In the first chapter (it's not a spoiler if it's in the first chapter, okay?), she finds out that the ship's launch has been delayed a year - after she's already been cryo frozen. She thinks, when it's too late to go back, "I want my year back." And even after a heck of an opening chapter, the kind that grabs you by the heartstrings and clings tight, who can't understand that kind of pain?

What I really liked about her was that she was normal. She wasn't Supergirl. She wasn't perfect. She was scared and angry and normal. When the setting of the book is a spaceship 300 years in the future, it's a sharp contrast that is seriously cool.

Elder... well, he was not normal. (And yes, he was hot. Like whoa.) But he was interesting, too, and having him narrating made the book a lot more than just Amy's story. But I will not say another word about him because the most interesting things about him, plot-wise, are total spoilers. So I'll give you a quote instead:
pg. 38
          I bet when Eldest posed for his portrait, he was reveling in the one thing I can't stand about life aboard the ship: the perfect evenness of everything.
          And that's why I'll never be as good an Eldest as he is.
          Because I like a little chaos.

As for the rest of the characters, it was fascinating thinking about just how people would react or change in this situation and I think Beth Revis does a fantastic job with that.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: It ended and I don't have all three. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

PG-13 stuff: Very little language. Some, not a ton. Many of the character use "frex" instead of... you know, but other than that, there's not a ton language-wise. For other stuff... it's for older/mature readers. I personally have no issues with anything in it.

Cover comments: I'm using the paperback cover because that's what I read but I liked the hardcover better. It's totally smexy, right? (Also, have you seen the German cover? It's very similar but not quite the same. Interesting, huh?) The paperback is fine. I was thinking my cousin might like this book and if I buy it for him, I'll probably try to buy the paperback because the hardcover is kinda pink and he is a dude, but I like the hardcover better myself.

Also, I don't think the paperback is super eye-catching. I didn't recognize it on the new book shelf at the library at first. (I'm really near-sighted, mind you, and couldn't read the title from where I was.) Like I said, it's fine, though. I like that the clothes the girl is wearing on the cover don't scream twenty-first century.

Conclusion: Did you guys ever see that Disney movie Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century or read the book This Place Has No Atmosphere by Paula Danziger (which, zomg, has a cute new cover!!!) or... heck, Wall-E, even? Did you like those? You'll like this. Never read or seen any of those? You'll like this. Did you find my blog looking for book report information (shame on you! Do your own homework!)? Read this. You'll like it. At least, I really, really hope you will because I loved it. Four and a half roses.

Other notes:

- Amy called the thing she was cryo frozen (cryofrozen? cryo-frozen?) in her Snow White coffin. I thought it was a lot like Sleeping Beauty. Which, oddly, sometimes last year I tweeted about wanting to read a Sleeping Beauty book about a girl frozen into the "23rd and a half century". Weird, huh?
- "Holy crudnuts."
- A song played while I was reading this and it seemed to fit really well. Miserabile Visu by Anberlin. (Linked to youtube.)
- "Ahh!"

That's it! Oh, also, Happy Victoria Day!!

Peace and cookies,


  1. OMG, Zenon! I loved those movies.

    I really liked the alternating chapters. Otherwise, I don't think I would have understood Elder at all.

  2. the hardcover is reversible! what you see is the girlie version, but there's a boy cover that you can put on the hardcover. (I'll tweet you a picture.)

    also, I'm glad you liked this one! I love the series and book two is better than the first one!


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