Google+ Reading Teen: Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Buy the Book: Amazon
Author's Website:
Series or Stand Alone: Series, book 1

A Story of Love, Murder, and Madness Aboard an Enormous Spaceship Bound for the Future

Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to wake up on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed.

Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir.

Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

Across the Universe is Titanic meets Brave New World.
I really loved this book. It was completely bizarre and crazy but I loved it. Although I don't know that I would have chosen to risk my life to journey to a new planet while being frozen and put into a sleep that I would hopefully wake up from, that didn't take anything away from the story. Honestly, if I was in Amy's position I'm pretty sure I might have gone crazy. She wasn't supposed to wake up for another fifty years, so when her parents finally wake up she'll be older than them, and every time she uncovers something she finds another secret that no one seems to know the answer to. Worst of all, she finds herself in a society completely unlike earth, but there's always a silver lining, and her's is Elder. An olive skinned boy who can get many of the answers that Amy needs. Oh, and he's also one of the few "normal" people on board who don't think she's completely insane. Living in a place where everyone who can actually think for themselves is labeled crazy, and where everyone that society deems normal is an empty, idiotic shell can be pretty frustrating. Amy struggles to find out who tried to kill her, and who keeps opening up the cryotanks so that she can keep her still-frozen-parents safe. While simultaneously receiving death threats from Eldest, the "ruler" of the Godspeed. This is definitely not what she signed up for, but there's no going back now.

The story of this book was completely addicting, I couldn't get enough of it, I flew through it, and it left me wanting more. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was that I thought a few things were kind of obvious, but I still enjoyed the story anyway. I also found myself wishing that the relationship between Amy and Elder was more defined, but I'm hoping *crosses fingers* that happens in the squeal. I loved how Amy would sometimes recall memories of her life on earth, mostly from the last year that she lived there. Beth could have easily just continued Amy's life from when she woke up, but she made sure to explain that it wasn't an easy decision for Amy, she had tons of people on earth she didn't want to leave, and a life that she loved, but in the end she couldn't stand to leave her parents. My favorite character was Elder, I adored that he was mature but innocent at the same time, even before Amy came along he wasn't satisfied with what he had been told, he was sick of secrets and he was searching for the answers himself. And, of course, I loved watching him love Amy. What I liked about Amy was her strength. She had lost everything, and yet, she kept going, and didn't even consider giving up. Her way to cope was to run. Run as fast and as far as you can, even if there's nowhere left to go. And I admired her.

While I was reading it, this book actually reminded me of Wall-E, (which I loved:) which made me consider the ending of that movie and completely blew my mind in the process. Maybe they never actually got very far away from earth and they are just waiting for it to replenish itself because it was almost completely destroyed! But alas, who knows.. ;) One of my favorite qualities in a book is one that makes you think, and this book, while still having a mostly-concluded ending, leaves a lot open for discussion, which keeps my mind going long after I finished the book. I loved this book, and I would definitely recommend it to everyone!

  • Sexual Content: Very Heavy (*by adults in a non-sensual way)
  • Profanity: Mild but with made up curse words used heavily
  • Violence: Heavy including attempted rape
For more details, click here


  1. So glad you loved this one too...and I agree, it makes you think which is one of the things I love best in a book!

  2. I've been waiting for y'all to review this book and, after reading your detailed content rating, all I can say is "Ohhhh, noooooo!" I'd had such high hopes for ATU and it turns out to be completely innapropiate. I'm seriously heart-broken right now, but also very thankful. I'd been planning on buying ATU this weekend, but now I don't think I can read it because it sounds totally perverted.
    Thanks for the dose of honesty, I really do appreciate what y'all do here. I just wish authors would keep that kind of trash out of YA.

  3. Great review! I got this about a week ago and can't wait to read it :)

  4. I wasn't expecting a lot of this book but your review's just made me curious about it.

  5. I started it yesterday night. It's a massive read, right!?
    I hope I like it as you did!

  6. I really liked this book too. I agree that it was a little weird but in a good way.

  7. Zombie- It was really weird. I felt odd about the sexual content in it because even though it was a lot, it wasn't sensual at all. It was very robotic. The people have no emotions. It's also not portrayed as a good thing. Amy is definitely appalled by their behavior, though the people on the ship see it as normal. Like how animals behave. It was actually really gross (and Amy sees it as gross also)

    At the same time, I did think it could have been done without all the gory details. But, I guess she wanted it to make more of an impact. It would definitely be my preference to not have it in there. At least not so detailed. It really grossed me out! haha!

  8. *Amy is the girl in the book. I don't mean our Amy! :)

  9. Well, I'm super bummed now. I was really excited about this, but after the content rating I don't think--scratch that, I know I won't be reading this. Thanks so much for the heads up! =)

    You know, I think today's Wish List Wednesday post was supposed to be about this. Looks like I'll have to write a new one. ;P

  10. I really loved this book,
    I adore all the characters, but Elder and Harley definitely stole my heart,
    I looooooove how much they love the stars and how much they wanted to believe there was more to life than just what was on the ship.

    And I really did't mind about the 'sex' content, 'cause it wasn't really sex, I mean, that was just the way this little community tried to survived, and that has worked for humanity for centuries, certainly not anymore, but there was a time when humans were close to extinction and well, you gotta do what you gotta do to preserve the species,

    but I'm glad Elder realized it wasn't right to do it without people's approval

  11. Great, thoughtful review!

    I loved the book for much the same reason - it was philosophical, eerie, thought-provoking, and ultimately intriguing as a concept.

  12. I'm looking forward to reading this, so I must admit that I didn't read your review (yet)!

  13. Glad I'm not the only one who thought the sexual content was too much for a YA read. I was really liking this book until "the Season" and attempted rape. I could have done with less detail. That being said, I will probably finish reading it but I'm not sure if it will earn a permanent place on my bookshelf (which is too bad since it is an awesome concept!)

  14. Oh come on people! This book is way to good to worry about the sexual content, I was only fourteen when I read this and it still remains no. 1 on my top book list of all time.

    1. Haha, ZoeysBFF! Well, some people care about that kind of stuff. I think that the sexual stuff was different than in other books. To me it was disturbing, (which it's supposed to be) but I didn't have a problem with it. Obviously Kit didn't either. But, some people just don't like reading that stuff. But, I agree, it was a great book!

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  16. I've heard great things about this one as well, so I will definitely take your suggestion... Thank you!


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