Friday, January 7, 2011

Book Review: Across The Universe by Beth Revis

Across The Universe by Beth Revis

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 416 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595143971
ISBN-13: 978-1595143976
Source: Burrowed from the wonderful Coffee & A Book Chick
Cover: Are there enough words to describe this cover? Breath-taking, heart stopping, eye popping? Like a kitten, this cover sells itself. Especially after reading this story, the cover becomes even more significant.
First Sentence: " Daddy said, "Let Mom go first." "

The Mini-Review: This book is freakin' brilly. With superb writing, a world so close to ours we can touch it, and characters to cheer for, you won't find better than Across The Universe. For fan starving after The Hunger Games trilogy, this novel is absolutely for you.

Book Summary:

Amy and her parents are cryogenically frozen passengers aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. They have been led to believe they will wake up on a new planet, 300 years in the future.
But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy is mysteriously unplugged from her cryo chamber, the near-victim of an attempted murder. Amy discovers an enclosed world where nothing makes sense, where Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir. Amy and Elder are instantly bonded. But can they trust each other? All Amy and Elder know is that they must discover Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke Amy tries to kill again.

The Review:

There are a lot of books out there that are just that-- books. Across The Universe is not one of those novels. From it's first page to the last, Across The Universe will hold you. Revis is masterful in creating a world aboard a tiny ship that is not too far away from ours that we can't relate but lightyears away from what we know and gives you a strong cast of characters to go with you along the way.

Told in duel perspectives, Amy and Elder are the perfect pair to tell this tale. Amy is essentially the reader, having been frozen in our time and woken up on the ship 250 years in the future. She's all a reader could want in a character and more. She's strong and resolute in her beliefs while maintaining a sense of innocence. I loved that she knew what she wanted and was willing to find a way to get it above all odds. But she wasn't so single-minded as to jepordize the good of the whole for what she wanted either. She had a little something called balance. Not only that but I loved the inner turmoil she went through. She felt real with real emotions, love and heartbreak.

Elder is part of the new world but he's not so far lost onto that we can't relate. He's smart and inquistive, more focused on finding the truth than falling in line with what Eldest is trying to sell him on. This is particularly potent because Elder is next in line to run the ship. Had it been any other character in the story and it wouldn't have meant as much for him to be rebelling with Amy. But the fact that Elder would have inherited everything and chose to look for the truth really makes him an exceptional character and a perfect match for Amy.

The cast of supporting characters weren't overlooked either. Everyone in the hospital felt real and were easy to fall in love with. Harvey was alive with every word he spoke and Eldest more terrifying with each action.

In novel with countless things to fall in love with, perhaps the best was the atmosphere of the ship. Everything from the language to the inventions to the society felt just close enough to be recognizable but just foriegn enough to be completely reinvented. With words like "brilly" for amazing/brilliant and inventions like wi-coms (which are essentially cell phone embedded into everyone's left earlob) the reader was really able to visualize how one thing changed from each generation to create the world that Amy wakes up in.

The plot was engaging and left me tearing through the pages to find out what's happening and who could have possibly been unfreezing the frozens and leaving them to die in such a heinous and terrible way.

Revis truly showcases how a debut author's novel should be. Her writing is smooth and melts off the page. Everything feels real from the characters to the emotions they feel. When Harvey or Elder sees the stars for the first time it's like I did too. I believed in the words on the page which is a hard feat to achieve. Beautiful, descriptive writing for an author whose career is about to blow up like a star.

Across The Universe is worth every star in the sky. Filled to the brim with amazing characters, a vast and exciting new world aboard a ship and exceptional writing, Across The Universe is a must read.



  1. REALLY looking foward to getting my hands on a copy of this one. Great review!

  2. This is a beautifully written review! And the book was so so so good--everybody should run out and read it, even if they don't like SciFi & spaceships.

  3. Great review! I love books that have two characters narrating. I'm really excited for this book to come out and your review made me more excited!

  4. I've got an ARC copy of this but wasn't that interested, but the more reviews i read the more excited i am getting about the book, it is steadily climbing it's way up my to be read pile. You make it sound fantastic. :D

  5. Oooh! I like that -- worth every star in the sky! Gave me chills. I loved the beginning of this book. Can't wait to finish it. Awesome review!

  6. I didn't expect a lot of this book but your review made me want to read it! ;)

  7. I've just come back from all my business travel and have caught up with my mail and am trying to catch up with blogging - SO EXCITED that you loved this book! I couldn't put it down, either! I want it in a movie, too!

  8. Great review. I'm looking forward to reading this one.


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