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Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe
by Beth Revis

Across the Universe

By: Beth Revis

Release Date: January 11, 2011

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary: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.


Review: Honestly, I was going to give this book one or two stars until near the end.

I have mixed feelings about this book because I really just couldn’t get into it until the last quarter or so, but at the same time, it was one of those powerful books that you appreciate at the end because it makes you think.

First a note about the audiobook. I thought Lauren Ambrose’s voice was WAY too angsty for the role. Yes, Amy was a very angsty character (and that was part of my problem with her), but there were parts were Ambrose still had that edge in her voice, even when Amy’s not furious. And Carlos Santos does a good job with the male POV, but when he reads Amy’s part, it was usually soft (crying, scared, helpless, hopeless), and it was huge contrast in Amy’s part with his softer portrayal to Ambrose’s harsh reading in the next chapter.

Now to the book… I really liked the concept of the book.What I like is the idea that a group of people are frozen to build the future; there is a ship with these generations of people, and what’s interesting about them is the way they are alike; and I like finding out what’s really going on.

However, I really struggled to get through it because it took so long to get to the point. This whole time, you KNOW there is something going on, but you can’t figure out what it is. While it’s a good thing that Revis keeps you on your toes, guessing whether Eldest is a good guy or a bad guy and what his real intentions are, the story progression took so long to get through, that you’re left wondering, “Okay, any day now.”

The story wasn’t unpredictable. I knew that… (see spoiler at my Goodreads)But like I said earlier, Revis kept stringing you along, so you don’t really know until the end. I was, however, very surprised by Elder’s confession at the end. 

My biggest problem with the book was I neither liked Amy nor Elder. I understand that Amy feels cheated in life because she didn’t really want to be frozen in the first place, and she wakes up alone. However, she is a little over-the-top with the dramatic anger, throwing things off the doctor’s desk, her furious outbursts, her quick judgment to tell people that the way they have been living was wrong – without even looking into the why. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of things wrong with the way the ship was run. However, I am not dumb enough to go into a foreign country or wake up in another world and start telling the leaders they have been wrong without even bothering to find out why the system was set up that way.

And Elder was kind of the same way. Yes, Eldest was wrong to keep him in the dark all this tim, but in a way, I can understand where he’s coming from, especially with the whole trust issue (which readers can understand more had Revis gotten to the previous Elder’s role of betrayal early on). This new girl shows up, and he begins questioning the way things are done (which is a good thing), but the way he goes around accusing Eldest instead of calmly talking to him like leader to learn about his lesson and fully understand before jumping the gun (which was a bad thing) was a wrong thing to do. Yes, he’s still young, but he is supposed to be the future leader.

Now back to why this book makes a lasting impression – because there was no flat right or wrong answer. In the end, you know why things are done the way they were, and yes, in a way, they were wrong. But if you think about it, even Elder has to admit, was the “right” thing to do really the right choice for the people? We are quick to say yes because we have the liberties and rights and the privileges we have today. But given the situation, what would a good leader had done. And THAT is why the book is so powerful. Too bad it wasn’t until near the end that you really appreciate that.

Go to Katy’s review on Goodreads.

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