Title: Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)
Author: Beth Revis
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Cover Designer: N/A
Age Audience: YA
Summary: 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. 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.
First of all, thank you to Brooke from Brooke's Box of Books for pointing out that there are ship blueprints on the other side of the book jacket! I never would have discovered them otherwise.
Anyways, the two things that drew me to this book were the Beatles reference in the title (I am a sucker for Beatles references) and the sub-genre (space opera isn't that popular nowadays). It took me awhile to get around to reading this, but it was definitely worth reading!
Across the Universe was a bit slow to start, but after about 75 pages in I couldn’t stop reading. Something about Revis’ descriptions of the ship make you feel…claustrophobic. I know that word is over-used in describing this book, but it’s honestly the best word that describes the feeling you get while reading.
While I didn’t feel especially attached to any of the characters, they weren’t boring or uninteresting either. I liked the switching POV, because we got to see the Godspeed through the eyes of both someone familiar with it, and a newcomer. However, the romance in this book was barely romance. What Elder felt for Amy was more like obsession than love. He was only interested in her because she was different. I have no idea what Amy saw in Elder.
My biggest issue with this book was the “Season” (to those of you who haven’t read the book, it’s when the people of the Godspeed have sex for days to produce the ship’s next generation). Revis really didn’t spare any details. I am strongly against censorship in YA, but…..does a YA book really need graphic descriptions of 30-year-olds doing it in the fields?
I figured out who the killer was halfway through the book. And the climax, while it was very well-done, was predictable too. Anyone with knowledge of basic math could have figured it out near the beginning of the book. The ending wasn’t exactly a cliffhanger, but there were questions left unanswered.
Despite my criticisms, Across the Universe was a really good book. Who knows? Maybe when the dystopia craze* blows over, YA space opera will rise to popularity!
*Not that I mind the dystopia craze. Sci-fi is sci-fi.